Dr. Igor Panarin, a Russian Information Warfare expert, is interviewed in the below article and advocates some unusual initiatives.
Dr. Panarin is pushing for the creation of a “Russian internet”, separate from the Internet that you and I use. He says it “is not censorship and regulation”, but “protection”. What he means is this protects Russian citizens from external information, but what he means is this protects Russian citizens from starting a colored revolution, which he brings up later. This reiterates a position submitted by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to the United Nations, allowing Russia, China and other members of the SCO to deny access to the internet in the case of a “State emergency” aka a popular uprising. As noted previously, here and here, the United Nations has declared access to the internet a basic human right – this violates the UN declaration.
Igor is also pushing for the strict control of information in Russia, like China. Again, this controls the information seen by Russian citizens. How this differs from current Russian website blocking as applied by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) is unknown. Again, this is designed solely to prevent a colored revolution.
Last, and most alarming, is that Dr. Panarin advocates Russian military capabilities target civilian targets, specifically he says that Russian submarines should target the London Stock Exchange. This clearly violates the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) aka the Geneva Convention. Dr. Panarin’s background is as a KGB analyst, so he may not be conversant in the LOAC, but this idea needs to be immediately quashed.
All in all, it is refreshing to see Dr. Panarin voice these opinions.
(Translated by my Chrome browser from Russian)
On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Victory is increasingly pressure on Russia in the information field. European leaders voiced version of a victory – one is surprising, Director Rosarkhiv describes Stalin’s cowardly criminal shortsighted, and fighters for freedom of speech on the sad fate of the captured with rolled Russophobic film “Number 44”. Against Russia for many years is a system information warfare on a variety of fronts – politics, economics, cultural sphere, the Internet and media. Successful experience of confrontation military information machine west, about how work kibervoyska NATO and that it may oppose Russia, as well as many other things in an interview On the eve of the Eurasian Youth Forum in Yekaterinburg Professor, Doctor of Political Sciences, Igor Panarin .
Question : You say that the information and social networks – a modern Trojan horse. In China it is not allowed and strictly controlled, we cry about the “scoop” and censorship. Whether or not to share the censorship, information security and control of information space?
Igor Panarin : That which is in China – it is not censorship and regulation, and from my point of view, this is exactly the right approach – protection. They have the idea – the construction of the Great Wall as protection in the information space from external influences – a key objective. Any problem in the confrontation – bringing positive information, particularly about China, its limits and at the same time – protecting information from an external field corrupting influence. From my point of view, they have found the right option. You could go two ways. First – disable connect to the Internet. I will give an example from history – after the Second World War, when communist ideas were quite popular in America, there is simply forbidden to sell radios capable of receiving long waves of Soviet radio. They have chosen to ban hard and as a result, the Americans, if they wanted, could not get any information from the USSR. They opted for the hard censorship, but this hardly speak, although they should be. Chinese also could just say that we will allow, for example, only 20 million to connect to the Internet, and the rest is not empty, technologically all possibilities for this were. But they have chosen to open up all the doors, but not chaotic, and with simultaneous control. Scandal with Google (2010), which was, it was well conducted public policies and they insisted on their demands. Second, to avoid repeating the experience of Tiananmen (1989), attempts to block a color revolution, which developed completely on the Maidan option – tents, students, much earlier than in Kiev. They rigidly suppressed it and draw conclusions.
Question : How did they do it? By controlling the information environment?
Igor Panarin : Their task was to prevent the launch of the anti-state mechanism, they opened the door, but began to tightly control those segments of society that can be a threat to national security. Control was introduced at the state level, and the second layer – at the university level. As it turned out, after a series of events, starting with Tunisia “color revolutions” practically launched and “rocked” the state of the Middle East and Eastern Europe Information. Tunisia was a country with a high standard of living, all there was not bad, and the situation unrolled only information means, primarily through the Internet and social networks. Experience has shown that the Chinese strategy of administrative and legal regulation of risk areas, in particular, students, proved to be correct when Beijing maidan left 150 people, of whom 50 were members of the American Embassy, 50 – Western journalists and 50 – the Chinese. Chinese experience partly used in Belarus, and we know that this country has twice escaped the “color revolutions”, and attempts a coup there were undertaken systematically and on a larger scale than in the same Ukraine. But the presence of a rigid central government, the adoption of correct and timely decisions, including legal, thus avoiding the consequences. For Russia, China and Belarus experience is positive, and it is worth implementing in our information and legal space.
