Communication breakdown in Ukraine’s east; A recent survey conducted by Telekritika, a Ukrainian media watchdog, reveals just how hard it is for Kyiv to communicate with the ‘People’s Republics.’

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(opendemocracy.net – Marina Denysenko – September 11, 2015) Marina Denysenko is a journalist with experience reporting in Ukraine and the UK. In 2004, she reported Ukraine’s Orange Revolution for the BBC World Service. In 2014, she directed London’s Ukrainian Investment Summit, and is currently researching Ukraine’s institutional response to the challenges of the information war for the Legatum Institute. ‘The […]

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NEWSWATCH Moscow Times/Peter Pomerantsev: West Needs to Up the Ante in Infowar

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Writing in The Moscow Times, Peter Pomerantsev addresses the heft of the Kremlin media machine and the U.S. response. The West is finally coming to a belated comprehension of the power of the Kremlin media machine. The Soviet Union is no more, but the Kremlin holds a media hegemony over 142 million citizens of Russia and 93 million residents of […]

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Why Putin Is Losing

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – August 10, 2015) Are little green men about to appear on the North Pole? Russia’s claim last week, using an extremely creative interpretation of international law, to exclusive economic rights to nearly half a million square miles of the Arctic Sea, was certainly a head scratcher. Sure the territory is valuable due to […]

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Interfax: Medvedev calls on journalists to stay independent when making judgments

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Interfax – June 11, 2015) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes the mass media should not become a propaganda weapon. “It is obvious that the work of journalists is often very difficult. Journalism is not held in much regard on the media scene, propaganda is much more important. Objective and honest views often contradict ideologies,” Medvedev said at the World […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: Defense Chief: Subversion, ‘Big Lie’ Are in Russia’s Arsenal. Ash Carter favors more military exercises, better intelligence sharing

Ashton Carter File Photo

[Wall Street Journal – Defense Chief: Subversion, ‘Big Lie’ Are in Russia’s Arsenal. Ash Carter favors more military exercises, better intelligence sharing – GORDON LUBOLD – June 6, 2015] The Wall Street Journal covers remarks by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter after a European trip to discuss Russia and the crisis in Ukraine. Mr. Carter made clear at the end of an […]

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Russian ‘Troll Farm’ Lawsuit Postponed When Defendant Fails to Show

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – June 2, 2015) Russian court hearings into a lawsuit by a former Internet “troll” against her former employer have been postponed after the defendant failed to show up for the proceedings. A city court in St. Petersburg also ruled that the plaintiff, Lyudmila Savchuk – who said her suit was intended to […]

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‘Russia is the Motherland of Crimea’ – What Crimean Schoolchildren Think

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – YALTA, Crimea – April 30, 2015) “Who do you think is responsible for the war in eastern Ukraine?” asked Masha, a 17-year old student at School No. 12 in Yalta, Crimea. I paused. “Russia.” A gasp went around the classroom. Masha looked at me as if I was mad. “No way,” she […]

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Russia’s Media Offensive Seen by the West as Real Threat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 30, 2015) Western governments and institutions are scrambling to devise a commensurate response to Russia’s state-run media offensive, analysts told The Moscow Times on Wednesday amid a wave of reports of Western governments seeking to beef up their own media capabilities. When the Russian authorities moved to establish in 2005 the international […]

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NEWSWATCH: Rep. Ed Royce/Wall Street Journal: Countering Putin’s Information Weapons of War

Ed Royce file photo

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Rep. Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, addresses what he characterizes as a Russian information war, featuring anti-American propaganda and conspiracy theories. Of concern to Royce is that U.S. international broadcasting services that played a stronger role during the Cold War have “withered,” such that Russian propaganda will flourish unless the U.S. services […]

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CONGRESSIONAL HEARING: ‘Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information’ Peter Pomeranzev prepared remarks

