Information Warfare · Russia

Russian IW, Propaganda, Disinformation Compilation – Morning 8 March 2017


I’ve been swamped, lately. Here are just a few.

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A Rubicon is crossed: Like Ukrainians, Belarusians now view fighting despotism as patriotic  – Paul Goble

The Belarusian protests have crossed a Rubicon in recent days, Roman Popkov argues: Belarusians taking part in them now view fighting the despotism of the Alyaksandr Lukashenka regime as a patriotic act, a development that means they increasingly resemble Ukrainians in 2013.

The slogans which bring people into the streets may touch on socio-economic problems, democracy, and corruption, the Russian analyst says.

“But the main thing among both Ukrainians and Belarusians is the struggle for the liberation of their country and nation and for a renewed Daughter-Motherland under national banners.” In both places, “resistance to tyranny is a patriotic act,” Popkov says.

Hacked correspondence shows Kremlin’s efforts to promote “Russian world” in Eastern Europe by funding radicals – StopFake.org

According to the leaked data, back in 2014, Usovsky pitched his ideas to promote “Russian world” to the team of the Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev, who is associated with a number of pro-Russian movements and branded the Kremlin’s cover to fund subversive operations in Eastern Europe and CIS countries, according to Informnapalm volunteer community.

Disinformation in Action: Social Media Users Catch Sputnik International Accusing Georgia of Legalizing ‘Sodomy,’ ‘Lesbianism’ – StopFake

By Katerina Patin, Coda

Georgian social media users flagged Russian disinformation in action on Monday, when the Kremlin-funded news network Sputnik International ran a story about Georgia updating its domestic violence laws to EU standards with the headline, “In Georgia lesbianism and sodomy might be permitted.”

Defense Against the Dark Arts: Networked Propaganda and Counter-Propaganda

In honor of MisinfoCon this weekend, it’s time for a brain dump on propaganda — that is, getting large numbers of people to believe something for political gain. Many of my journalist and technologist colleagues have started to think about propaganda in the wake of the US election, and related issues like “fake news” and organized trolling. My goal here is to connect this new wave of enthusiasm to history and research.

This post is about persuasion. I’m not going to spend much time on the ethics of these techniques, and even less on the question of who is actually right on any particular point. That’s for another conversation. Instead, I want to talk about what works. All of these methods are just tools, and some are more just than others. Think of this as Defense Against the Dark Arts.

In Russia, propaganda starts in preschool

Militaristic ideas and gender stereotypes can dominate one’s early life in Russia — as public holidays in honour of the country’s military and women show. Русский

“Mummy, do you know that all the daddies went to the war and they all got killed?” my four-year old daughter Olya asks me.

Olya goes to the ordinary state nursery school next to our block of flats in sleepy southwest Moscow. She spends her days, from 9am to 6pm, in a two-storey building clad in dirty-yellow tiles. Every evening I quiz her about her day at school, whom she played with, what games they played and what topics the teachers talked to them about. After a year and a half, my daughter has finally started telling me what she has learned during the day without prompting.

“The daddies went to the war. It’s just men that go to war: women don’t go and they don’t let children go,” Olya announces categorically.

I try to refute her statement: I tell her that, sadly, both men and women have gone to war.

“No! The nursery teachers know everything! Women don’t go to war,” she insists.

German minister: Russia waging fake news ‘propaganda war’

Germany’s finance minister says Russia is conducting a “propaganda war” through fake news to try to garner influence abroad, and it has to stop.

Wolfgang Schaeuble told a group of foreign correspondents in Berlin on Tuesday that Kremlin-funded Russia Today produces “false reports from morning to evening,” which “is not acceptable and needs to end.”

Schaeuble says there is a “constant and unbelievably deceitful” barrage of Russian propaganda.

Freeland warns Canadians to beware of Russian disinformation

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who is being targeted by allegations in pro-Moscow websites that her maternal Ukrainian grandfather was a Nazi collaborator, warned Monday that Canada should expect to be the focus of Russian disinformation campaigns similar to what is happening in Europe and the United States.

Russia has shown its displeasure at Ms. Freeland’s promotion to Foreign Affairs Minister by maintaining a travel ban against her as well as critical articles in state-owned media.

Recently a number of stories have appeared in pro-Putin regime websites, calling Ms. Freeland “Canada’s fiercely anti-Russian Foreign Affairs Minister” and alleging her grandfather, Michael Chomiak, was a Nazi propagandist in Poland.

“I don’t think it’s a secret. American officials have publicly said, and even [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel has publicly said, that there were efforts on the Russian side to destabilize Western democracies, and I think it shouldn’t come as a surprise if these same efforts were used against Canada,” Ms. Freeland told reporters when asked about the articles. “I think that Canadians and indeed other western countries should be prepared for similar efforts to be directed at them.”

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