Question : However, in Hong Kong came out much more than 50 people, but this attempt was not successful. That there was a key factor?
Igor Panarin : Hong Kong – a former British colony until 1997, there was formed a special Ethnogroup, time since the return to Chinese jurisdiction was not much. But a key factor in countering external attempts at implementation of the “color revolution” – China’s ability to act. There were a few things that were supposed to be a turning point. There was a time when the opposition leaders themselves went to the police station to be arrested, and it was harvested under a series of actions on the theme of “freedom of the prisoners.” A police released them. In Kiev in February 2014 this moment was unknown snipers shooting that completely repeated provocations western scenario in 1989 in Romania (g.Timishoare) when Western intelligence agencies snipers killed 50 police officers and more than 200 demonstrators. Then Yanukovych could not be tempted to take decisive action, has already begun to subside maidan, and at this moment the situation was controlled from the outside due to the broken-snipers, after which it was impossible to change. In Hong Kong, there were two such points. There they acted without snipers, but similar provocations, but the Chinese have worked quite flexible. As a result, the situation is not solved completely, but fully localized.
Question : Last week discussed two things – the creation in Prague media holding, to work in social networks to counter the “Russian propaganda” and in the US Congress discussed this topic and the related “Nemtsov list” compiled by Kasyanov, which included ” most odious Russian propagandists. ” How do you comment on this situation, how serious the consequences it entails?
Igor Panarin : In general, we underestimate the work in social networks. First of all, we do not have public Internet holding company of which I am not one year, which could deal with and work on the internal and external field in social networks. Here I would recall that in 1998, Americans have embraced the concept of information operations, then for the first time introduced the concept of offensive information operations. There were no social networks, but there is a fundamental point was that such operations may take place in peacetime – it was crucial methodological conclusion – an open public document. It was, in fact, the beginning of an information war on the official level, but Russia is still no doctrinal documents that would prescribed such things. In 2006, Americans publish a new document that details the previous and announces social networks and the Internet main field of information operations. So far, we have not registered anywhere doctrinally countermeasures. What you are asking – it links the plan that works since 2006. Simply create new structures, new units, but they are based on the postulates of 2006 that social networks – the main field of information warfare, and create new drums information fists.
Question : And all this time we did not do anything?
Igor Panarin : We can not say that did not do anything, have been recently introduced changes to the law on mass media in terms of who can be the owner of the Russian media, but pay attention that the lowering of the foreigners from 50 to 20% will only be finalized in 2017 although the likelihood of destabilization can occur much earlier. The Americans Act information exists since 1948, there foreigners can not own more than 25% of the media. Not introduced mandatory re-registration and the media. We have media with 100% foreign capital, but the new rules will apply only to newly created media. We have three federal TV channel with 100% foreign capital. Regulation will begin in 2017 – too late. There is a problem proprietors media, social networking, social services providers – there is also a problem with the participation of foreign capital. Remember, we have two years could not figure out who is the owner of Russia’s largest airport, and in the information environment, I think that these issues are not less. We are late in the legal regulation. The intensity of the attacks will increase, and it is necessary to enhance the ways to counter. 2 thousand. British soldiers of the newly created 77th brigade of the armed forces of the United Kingdom will work professionally in social networks against Russia – is a giant figure – we all Glaucus to combat extremism less.
Of course, we have the staff involved in this area – but in much smaller quantities. After Roscomnadzor regulates only three sectors of the information field – this is a very narrow part of the spectrum. In this case, we need to be based on Western legal documents. When the United States in 2001 passed a law on the support of patriotism, I offered to take it without changing in Russia to have not been accused of suppressing democracy, but it did not take us. There most severe domestic regulations and information space US, and though it’s been 14 years since the attacks, it operates in the US, and was adopted two weeks after the attacks – whether it was harvested in advance, or something else, but the rapidity its adoption is astounding.
Question : If we talk about the Ukrainian information space – we all are simplified as “fight the oligarchs,” “stupid zombies” and “information chaos.” Is it possible to say with certainty that this is true, or is it a field or a portion thereof is controlled from the outside?