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Peter Pomeranzev Senior Fellow, Legatum Institute House Committee on Foreign Affairs April 15 2014, ‘Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information’ During the Russian invasion of Crimea last year, most of the world’s journalists seemed confused. Most of the West’s leaders were taken aback. But when it was over, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Philip M. Breedlove, defined what had happened […]

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The Trolls Who Came In From The Cold

Satellite Dishes

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Viktor Rezunkov – ST. PETERSBURG, March 16, 2015) Last May, Tatiana N decided she wanted a higher salary than the average journalist can expect. After responding to an advertisement in the popular HeadHunter job-search website, she became a Kremlin-paid Internet troll. Tatiana — who, like others interviewed for this story, asked that her last name not […]

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Putin’s Propaganda Industry Tightens Its Belt

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – January 23, 2015) “One does not economize on ideology” — so, according to historian Roy Medvedev, went a favorite saying of Mikhail Suslov, the man responsible for maintaining the purity of Marxism-Leninism in 1970’s Soviet Union. While high oil prices held, Russian President Vladimir Putin acted in full accordance with this adage, building an expensive, […]

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Sanctions-Strapped Russia Outguns the U.S. in Information War; Moscow drowns out Voice of America, and facts are a casualty

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Nicole Gaouette – April 2, 2015) The troubled U.S. agency responsible for delivering news around the world is being outgunned in Eastern Europe by Russian outlets unrestrained by notions of fact-based journalism. The unequal competition raises fears among U.S. officials that Moscow is winning the information war about events in Ukraine, even as the Russian economy […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Putin’s Disinformation Matrix

Satellite Dishes

Russia Today, the Kremlin’s English-language TV organ, launched a U.K. edition earlier this month. Headquartered near Westminster, the channel will beam RT’s signature blend of propaganda and tinfoil-hat conspiracy theorizing into millions of British homes. Welcome to Vladimir Putin’s disinformation matrix. RT is merely one part of the Kremlin’s aggressive media effort, as a new Institute of Modern Russia report […]

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NEWSLINK PR Week: Ketchum calls it quits on Russia work. Ketchum has ended its high-profile and controversial media relations work for the Kremlin

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

March 11, 2015 … Ketchum has ended the bulk of its work for the Russian Federation in the US and Europe amid continuing tensions between the country and Western governments. The Omnicom Group firm represented the Kremlin through its hosting of the Winter Olympics in Sochi last year but also as its relationship with the West strained over the country’s […]

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NEWSLNK Economist: Ukraine’s media war. Battle of the memes. Russia has shown its mastery of the propaganda war. Ukraine is struggling to catch up

Satellite Dishes

IN LATE 2013, early in the Maidan demonstrations, Savik Shuster, one of Ukraine’s most influential television hosts, made the mistake of inviting opposition leaders onto his talk show. Mr Shuster’s network, whose owners were aligned with Viktor Yanukovych, then the president, promptly dropped Mr Shuster’s programme “Savik Live”. It was picked up by Channel 5, a station owned by a […]

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Russians Less Likely to Protest as Their Situation Deteriorates, Urnov Says

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 4, 2015) It is an axiom in most countries that people will protest when their living conditions decline and that assumption underlies current Western policy toward Moscow, but Mark Urnov, one of Russia’s leading political analysts, argues that the situation in Russia is different and that Russians are less rather than […]

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Russia’s Media Machine Looks West

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Glenn Kates – December 29, 2014) It’s May 2 in Odesa and a doctor is trying desperately to rescue pro-Russian protesters — more than 40 of whom will die — trapped in the Ukrainian city’s labor-union building. “As a doctor I rushed to give help to the one who could be rescued, but I was stopped […]

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The Kremlin’s Top 75 Lies About The Ukraine Crisis [with video]

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – December 12, 2014) The folks at StopFake.org are committed to uncovering untrue or misleading information being disseminated by Russian media about the crisis in Ukraine. And now StopFake has published a video (below) that runs down the Top 75 lies and untruths of 2014. “Obviously, when you see these, you’ll see there’s a purpose behind all of […]

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The True Russia in Book ‘Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible’

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ola Cichowlas – November 25, 2014) Television “is the only force that can unify and rule and bind this country,” British producer and journalist Peter Pomerantsev says in his superb debut book “Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible,” which follows the author’s decade-long career in factual television set against the backdrop of Moscow’s mega-rich […]

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EVENT: The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture, and Money – Nov. 13 in Washington, D.C.

