Putin & Stalin, same battle - EUvsDiSiNFO

Years of War

War has become an essential, almost sought-after state of affairs in Russia. We look at some recent developments in society. 24 February was a sombre day marking two years of Russia’s full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine. The war has also been a cyber and hybrid campaign soaked in disinformation and manipulation. Indeed, it is not just two years. In truth, Moscow’s campaign began 10 years ago in late February 2014. That was when ‘little green men’ wearing fatigues bearing no identifying insignias landed by air and sea on the Crimea peninsula. The dictator-style annexation was quick: local ‘elections’ held at gunpoint, a hijacked ‘parliament’ in Sevastopol asking for unification, and the Russian parliament’s rubber-stamping of the whole mess in Moscow. This far-reaching constitutional process was done in less than 20 days. Pro-Kremlin voices and pundits continue to devote a lot of stubborn energy to promoting the claim that the take-over was a splendid, well-considered, and democratic process. […]


Reflection on Two Years of War and Disinformation

The Kremlin’s lies, deceit and disinformation have systematically fuelled Russia brutal war of aggression against Ukraine. Two years later, Ukraine fights bravely on and we continue to expose Russia’s lies. Don’t be deceived. Two years ago, on 24 February 2022 Russia launched a brutal full-scale invasion against its peaceful neighbour Ukraine and the world irrevocably changed. There are a lot of memories accrued in these past two years. Some traumatic and painful, like learning of the horrendous atrocities committed by Russia in Bucha, some are full of optimism and resolve, like seeing Ukraine liberate Kherson from the Russian invaders. But in these last two years we gathered more than just memories, we also sifted through piles and piles of pro-Kremlin disinformation fuelling Russia’s war machine with hate and lies. So, when we think about #24Feb2022, we also think of all the pro-Kremlin disinformation that we sought to expose on our EUvsDisinfo platform. Here is but a glimpse of some of the pro-Kremlin disinformation topics that have become inextricably linked with our memory of war. […]


Pyrrhic Victories and Crickets Chirping in the Graveyard

From celebrating gaining a few dozen square kilometers of scorched earth in Avdiivka as a major victory for Putin to keeping mum about the circumstances of Alexei Navalny’s death, it’s been a busy week for the Kremlin’s disinformation mouthpieces. This week, the Kremlin’s steely gaze was affixed on Avdiivka, lauding the capture of this patch of scorched earth as a breakthrough victory. Meanwhile, the untimely death of a long-term critic and staunch opponent of the Kremlin, Alexei Navalny, wrongly imprisoned in a Russian death-camp, merited only a passing glance and the ‘conspiracy theory treatment’. If details on Navalny’s death were scant in the Kremlin’s channels, the fact that 24 February marks two years since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine seems to have been completely and deliberately excluded from the Kremlin’s disinformation repertoire this week. […]

Myths about Russia’s war

Thirteen Myths About Russia’s War Against Ukraine Exposed

The Kremlin constantly spreads lies and dis-information to justify and sustain Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Don’t be deceived when you encounter any of these pro-Kremlin myths seeking to dismiss, distract dismay and distort the truth. Thirteen is traditionally regarded as an unlucky number in the West. So perhaps it is appropriate that we have updated our previous list of the most prominent Russian myths by increasing the number from twelve to thirteen. Why the difference? First, we have grouped together some of the previously identified pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives targeting Ukraine. Second, we separated out from the overall ‘Ukraine is evil/Nazi’ group two narratives alleging, respectively, that Ukraine is losing the war and that it does not exist. If that phrase makes no sense, then we welcome you to pro-Kremlin disinformation. For the Kremlin, repetition is a common modus operandi, so don’t be surprised if some of these disinformation narratives and myths seem familiar. […]

2024-0219_EUvsDiSiNFO_Heart of darkness-II

Hate Speech and Calls for Genocide in Putin’s Russia

Hate speech and de-humanisation against Ukraine have become the norm in pro-Kremlin lingo. Open calls for genocide blend in, setting the scene for war crimes. Most Russians accept the policy. For years, people enthralled by the Kremlin’s imperialistic narrative of Russian nationalism have zealously demonised Ukrainian cultural and national identity, including by asserting that its mere existence somehow imperils Russia. Over time, their language has grown extreme and infiltrated public discourse well beyond the remit of fringe voices. In July 2021, Putin himself boosted this trend with an article claiming that there is no such thing as a Ukrainian state or identity. According to Putin, Ukraine is an artificial construct created by Lenin and maintained by sinister Western forces to remove Ukrainian lands from their rightful patron: Russia. […]

2024-02-16_EUvsDiSiNFO_Putins History

Manipulating Memory: Rewriting School History Books

Historical revisionism takes many devious forms in Russia. One of the most blatant Kremlin’s attempts to of manipulation is the re-writing of school history books, filling them with lies and pro-Kremlin disinformation. In recent years, the Kremlin’s propaganda has repeatedly accused the West and neighbouring countries of “historical revisionism”. According to Putin, the West deliberately falsifies history in order to weaken and humiliate Russia. Meanwhile, Russia protects and promotes the “true history” – all other countries have a distorted vision of the only “true” history kept by Moscow. In 2023, the Kremlin decided to react to Western “historical revisionism” with a very peculiar step – the official revision of Russian school history textbooks. In other words, replacing facts with fiction, based on the core disinformation narratives the Kremlin has propagated for years. The first red flag: the “revision” was carried out by Putin’s political lackeys, not actual historians. […]


Le réseau mondial de propagande du Kremlin

De plus en plus de rapports dénoncent les activités de l’écosystème mondial de désinformation du Kremlin, qui n’hésite pas à mettre des vies humaines en danger pour de mesquins jeux de pouvoir. Les experts de l’agence française VIGINUM, également connus pour leurs précédents travaux sur le réseau «Reliable recent News» ou «Doppelgänger», ont révélé dans leur dernier rapport l’existence d’un réseau de désinformation pro-Kremlin qu’ils ont surnommé «Portal Kombat». Le réseau ainsi identifié est composé de «portails d’information» qui diffusent des informations pro-Kremlin sur l’invasion à grande échelle de l’Ukraine par la Russie. Il dénigre aussi le gouvernement ukrainien afin d’influencer l’opinion publique, notamment en France. D’après le rapport VIGINUM, le réseau géré par le Kremlin est constitué d’au moins 193 sites Web qui, au départ, s’adressaient au public russe et ukrainien. Par la suite, ces sites se sont réorientés pour cibler les pays occidentaux au lendemain de l’invasion à grande échelle de l’Ukraine par la Russie.  […]

2024-02-15_EUvsDiSiNFO_Moscow Spinning Web

The Kremlin’s Global Spinnings

More reports are shining light on the Kremlin global disinformation ecosystem, which does not shy away from putting human lives in danger for petty power plays. More reports are shining light on the Kremlin global disinformation ecosystem, which does not shy away from putting human lives in danger for petty power plays. Experts at the French VIGINUM agency, known also for their earlier work related to the ‘Reliable Recent News’ or ‘Doppelgänger’ network, uncovered in their most recent report a pro-Kremlin disinformation network that they dubbed as ‘Portal Kombat’. This exposed network is comprised of ‘information portals’ that broadcast pro-Kremlin takes on Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, it denigrates the Ukrainian government in order to influence public opinion, particularly in France. […]

2024-02-14_EUvsDiSiNFO_Belarus Brainwash Youth

Belarus: Militarisation of Minors

Militarisation of minors in Belarus has been part of the regime’s response to the 2020-2021 protests. In parallel with large-scale repression, authorities introduced a broad set of measures to ideologically indoctrinate and militarise minors as part of schooling. One of our earlier analyses touched upon the Sovietisation of Belarusian schools that have lately been mostly renamed after Soviet heroes. This trend has taken place amid an even more worrying development in the Belarusian education system: pushing minors into military activities and indoctrination with paranoia. In September 2021, in parallel with harsher repression, the regime established a new teaching position in Belarusian schools: supervisors of ‘military and patriotic upbringing’. These positions, often occupied by retired career military officers, are similar to the pre-conscription training at schools that occurred during Soviet times. By March 2023, 93 per cent of secondary schools and 52 per cent of colleges reportedly(opens in a new tab) had such a supervisor. […]

2024-02-12_Carlson-Putin Interview

What He Said and What it Really Means – Vol. 5: “Interview/ History Lecture”

Kremlin’s propaganda spectacle, dubbed Putin’s ‘interview’ with former Fox talking head Tucker Carlson, attempts once again to rewrite history and recycle all the favourite pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives. Putin opened the Kremlin’s doors to the fired former Fox News host, right-wing extremist Tucker Carlson as microphone-holder for a two hour trip, some call it “interview”, basically regurgitating Putin’ thinly veiled imperial dream. The attention around this propagandistic spectacle illustrate the Kremlin’s attempt to craft a the psychological operation to erode popular support for Ukraine in Western societies. Any news from the Carlson/Putin show? In fact, nothing new. Most of the world know that Putin is obsessed by a desire to control Ukraine and restore imperial Russian glory. Putin launched himself into a 30-minute history-according-to-Putin lecture and then cruised around unchallenged by Carlson. […]