Igor Panarin : My point of view – there is a full outer western management. Avakova by chance called “feysbuchnym minister.” Before the coup, he did not have his Facebook page, he did no activity was not conducted, but the March 9, 2014 in Kiev arrived 16 officers kibertsentra NATO from Tallinn, in fact, they became the core of social networking and management through social networks, control not only internal Ukrainian public opinion, but also Russian. In Ukraine, about 3 million users Facebook, in Russia – 30 million, and the whole work is aimed not so much at the Ukrainian as the Russian “feysbuchnuyu” audience. We can say that in Facebook on our part enthusiasts have an active position, and on the other side – a special unit. This is a fundamental difference. This does not mean that the Russian government agencies “do not work”. They work, but are generally within the transaction. For instance, it was necessary to ensure that the information reunion Crimea. Crimea reunited, the work is over, and these activities are not part of a strategic overall plan of action of all structures. This is the problem – a lack of coordination.
Question : How can it be achieved?
Igor Panarin : For example, our president is going to Khakassia resolve the situation after the fire with him a group of ministers and advisers, and he assigns each responsible for some direction. There just seems advisable to operate. MIA – to prevent the import of 50 thousand. New tires in the city center (in Kiev) – they also need to physically deliver, while others have to block anti-state activities in social networks, and others – are working in the media, the fourth – with political parties – should be a single plan actions, and it must meet certain Advisor this area in the same way as the eye – Advisor on Eurasian economic integration. But such a person we do not have. In the US, this mechanism closes on intelligence. Director of Cyber Command US at the same time director of the NSA, ie it at the usual time in the senior National Security Agency, and during an operation in the information war – he was a senior intelligence for all 18 countries. We have similar attempts were made several times, but did not result in the creation of a coordination structure. Can not say that the country’s leadership does not understand that this is an important area. It is. After all the same “Russia today” was created and successfully operates, the same Dmitry Kiselev and Konstantin Semin, Arkady Mamontov and a number of other television broadcasts are excellent. Part of the information work carried out, but the system is carried out against us many years of work in 2006, which requires a systematic and strategic response, which is no.
Question : why we fail?
Igor Panarin : Our defeat in the German information field is evident when in 2008 (armed conflict in the Caucasus), the ratio of positive to negative news about Russia was 1: 4, 1:70 and was in the Ukrainian crisis. This compels me to try to figure out what happened, who affects the German public opinion, which it holds conferences, round tables, which media and how it works. And this despite the fact that there, in Germany, about 15 million people speak Russian, there are many Russian citizens live. It is necessary to analyze, to understand why we lost.Americans have learned since August 2008, when Germany was more loyal to Russia than to the United States and Great Britain, made adjustments and changed the situation. We, too, should draw their own conclusions. There is also a moment – their State Department – is not our Foreign Ministry. We have Churkin, there Lavrov, who perfectly valid information, but we do not have the position of Deputy Minister for Public Diplomacy, and there is a deputy, who oversees all this activity, which puts the task after. There is no such functionality. Many things – from management and organizational sphere.
Here is appointed Deputy Minister for the fight against international terrorism and public diplomacy so no coordinates. In general, the Russian line of conduct information warfare can be represented in the form of coordinated work of Deputy Foreign Minister for Public Diplomacy, Force special information management operations of the armed forces, presidential adviser on information warfare, special units of the security services, the state media. All of them are embedded in the logical state system: Advisor to the President, the Vice-Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the line and a number of other ministries and departments, the command of the Special Forces Information Operations forces. It is advisable to periodically collect the State Council on information warfare, giving it directives envoys, the governors, and it turns out organizational and management grille. I believe that we need a new organizational and management system.
Question : Recently, a visit of the US Ambassador to Russia Tefft to the Urals, which was actually a secret mode, last year, after Germany and the EU were in the Ural Federal University and their performances have caused the polar evaluation – someone believes that the diversity of opinions and information must be someone – that such activities should be regulated and controlled. How to deal with diplomats, they should be considered as actors of information warfare or “flies – separately, burgers – separately”?
Igor Panarin : I think, first of all, to be a Russian-American balance, and before that Mr. Tefft made in Yaroslavl State University. He strongly advocated, but there must be a balance – if he stands here and let our ambassador speaks at Harvard, in other universities in the US. Until we see an imbalance in our information field we enable external players to bring their positions, and we do not really give. I was at Stanford, Georgetown University, we met and talked, but I was not allowed to the students. We met with political scientists in a narrow range, but this “to let in the framework of democracy Igor speak, express the point of view of Russia” – I will not be allowed to fragile young “and ush eyes.” They are metered, and the rule of information warfare: the external limit the flow of information in its territory and the maximum bringing his point of view to another. They adhere to this. If we look at Ukraine, is a typical example of a clear western strategic information operations, where they purposefully liquidate the Russian channels, broadcasting, and at the same time strengthen its influence. The result, admittedly, is effective. In this sense, why do we need to provide opportunities that we do not offer?
