Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

EU East StratCom Task Force Disinformation Review – When nothing is true and everything is possible


19 April 2018

*TRENDS OF THE WEEK*

When nothing is true and everything is possible

The last couple of weeks, we have seen two major campaigns unfold within the pro-Kremlin disinformation machinery: the disinformation surrounding the poisoning of the Skripals, where the number of narratives spread about it from pro-Kremlin sources is now 31 (!); and the massive campaign targeting the latest chemical attack in Syria.

The disinformation campaign focused on the Skripal case has many similarities with the disinformation rolled out immediately following the downing of the civilian flight MH17, whereas the campaign targeting Syria is a predictable repetition of previous campaigns discrediting the suffering of civilians in the country.

We have already written about the actors behind and the narratives and tactics used in these virtual tsunamis of disinformation.

Lately these two campaigns, targeting separated events, have started to merge into one another within the pro-Kremlin disinformation space. For an untrained eye, that might seem surprising. But as the book about modern Russia and the TV landscape by Peter Pomerantsev suggests, when nothing is true, everything is possible.

Whereas previously, the White Helmets have been blamed for staging the chemical attacksin Syria among other things, this week we see that the UK is being accused of instructing them to do so. Russian state TV also claimed that Syria’s chemical weapons were actually created by the Brits, although another state TV program claimed that there are in fact no chemical weapons in Syria.

And, prior to the arrival of the independent investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to Douma, Kremlin representatives and pro-Kremlin outlets have discredited their work in the Skripal-case.

And once more “news shows” on Russian state TV showed how they are very different from news programs that adhere to journalistic standards. In order to “prove” that the White Helmets had staged the chemical attack in Douma, they aired footage from a film set showing just that. But the problem is that the imagery is easily detectable as coming from the (pro-Syrian regime) movie ‘Revolution Man’Bellingcat has the full story.

This is not the first time that Russian state TV uses images from productions and claim it is reality – we have seen this happen before with images from computer games being presented as ’irrefutable proof’.

So, even though at a first glance the poisoning of an ex-spy in London and another chemical weapons attack killing civilians in Syria don’t have so much in common, you just need to follow the disinformation trail to find how it all plays a part in the pro-Kremlin disinformation machinery. And how that machinery is used as a non-military means to reach political goals, as described in several great studies included in our Reading list for example herehere, and here.

Click here for the FULL COLLECTION of recent stories repeating disinformation.

*LATEST ANALYSES*

“USA Really. Wake Up Americans”. The story of Russia’s new private propaganda outlet.

State propaganda outsourced: Russia’s new international mouthpiece to be launched in May with a private owner.

Read more

Figure of the Week: 130,500

A trove of hacked emails appears to show that Moscow planned to fund a dirty-tricks campaign aimed at sowing division and spreading disinformation in Ukraine, just months after Russia invaded the country.

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Portraits of Europe on Russian TV

Have you ever wondered why Europe suffers from so many natural disasters? According to Russian State TV, Mother Nature is punishing EU countries for losing their moral compass and abandoning traditional values.

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Russian TV: “Maybe the kids are just sleeping”

Vaccinate yourself against the cynicism broadcast by Russian state TV about the Douma chemical attack.

Read more

*LAST, BUT NOT LEAST*

“Danger: Slippery Floor Surface!”

A Russian TV reporter with limited English skills sneaked into the Salisbury hospital where Sergei Skripal is being treated.

Read more
To ensure that the Disinformation Review appears in your primary inbox, simply add disinforeview@euvsdisinfo.eu to your address book.
East StratCom Task Force
Follow us on Twitter @euvsdisinfo
Find us on Facebook @EUvsDisinformation
Visit our website www.euvsdisinfo.eu

Thank you for sending your reports.
For new contributions and corrections, please e-mail disinforeview@euvsdisinfo.eu

To sign up for this newsletter, please click here: http://eepurl.com/bN1ub5
Every Thursday, the Disinformation Review brings you the latest cases of news articles carrying key examples of how pro-Kremlin disinformation finds its way in international media, as well as news and analysis on the topic. The review focuses on key messages carried in international media which have been identified as providing a partial, distorted or false view or interpretation and/or spreading key pro-Kremlin messaging. It does not necessarily imply however that the outlet concerned is linked to the Kremlin or that it is pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. The Review is a compilation of cases from the East Stratcom Task Force’s wide network of contributors and therefore cannot be considered an official EU position. Likewise, the news articles are based on the analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force, so information and opinions expressed there cannot be considered an official EU position. Any errors or misrepresentations should be reported to the East Stratcom Task Force for correction at disinforeview@euvsdisinfo.eu.
Copyright © 2018 European External Action Service, All rights reserved.

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Russian TV: “Maybe the kids are just sleeping”

Vaccinate yourself against the cynicism broadcast by Russian state TV about the Douma chemical attack.

Read more

*LAST, BUT NOT LEAST*

“Danger: Slippery Floor Surface!”

A Russian TV reporter with limited English skills sneaked into the Salisbury hospital where Sergei Skripal is being treated.

Read more
To ensure that the Disinformation Review appears in your primary inbox, simply add disinforeview@euvsdisinfo.eu to your address book.
East StratCom Task Force
Follow us on Twitter @euvsdisinfo
Find us on Facebook @EUvsDisinformation
Visit our website www.euvsdisinfo.eu

Thank you for sending your reports.
For new contributions and corrections, please e-mail disinforeview@euvsdisinfo.eu

To sign up for this newsletter, please click here: http://eepurl.com/bN1ub5
Every Thursday, the Disinformation Review brings you the latest cases of news articles carrying key examples of how pro-Kremlin disinformation finds its way in international media, as well as news and analysis on the topic. The review focuses on key messages carried in international media which have been identified as providing a partial, distorted or false view or interpretation and/or spreading key pro-Kremlin messaging. It does not necessarily imply however that the outlet concerned is linked to the Kremlin or that it is pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. The Review is a compilation of cases from the East Stratcom Task Force’s wide network of contributors and therefore cannot be considered an official EU position. Likewise, the news articles are based on the analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force, so information and opinions expressed there cannot be considered an official EU position. Any errors or misrepresentations should be reported to the East Stratcom Task Force for correction at disinforeview@euvsdisinfo.eu.

Source: https://mailchi.mp/euvsdisinfo/dr104-880637?e=5d3f359039

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