Paint It Black – Pro-Kremlin Take on the NATO Summit

The recent NATO summit is portrayed as a failure and Washington the master of evil – if you follow pro-Kremlin sources. During this Summit, this ‘negative’ dynamic was much at work. Russian state and pro-Kremlin outlets took the most common-sense impressions and neatly reversed them all to create a nightmarish fantasy with the following disinformation narratives. In this reality-reversal, Western countries are apparently exploiting Ukraine. How? By treating Ukraine as a battleground that they use to attack Russia. A recent example alleged as much. Note the neat inversion of cause and effect, or white colours with dark colours. By helping Ukrainians defend themselves, NATO is ensuring that more Ukrainians die, right? Except NATO isn’t killing Ukrainians. Russia is. Replace ‘NATO’ with ‘Russia’, and you have a more accurate picture of the war in Ukraine. […]

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The Remorseless

Lavrov and pro-Kremlin propagandists continue their macabre dance on the graves of innocents, revealing once again the true, cruel nature of Putin’s regime. The more monstrous the crime, the less appetite the Kremlin and its henchmen show for remorse. Instead, they continue their macabre dance on the graves of those whom the Russian war machine has killed in cold blood. In his latest iteration of Bucha massacre denials, despite all the evidence, such as this recent heartbreaking Babel investigation, Lavrov conti-nued uttering the lies, deceit, and denials that we have come far too familiar with – as evidenced by 167 cases in our database on Bucha alone. While the Kremlin continues its heartless disinformation campaign about its past atrocities, it simultaneously exploits current events to further its agenda, as was well-exemplified by their coverage of the attempted assassination of former US President Trump. […]


MH17: Ten Years of Russian Lying and Denying

July 17 marks the 10-year commemoration of the dramatic event in which Russia fired a BUK 9M83 surface-to-air missile from the temporarily occupied territories in Ukraine to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, killing all 298 civilians on board. The Netherlands and Australia have established(opens in a new tab) that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the Buk launcher that brought down flight MH17 and that this act constituted a violation of international law. Since that day, pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets have spread dozens of different disinformation narratives to distract from the fact that Russian authorities are responsible for these murders. The EU Member States have stated unequivocally(opens in a new tab) – no Russian disinformation operation can distract from these basic facts, established by a court of law. […]


Seeking Rifts and Launching Missiles

The Kremlin knows even its most brutal tactics will not work against Ukraine if EU and NATO support continues. It continues trying to undermine the unity of these organisations and drive a wedge between them and Ukraine. The Kremlin also knows that even its most vicious intimidation tactics, like launching a cruise missile against a children’s hospital, will not break Ukrainian resistance as long as EU and NATO support continues. For that reason, a core goal of disinformation campaigns is to exploit any real or imaginary crack in the unity of EU and NATO members to weaken these organisations… A cynic might think the bombings on 8 July could have had something to do with the NATO summit on 9-11 July, perhaps to send some kind of sick message. […]

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Tainting the New Dawn

The pro-Kremlin disinformation ecosystem kicked into a higher gear to smear the newly appointed EU leadership, particularly honing in on HRVP-to-be Kaja Kallas. Meanwhile, others spun the French snap elections into doomsday stories about the EU and, of course, blamed Ukraine for it all. Last week, quite a few pivotal moments took place in the European political landscape. The European Council nominated a new EU political leadership for the next five years while France held a heated first round of snap parliamentary elections. None of these events went unnoticed by the pro-Kremlin disinformation ecosystem. It readily kicked into a higher gear to smear the new EU political leadership, peddle disinformation, and refurbish old conspiracy theories. […]

Dr. Olena Snigyr

The Kremlin Mobilises the Church for War… for Africa

The Kremlin uses the Russian Orthodox Church to spread disinformation, weaponize historical memory and conjure the perception of protecting ‘traditional values’ across Africa. In its confrontation with the West, Russia seeks allies among the countries of the Global South, particularly in Africa. Recently, the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) has become involved in this effort. On 29 December 2021, the ROC decided to establish its own exarchate in Africa, encompas-sing all African countries. Its activity is already noticeable in almost 30 African countries and its declared ambitions are to expand its influence throughout the whole continent. By Dr. Olena Snigyr, chief consultant in the Research Center for Russian Federation Problems at the Ukrainian National Institute for Strategic Studies (NISS) […]

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“Disinformation is one problem among many in the information environment”

Expert Alicia Wanless explains the terms “information environment” and “information ecology” and how these concepts can inform a whole of society approach to strategically foster democracy. « The information environment is the space where people process information to make sense of the world. To do this, humans develop tools from alphabets to artificial intelligence to transform information into artefacts that can be shared from the spoken word to videos, and whatever comes along in the future. The information environment consists of people, the means for processing information, the outputs created with those means, as well as the interrelation-ships between these three things, which are all shaped by conditions.» […]

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EEAS Stratcom’s responses to FIMI in 2023

Report on the EEAS Stratcom activities to respond to foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI) in 2023. The manipulation of the information environment and interference by foreign actors has become more prevalent than ever. New technologies are being abused to manipulate the information environment, often directly targeting the EU or its in-dividual Member States. It is used as a broader strategy to malignly interfere in and destabilize the democratic systems across the world, combining different instruments (e.g. cyber-attacks, information manipulation, censorship). The Strategic Compass for Security and Defence has identified foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI) as one of the pressing foreign policy and security issues of the EU, closely connected to the challenges of cybersecurity and hybrid threats. […]


The Scapegoat Factory: Kremlin’s Endless Blame Game

Not a single day passes without the Kremlin’s talking heads finding yet another scapegoat to explain the tragedies of Russia’s own making. As always, the Kremlin’s relentless efforts to manipulate narratives and deflect blame continue. Pro-Kremlin disinformers quickly spread false claims blaming Ukrainian intelligence and NATO for terrorist attacks in Dagestan, conflating them with Sevastopol to reinforce narratives that portray Ukraine and the West as aggressors. The Kremlin intensified its efforts to block access to quality Western journalism to prevent Russian citizens from gaining a clearer understanding of their regime’s failures on all fronts. The pro-Kremlin propagandists have also attempted to undermine the Summit on Peace in Ukraine and take the peace narrative hostage, while trying to mislead audiences both at home and abroad […]


The Kremlin’s Disinformation Narratives About the Summit on Peace in Ukraine

Kremlin’s disinformation outlets dismissed the Summit as meaningless, focused on Putin’s distracting statement and recycled old narratives about Ukraine and the West rejecting peace. Russia devoted considerable attention to the Summit on Peace in Ukraine organized by Switzerland in Bürgenstock on 15-16 June, both during the preparation phase of the Summit and immediately after it. The Kremlin’s ultimate goal was to dismiss the Summit as meaningless, by downplaying the number and level of attendees, portraying Ukraine and the West as the aggressors disinterested in peace, and pushing the narrative that Russia is the protector of a truly multipolar world order. […]