Question : Cultural projects, film, photography, theater – is also one of the fronts of the war? Say, a big scandal refusal rolled film “Number 44” that say about this?
Igor Panarin : In general, of course, the problem with our opponent – to limit the influence of the Russian language and Russian culture in the minds and moods of people around the world. For the same and Russian schools, for example, in Ukraine closed. Hollywood – the main theme. All movies are less ideological, absolutely. Reconstruction of history, an attempt to replace the results of the Great Patriotic War. Take France, this defeat even the Soviet Union. In 1945, the vast majority of French believe that the Soviet Union made a decisive contribution to the victory. A 1994 – is less than half. Today, the picture is diametrically opposed. France was the most powerful Communist Party, in every sixth Frenchman – Russian blood, as I told the French themselves. And the result – a fundamental change in attitudes over 70 years. Despite Napoleon’s France in Russia were mainly positive mood – a severe defeat of the USSR and Russia. It is necessary to analyze why it happened. The USSR did not have money? Were, but CNN created in 1980, and “Russia today” in 25 years. It is no coincidence they are active in this cultural sphere, the mass scandals, not only in Yekaterinburg, with museums, with modern art, it’s all – the field of information warfare. The task of the West – to diminish Russia’s role in all stages of history, but primarily in World War II.
Question : NATO commanders pointedly conducting exercises on the perimeter of our borders – in the Baltic States, Poland, Ukraine, the convoy of armored vehicles under the camera traveled across Eastern Europe. This is intentional saber-rattling, too style media pressure?
Igor Panarin : It’s a show of force and a factor of information and psychological pressure. I am convinced that a military conflict NATO will be defeated and they had not yet begun to him, because they know that the direct military aggression they will be defeated. But the use of information pressure as a factor in solving political problems continued. Czech Republic now occupies a more positive attitude to Russia. President Zeman is going to come for the Victory Parade, making statements in support of Russia, and all of a sudden on the territory of the Czech Republic, Americans have been armored column. This is a factor of information and psychological threats, the action of pressure.
Question : Accordingly, statements by representatives of the State Department that “all exercises in Russia – a provocation against the United States” – is absolutely mirror the situation?
Igor Panarin : That mirror thing, yes. I repeat: they require that we comply with the rules that they themselves had never met. And we should not play by the rules that suit specifically for us, and play in a real system of coordinates. And what coordinates: the next attack, followed by an analysis and action – protection of a defensive or attacking. I am a supporter of transfer activity on foreign territory. Same Ferguson – this is a problem, but we do not pay attention to the promotion of the information fire, although the reasons are more than enough. They are aiming to destroy Russia, and we do not set the task of destroying the US or the UK. In the same way the Soviet Union – they set the task to the collapse of the USSR and walked purposefully toward her, build structures, etc. And we set the task of the Communist Party USA wins the election, it was not very promising task. US task destruction was not put. We have a powerful tool – cruise missiles, which are superior to their foreign counterparts, but the reorientation of the goals is to occur – strike should not be on military bases, and the center management and financial and economic structures.
We now have both – the submarine floats, and her task – to sink an aircraft carrier. And why did she sink an aircraft carrier if it can strike on the London Stock Exchange and financial control centers, and she will do it one hundred percent. Then the people of the West, decision-makers will know that in the case of preparation of aggression against Russia, they are guaranteed to be destroyed in the event of an escalation that they have no chance. This will deter their intentions to unleash war. We now plot the conditional counter a nuclear attack on military targets, and it is necessary for the management of information centers and the centers of financial and economic management. Now media reports allow us to understand that it is going to escalate aggression, and these people will know that if they get to a certain point, then they will be destroyed, it is a powerful factor inhibition and blocking World War. This is a very important point I want to emphasize it: we need a reorientation of our submarines in the financial and economic facilities and information management operations against Russia. I put forward the concept in 1995, and they are very afraid of her. Technically, we solve it by a new strategic submarines, left to use them as a deterrent, to officially announce that in case of military aggression, these centers will be destroyed due to the fact that the flight of the missile – a few minutes, the result is guaranteed. From my point of view, Russia is one of the factors in the preservation of the spiritual sovereignty and territorial integrity, along with nuclear weapons.