Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

How Russia Justifies Even More Propaganda


© Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

Igor Panarin used a pro-Russian website, BaltNews, to publish an article arguing that the West is unfairly launching propaganda at an undeserving Russia.  

First, Baltnews is Sputnik’s brother, a confirmed Russian propaganda site. It’s owner, Media Capital Holding B.V., is wholly owned by Rossiya Segodnya, who owns SputnikStopFake documents it here, Sputnik’s unknown brother

A few observations about the article. 

Starting with the title: “Expert: the strengthening of anti-Russian propaganda is due to the successes of the Russian Armed Forces in Syria”.  The title is misleading and factually inaccurate; Russia must maintain a facade of success in Syria for internal propaganda purposes only.  Syria is mentioned only in the title, the subtitle, and once in the eighth paragraph.  To the West, the Russian military is not perceived as a success anywhere and Syria is not seen as a victory for Russia. To most, Russia is seen as a rogue state, a country using guerilla warfare using conventional forces against Ukraine, and a thuggish brute incapable of moral or ethical actions. 

Atlantic Council is a Washington DC-based think tank.  Some Russian propagandists outlandishly call it NATO’s propaganda arm, thankfully Panarin does not make that leap. Anton Barbashin wrote a report for the Atlantic council titled, “Improving the Western strategy to combat the Kremlin’s propaganda and disinformation“, published on 11 June. Panarin is responding the Atlantic Council almost as if it is an official publication of the US government.

“[F]ake news”, Panarin claims, is a Western tool.  He uses the word “more”, which rightfully infers Russia does the same. The problem is the vast majority of fake news, beginning in 2013/2014 was of Russian origin, echoed on pro-Russian sites and by Russian trolls, Russian bots, and Russian-originated tweets. 

The West, of course, is the aggressor. “…it became clear that the military way can not beat Russia, so the West is turning to the methods of conducting a hybrid war.”  No mention is made of Crimea, Ukraine, or Donbas, or Russia’s first use of special intelligence services for covert operations, propaganda, little green men, Active Measures, Lawfare, hundreds of trolls, and countless other tools of hybrid warfare. 

Despite thousands of examples of Russian fabricated fake news, Panarin falsely claims there is no proof. “At least for the last one [unintelligible] no Russian media has been accused of forming such news, there is not one proven case, “Panarin said.”  

Despite an unprecedented increase in spending by Russia for propaganda and a slight increase in spending for the BBG, Panarin mistakenly claims that the US Department of State owns the BBG and its seven bureaus, including VOA. 

The expert also noted that the report of the “Atlantic Council” pays attention to the radio station “Radio Liberty”, which, according to experts, is not sufficiently funded:

“We can not agree with this, because the last 2-3 years they made a sharp increase in the funding of programs in Russia.

Perhaps unbeknownst to Panarin, the launch of Current Time, RFE’s Russian TV station, was funded solely with internal funding. 

Of course, no Russian propaganda piece should miss accusing the CIA of being behind US international information programs. 

I recall that Radio Liberty is a CIA radio station and Voice of America belongs to the US State Department. Social networks for citing first place in Radio Liberty, followed by Ekho Moskvy, then Voice of America, and so, having succeeded in pressuring Russia and anti-Russian propaganda in the radio, they are trying to get new funding and add new models. “

Please note that Panarin always claims that what Russia does is in response to Western provocations. Not only is this blatant blameshifting, but it is a classic example of Pot-Calling-The-Kettle-Black.  

According to Igor Panarin, it is necessary to pay close attention to the report, analyze it and develop response measures, since the very purpose is destabilization of the domestic political situation in Russia.

Panarin justifies censorship and the oppression of free speech and freedom of the press, in the name of national security. 

“We also need to pay attention to the projects that are being carried out in Russia by Western structures and try to identify their illegal activities, if it exists, the third is to more clearly apply the norms, including in the information sphere, to projects funded by foreign sources.Of course, Here there is a fine line with censorship, but the interest of national security must be respected. “

Update: Here is the report referenced in the last two paragraphs. 

Overall, the article feels like a fairly weak argument for increasing Russian information warfare efforts. 

Bottom line, this piece does not call for anything new that he hasn’t mentioned multiple times.  I have it here more as an analysis of how Russians publicly justify increasing their propaganda.  What he does not mention here is the Return on Investment. Information Warfare is a wise investment for Russia, it is low risk and high payoff when it works.  The big gamble, however, is the West’s increasing frustration at Russian propaganda, Russian lies, and Russia’s avoidance of the truth and responsibility. The bigger risk is internal to Russia, so Russia is increasingly becoming a police state, an oppressive regime, suppressing free speech, freedom of the press, and brutally crushing any opposition – all in the name of ‘national security’.  The long-term risk, internationally, is Russia being labeled a rogue state.  The United States has already considered labeling Russia a sponsor of terrorism.  

