Russia’s aggressive disinformation campaign about recent events in Ukraine reached epic proportions. For example, Alexander Skryabin (who died of cancer in 2011) was revived by the Russian mainstream media to commit not one, but two sets of separate terrorist acts in Ukraine. Even after this fabrication was exposed, only Russia Today removed the article and published a retraction.
It should be noted that Russia’s information war is waged not only through its mainstream media. Years ago, Kremlin recognized the power of social media and decided to exploit it. Government-funded campaigns include expatriate Russian bloggers in Germany, India, and Thailand. American conservative bloggers were also paid to write pro-Yanukovych stories, denouncing the Ukrainian revolution and spreading falsehoods about “fascists and Nazis” allegedly controlling the new government of Ukraine.
Elaborate troll farms employ hundreds of paid trolls, hired to spread deceptive imagery and deliberately false information. They are also tasked with attacking activists, flooding comment sections of news articles to promote Kremlin’s worldview and praise Russia’s political leadership. Russia’s mainstream media reporting often uses social media postings as its primary sources.
Since Russia’s information war against Ukraine is multifaceted, it’s important to recognize and address all of its manifestations, including not only the mainstream media, but also bloggers and trolls. Together, they work to infect public opinion, spreading hatred and war-mongering.
You can review previous installments of the series of articles exposing these falsehoods by visiting the following links:
Here is a collection of 20 additional fabrications and intentional misrepresentations: