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New Russian Information Warfare Tool Failure: Predictive Reporting


The Russian Ministry of Defense owns “TV channel “Zvezda

Zvezda is a Russian nationwide TV network. As of January 2008, Zvezda’s CEO was Grigory Krichevsky, previously known for his work on Vladimir Gusinsky’s NTV Channel in the late 1990s.

Owner : Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (through Zvezda Armed Forces Teleradio Company)

Source: Wikipedia

TVZveda published this report: “British PMC specialists trained terrorists for the imitation of the Himataki in Idlib” on 08 August 2018.

[Note] Somewhere, somehow, this is completely screwed up.  The report, British PMC specialists trained terrorists for the imitation of the Himataki in Idlib is dated 08 August 2018, but references a report from today, RF Ministry of Defense: terrorists brought containers with chlorine to Idlib for the imitation of the Himakaki, dated 25 August 2018.  In other words, the report dated 08 August cites a report 17 days in advance of its publication.  The obvious conclusion is a poorly constructed fabrication. 

In the report, British PMC specialists trained terrorists for the imitation of the Himataki in Idlib, it gives no specifics on the number of chlorine containers delivered (eight, from the referenced report), nor does it mention any delivery means. Delivery has often been via aerial delivery, specifically helicopter, but no terrorist groups in Syria have helicopters.

The report dated 25 August cites the terrorist group to whom the chlorine barrels were delivered, “Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham” * (“Jabhat An-Nusra” *)  but fails to name them in the report from 08 August.

[Note] My conclusion about the date mixup is twofold. There may have been a mixup on the date, the “08 August report” could have been a followup report and a simple date mixup was made.  More obviously, this is part of a Russian disinformation campaign, designed on or about 08 August, and an initial report was published, details to follow.  That report was updated when the 25 August report was made without an added update note. Bottom line, once again, a Russian disinformation campaign was poorly designed and definitely poorly executed.

Also, the referenced report says eight “tanks” of chlorine were delivered, but the report dated 8 August only says “containers”.  Perhaps this is because the report was written 17 days in advance?

To make this report even more suspect, the ‘original’ report from 08 August was cited by Dr. Igor Panarin on his Facebook page.

Supposedly a member of the Oliva PMC, which has no online presence and cannot be confirmed

What makes this report noteworthy, however, is the predictive nature of this article. The chlorine tanks have been delivered and will be used by a terrorist group to attack a Syrian town and create a provocation for the US to strike Syria with the cruiser now offshore, according to TV Zvezda.

The imitation of the Khimataki, according to the Russian defense ministry, will be the occasion for the US to inflict another blow on the territory of the Arab Republic. To this end , the destroyer USS The Sullivans with 56 cruise missiles arrived on board the Persian Gulf , and the B-1B strategic bomber with 24 cruise missiles was redeployed to the airbase in Qatar.

Note the reliance on anonymous sources

According to the representative of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, this information was simultaneously confirmed by a number of independent sources.

A “Representative” of the Ministry of Defense would sure be named if this report was legitimate. This does not pass the believability test. Perhaps if the Russian MOD used their new spokesperson, Rossiyana Markovskaya?

Rossiyana Markovskaya – The new Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson

Bottom line, Russia’s attempt to create believable, and in this case predictive, propaganda, often fails. This article is a classic example of Russian propaganda failure.

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