The more the West increases countermeasures to Russian Information Warfare and Russian provocations, the machismo of the Russian leadership will demand a stronger response. With an already miserable economy, strangling sanctions, and no hope of foreseeable relief, we may see an economic collapse accompanied by a leadership implosion. The only choice we should face is, do we execute stronger countermeasures in the hope of seeing Russian sensibility return or do we hold out for a repeat of 25 December 1991? 

</end editorial>



18 June 2018

Expert: the strengthening of anti-Russian propaganda is due to the successes of the Russian Armed Forces in Syria

Doctor of Political Sciences Igor Panarin links the appeals of the Washington-based think tank Atlantic Council to develop new measures and strengthen the media’s influence in the fight against Russian propaganda with the successful actions of the Russian Armed Forces in the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Washington Analytical Center “Atlantic Council” issued a report “Improving the Western strategy against the Kremlin’s propaganda and disinformation”, which called for inventing new ways of communication and strengthening the influence of the media.

In the report “Improving the Western strategy to combat the Kremlin’s propaganda and disinformation,” the experts of the Atlantic Council raise the question of what measures will be effective in protecting against Russian propaganda.

According to the researchers, it is unreasonable to ban Russian media (RT and Sputnik are cited as examples), since such an action will give an opportunity to accuse the West of violating democratic freedoms. Moreover, the propaganda of liberal thought will also not help in the fight against Russian propaganda, the authors of the report note. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new measures.

One of them will be the strengthening of broadcasting in the languages ​​of national minorities, including Russian, as this, according to the authors of the report, influences the opinion of the society.

The second measure is a big support for local media that are “closer” to readers than giant concerns:

“If we recognize access to important information as a key to combating disinformation, local media must necessarily be sponsored and supported.”

Also, the authors of the report propose to support investigative journalism (for example, the authors of the report consider it necessary to support the Center for the Investigation of Corruption and Organized Crime) and invest in the centers that conduct research in Russia.

Professor Igor Panarin in a conversation with Baltnews expressed confidence that such ideas – the strengthening of anti-Russian propaganda – are not justified, since, as the expert noted, the term “fake news” refers more to the West than to Russia. Moreover, the beginning of the company’s promotion can be explained by the speech of Vladimir Putin on March 1 before the Federal Assembly.

“Putin said on March 1 that Russia possesses powerful weapons, the Russian army works well in Syria, it became clear that the military way can not beat Russia, so the West is turning to the methods of conducting a hybrid war.In this context, in order to justify a sharp increase in budget financing precisely these anti-Russian information projects, they invent a myth about the so-called Russian propaganda, because both RT and Sputnik are engaged in information coverage, and not the formation of “fake news.” At least for the last one iod no Russian media has been accused of forming such news, there is not one proven case, “Panarin said.

The expert also noted that the report of the “Atlantic Council” pays attention to the radio station “Radio Liberty”, which, according to experts, is not sufficiently funded:

“We can not agree with this, because the last 2-3 years they made a sharp increase in the funding of programs in Russia.” I recall that Radio Liberty is a CIA radio station and Voice of America belongs to the US State Department. social networks for citing first place in Radio Liberty, followed by Ekho Moskvy, then Voice of America, and so, having succeeded in pressuring Russia and anti-Russian propaganda in the radio, they are trying to get new funding and add new models. “

According to Igor Panarin, it is necessary to pay close attention to the report, analyze it and develop response measures, since the very purpose is destabilization of the domestic political situation in Russia. In response, the expert proposes to more actively expose the western fake news, bring the history to the normative-legal field:

“We also need to pay attention to the projects that are being carried out in Russia by Western structures and try to identify their illegal activities, if it exists, the third is to more clearly apply the norms, including in the information sphere, to projects funded by foreign sources.Of course, Here there is a fine line with censorship, but the interest of national security must be respected. “

Глава Пентагона Джеймс Мэттис
© RIA Novosti
Is it worth to believe the words of the Pentagon head about attempts to improve relations with Russia

The latest response may be the regular release of reports on Western interference in Russia’s internal affairs, Panarin said. An example is the report of the Federation Council on the interference in the presidential elections in the Russian Federation in 2018.

We add that the report of the upper house of the Russian parliament affirms that in 2011 Washington launched propaganda aimed at creating a negative image of the incumbent President Vladimir Putin.

Source: http://m.baltnews.lt/vilnius_news/20180618/1018153052.html

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