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New #DisinfoReview from the EEAS East StratCom Task Force
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Issue 23 -  20 April 2016

Russian misbehaviour is America's fault

 
The CIA and the USA were, once again, among the top targets of the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign in the recent period. According to Czech pro-Kremlin outlets, a former CIA agent admitted that President Obama created Daesh (http://bit.ly/23GyD16 // http://bit.ly/1SmhGki). In fact, they only distorted an NBC article with the title "Obama nixed CIA plan that could have stopped ISIS: Officials" from last November: http://nbcnews.to/1WAnlWZ. The article does not say President Obama created Daesh, but that a plan - not approved by Obama - might have stopped the rise of Daesh.
 
Several outlets also multiplied the disinformation originating in main TV channel Rossiya 1 (http://bit.ly/1RSuwrw), claiming that the CIA and MI6 documents prove that the opposition activist, Alexei Navalny, was hired by Western secret services http://bit.ly/1NiNRgb. As usual with alleged secret documents acquired from the West, the fake was immediately noticeable by the poor use of the English language: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36027752
Prominent pro-Kremlin anchors also used the repetitive technique “accuse the enemy of doing what you are doing”, as described by Small Walls Journal in their “Nine Lessons of Russian propaganda”: http://bit.ly/1SmC81J. Thus, despite an undeniable role in the conflicts in Ukraine, Georgia, or Moldova, by Russia, in Vladimir Solovyov’s show we heard that the USA supports the escalation of frozen conflicts along Russia's borders (http://bit.ly/1VtWyfh). The same claim about the USA building a “belt of instability” around Russia was mentioned a week before in a less-known video (http://bit.ly/1NaeYiL).

The paths of disinformation

 
This technique of using marginal outlets as a source of (dis)information for more significant media is very common in the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign. And we can already identify some “basic” sources for spreading disinformation. E.g. the website whatdoesitmean.com often describes so-called secret documents that prove some of the most notorious pro-Kremlin narratives - this week, you can see a story (http://bit.ly/1WaTeF5) about the advanced technique of Russian jets which crippled US missile destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea during the incident last Friday (http://reut.rs/1qI2apM).
 
This minor site is then often used by pro-Kremlin outlets in various European countries. In the current table, you will see multiple examples from Czech websites (one of them hosted on .ru domain) who specialise in spreading disinformation, by multiplying the same piece of disinformation on the same day the original article on whatdoesitmean.com was published. (http://bit.ly/1WaThka // http://bit.ly/1TebNWy // http://bit.ly/1Qh1koo)

If you are against the Kremlin, you are against God

 
Ukraine still remains among the top targets of the disinformation campaign. In the popular Pyotr Tolstoy’s TV show, the Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, was accused of being responsible for the war and famine in the East of Ukraine (http://bit.ly/1MBcI42)  A very old piece of disinformation about Ukraine being divided among Poland, Hungary and Romania was also recycled (http://bit.ly/1VaQ19u). In an attempt to describe Ukrainians as totally inhuman, the “military expert” Igor Korotchenko tried to persuade the readers of ria.ru that the new Ukrainian government creates mechanisms to coordinate the extrajudicial killings by Ukrainian Siloviki (http://bit.ly/1Sn9UJZ).
 
To gain more credibility, a member of the infamous Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, presented a video blog with a new view on the war in the East of Ukraine, and included the ultimate authority; the struggle of Ukrainian military is a “godless affair”, whereas the so-called separatists have God on their side (http://bit.ly/1RVyobi).
READ THE LATEST DISINFORMATION REVIEW: ISSUE TWENTY-THREE
Thank you very much for your reports, we are looking forward to new ones.

East StratCom Task Force
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The Disinformation Review collects examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation all around Europe and beyond. Every week, it exposes the breadth of this campaign, showing the countries and languages targeted. We're always looking for new partners to cooperate with us for that.
The Disinformation Digest analyses how pro-Kremlin media see the world and what independent Russian voices say. It follows key trends on Russian social media, so you can put pro-Kremlin narratives into their wider context. And finally… some Friday Fun before the weekend!
DISCLAIMER: The Disinformation Review is a compilation of reports received from members of the mythbusting network. The mythbusting network comprises of over 450 experts, journalists, officials, NGOs and Think Tanks in over 30 countries. Please note that opinions and judgements expressed here do not represent official EU positions.
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