New #DisinfoReview from the EU East StratCom Task Force
9 February 2017



In 2014, NATO's General Philipp Breedlove talked about Russia waging "the most amazing information warfare blitzkrieg we have ever seen in the history of information warfare" in relation to obfuscating over its intervention in Ukraine.  

This week we have seen the "fog of falsehood" fall again, this time in connection with recent violence in the Ukrainian city of Avdiivka.

Avdiivka is on territory that should be under the full control of the Ukrainian army, according to the line of conflict stipulated in the Minsk Agreements. On the morning Sunday 29 January, the Ukrainian army reported that Russian-backed militants had begun shelling their positions there. The OSCE special monitoring mission positioned in the city flagged up hundreds of ceasefire violations in both directions of the front. Journalists reported that the shelling came from Russian-backed "separatists" (here, here, and here).
But Russian state media immediately started denying any Russian role in the newest escalation. During the talk show "Vremya pokazhet", we heard that there are no Russian troops on the ground - not only around Avdiivka, but also in the whole territory of Ukraine ( Later in the same show it was claimed that a "secret plan" of the Ukrainian government is being realized, aimed at ethnic cleansing of Donbas. The next day, we heard in the same show that actually it is European humanists and their friends from the US who are responsible for the deaths in Avdiivka ( – not those doing the shelling.
Another show, "Mesto vstrechi", blamed Kyiv for the humanitarian catastrophe in Avdiivka (  One of the speakers accused President Poroshenko of provoking the conflict in order to divert the attention of Europeans away from the "fact" that he is stealing the gas flowing from Russia to Europe. Sergei Zheleznyak, Kremlin-loyal MP of the Duma, stated in "Pervaya studia" that Poroshenko provoked the hostilities in order to receive financial help from the West, as he had lost a huge investment in backing Hillary Clinton ( suggested that Ukraine provoked the fighting to test the loyalty of the new American administration (
President Putin has also made multiple accusations: that Ukraine provoked the renewed violence in the east of the country in order to pretend to be a victim and receive money from the West; to establish a dialogue with the new US administration (after Ukraine supported the losing candidate); because the government needs to regain the people's support; and because Ukraine is not ready to implement the Minsk agreements.

Germany again

The disinformation focus and personal attacks continue to follow Germany, as we so often report they do We learned from Russian state TV that Angela Merkel is trying to occupy Ukraine and to put her country into conflict with Russia  In the same TV show, we were later told that Germany supports neo-Nazism in Ukraine  Another pro-Kremlin outlet accused Germany of also occupying Lithuania and parallels were drawn with WWII  (there was no mention of the fact that the manoeuvre in question is a joint venture of the participating NATO countries and thus by definition not an occupation, Furthermore, an Italian outlet informed us that Germany has in fact already decided to leave the Euro before the end of the year
Click here for the FULL TABLE of recent stories repeating disinformation (.pdf).


State media shape Russian public opinion

Time and again, readers ask: "Do Russians actually believe what they see on TV?" Time and again, polls show they do. The latest piece of research proves this point once more.
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Uniting the far-left and the far-right

Paraphrasing Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin – in serving the Kremlin’s interests, it is more important what you are against, rather than what you are for. The latest investigation by the Hungarian site shows how this strategy works in real life.
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"Honest about lying"

Why do audiences in Western countries watch Russia's state broadcaster Russia Today? Coda Story's investigation brought some surprising results.
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Should family life be a zero-sum game?

This week, Russian lawmakers decriminalised certain types of domestic violence against women. How did Russian official outlet in Western countries handle this PR challenge? 
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Oleg’s hunt for a drug against gayness

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Someone just had to produce a parody of Russia Today (RT), the Russian government's official international outlet.

Lithuanian comedian Oleg Šurajev's idea is simple: Change the green RT logo to say "RY", as in "Russia Yesterday". Put the logo on a microphone and go for a walk in New York City. Then approach accidental Americans and ask them embarrassing and heavily biased questions with an indiscriminate Russian accent. When in doubt, behave like the famous Borat when he roamed America.

Click on the image below and watch Oleg's attempts to find a "drug against the gay virus". See how the Americans react when Oleg argues that the Spiderman cartoon character is actually a fake and enjoy Oleg's reaction when he encounters a real Donald Trump supporter.
Russia Yesterday  | NYC (2017)
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Every Thursday, the Disinformation Review brings you the latest cases of news articles carrying key examples of how pro-Kremlin disinformation finds its way in international media, as well as news and analysis on the topic. The review focuses on key messages carried in international media which have been identified as providing a partial, distorted or false view or interpretation and/or spreading key pro-Kremlin messaging. It does not necessarily imply however that the outlet concerned is linked to the Kremlin or that it is pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. The Review is a compilation of cases from the East Stratcom Task Force's wide network of contributors and therefore cannot be considered an official EU position. Likewise, the news articles are based on the analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force, so information and opinions expressed there cannot be considered an official EU position. Any errors or misrepresentations should be reported to the East Stratcom Task Force for correction at
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