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Kremlin Watch Monitor June 27, 2016

Weekly monitor of pro-Kremlin disinformation effort in Europe. We follow best European analysts, best counter-measures and trends.
OUR NEW PUBLICATIONS:

HOW RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA PORTRAYS EUROPEAN LEADERS

Data-based study on how Russian media portray European leaders in last two years. Over 60 million articles in Russian-language media have been analysed.

You can read the study HERE.

FULL-SCALE DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE TO HOSTILE DISINFORMATION OPERATIONS

50-measure complex European strategy for countering Kremlin-orchestrated disinformation efforts which was developed during last four months after consultations with over three dozen of European security and intelligence experts.

You can read the strategy HERE.

Weekly update on Kremlin disinformation efforts in Europe

  • CORRECTION: Last week in the Kremlin Watch Monitor, we have incorrectly stated that the Office of the Czech President has given an interview to Sputnik, while it was a person close to this entity, not the Office itself. We apologize for our incorrect statement.
  • Vladimir Putin said during the annual economic forum in Saint Petersburg that he is willing to ease relations with Europe while stressing that the tensions were caused by the West.
  • Slovak Information Service (SIS) issued a report about its activities that also deals with the efforts of the Russian Federation to influence public opinion and with other entities which actively participate in these efforts. Here are some interesting facts stated in the report:
    • o During 2015 several foreign intelligence services continued with the attempts to infiltrate central government and security forces in Slovakia.
    • o The extremist scene in Slovakia started to stress out not only anti-immigration rhetoric but also EU and NATO criticism, keeping other issues in the background.
  • Sputnik considers the Russian annexation of Crimea a “peacekeeping mission”, according to org.

 

  • Russia’s State Duma in its resolution compared the ban of Russia’s track and field athletes from this year’s Summer Olympics for doping to the Spanish Inquisition.
  • Russian propaganda concerning NATO, Western media and Brexit is being analysed in the new Information War Monitor for Central Europe by theGlobsec Policy Institute. The latest Disinformation Review by the EEAS East StratCom Task Force indicates that the EURO 2016 has been a dominant topic in the pro-Kremli outlets. We proudly contribute to both of those projects.

Kremlin Watch reading suggestions

Threats of Russian Hard and Soft Power in Georgia”; by the European Initiative – Liberal Academy Tbilisi

Significant part of the Georgian population is not content with the performance of the government and the sympathies for the opposition party are not particularly high either. Together with social-economic difficulties, the country is becoming a fertile ground for the pro-Russian media and NGOs which represent an important part of the Russian systemic efforts to influence Georgia’s foreign policy inclinations. Therefore it is important that certain measures are taken, especially in the areas like a constructive election environment, support to the independent media including the Russian-speaking ones, monitoring and auditing of party financing, prevention of radical confrontation or polarization of the public, financial transparency standards for the civil society organizations or representation of ethnic minorities.

 “The solution to Russian propaganda is not EU or NATO propaganda but advanced social science to understand and mitigate its effect in targeted populations”, by Steve Tatham from the National Defence Academy in Latvia

Countering of Russian disinformation campaign can only be successful if we manage to correctly understand the target audiences of the propaganda machinery. There are many angles of how to do that but the research of target audience is often criticised for being insufficient despite being necessary to determine the particular solution which could be used. There is already some progress being made, especially in the case of NATO StratCom team activity. In future, among other things it is important to conduct public opinion polls and research concerning the mentality and thinking of specific social groups, to initiate deeper cooperation of the EU, NATO and the Western countries in the area of financing of social research and to further stress the professionalization of the staff working in institutions like the EU and NATO in order to react more swiftly to current situations and problems.

Tweet of the week:

Current state of pro-Kremlin scene in the Czech Republic

  • Unfortunately, the last two weeks have not spared us of several tragic events which were swiftly abused and distorted by the pro-Kremlin outlets in the Czech Republic, automatically questioning the authenticity of all of them and suggesting everything is being staged by governments or media.

  

  • Several websites focused on the British MP Jo Cox who died after being shot and stabbed. They attempted to create an aura of conspiracy around her death by pointing out that her husband was connected to an NGO financed by George Soros operating in Syria. They also repeatedly stated that “she has never worked,” based on the fact that her job has not been manual. Most of them suggested that the murder was staged and possibly planned by her own colleagues, her husband or even herself to support her agenda which has been called “homo” or “pro-migrant.” One outlet even stated that she deserved it because of her “hate-free” attitude which made her responsible for migrants raping women around Europe.
  • The shooting in Orlando has been portrayed as yet another false flag organized probably by the US President in order to ban guns, mostly by calling all the victims and their loved ones “crisis actors” and attempting to question every single minute of the whole event.

Infographic of the week

Not only Russian disinformation campaign is willing to use myths to advance its own agenda.

  

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