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

Subject: EVENT / “The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture, and Money” Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2014 From: Institute of Modern Russia <info@imrussia.org> Upcoming Event IMR Report on Kremlin Information War To Be Launched in Washington, D.C. On November 13, editor-in-chief of The Interpreter, Michael Weiss, and journalist Peter Pomerantsev will present their report titled “The Menace […]

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Russian Media Behemoth Set To Launch Wave Of Foreign Bureaus

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – October 29, 2014) Rossiya Segodnya, Russia’s state-run media conglomerate, is reportedly preparing to open local bureaus in 29 world capitals, a move expanding the Kremlin’s global media presence amid what senior Russian officials call an “information war” with the West. The new bureaus are set to facilitate local-language radio programming and […]

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Interfax: Kremlin may not renew contract with its Western image makers – Putin spokesman

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Interfax – Moscow, September 2, 2014) The Russian president’s press secretary, Dmitriy Peskov, has said that at the end of its contract with American company Ketchum, the Kremlin will have to decide on the future of their cooperation. “Communication services are largely useless now,” the Russian president’s press secretary said in an interview with [Russian-language] Forbes magazine (http://tinyurl.com/p9xko9j). “At a […]

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Putin Now Down to One Ally – Moscow Television

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 24, 2014) Tsar Aleksandr III famously said that Russia has only two allies – its army and its fleet – but now, according to Rashit Akhmetov, the editor of “Zvezda Povolzhya,” Vladimir Putin is down to only one – Moscow television with its ability to shape and direct Russian opinion. In […]

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Press Digest: Strategic plan needed from Russia for Donetsk and Lugansk

Collage of Russian Newspapers

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Darya Lyubinskaya, special to RBTH – June 11, 2014) RBTH presents a selection of views from leading Russian media, featuring discussion of the need for Russia to develop a coherent strategy on supporting the Donetsk and Lugansk “republics”, Poroshenko’s “humanitarian corridor” and the prospects for a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, and the surprising […]

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The limitations of Russian propaganda in Ukraine; Russian TV is waging a propaganda war against Ukraine. But is it working?

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(opendemocracy.net – Joanna Szostek – June 11, 2014) Joanna Szostek is a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL The long propaganda campaign waged by Russian television channels against Ukraine’s political leadership and the West is continuing unabated. This past weekend, one Sunday night news programme headlined the ‘savagery’ (zverstvo) of ‘Fascism’ in Ukraine, which […]

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The seductive power of Seliger

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(opendemocracy.net – Kristina Silvan – May 8, 2014) Kristina Silvan is a 5th year Finnish undergraduate student from the University of Glasgow Every year the Seliger All-Russia Youth Forum brings together tens of thousands of engaged young Russians for a week of edification in an idyllic natural setting. Its goal is to promote patriotism in Russia’s future elites – and […]

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NEWSLINK: Putin dissolves state news agency, tightens grip on Russia media

File Photo of Little Russian Girl at Laptop Next to Globe

[Putin dissolves state news agency, tightens grip on Russia media – Reuters – Timothy Heritage – December 9 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/09/us-russia-media-idUSBRE9B80I120131209] Reuters covers Russia President Vladimir Putin’s decision to dissolve RIA Novosti and absorb its operations into new entity called Rossiya Segodnya, with a mission of promoting Russia abroad: President Vladimir Putin tightened his control over Russia’s media on Monday by […]

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‘Vladentines’ Day Blog is ‘Putin’ the Charm on Americans

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Pilot in Hang Glider Airborne Next to Flying Cranes

WASHINGTON February 15 (RIA Novosti) “From Russia with Love” takes on a whole new meaning on the recently launched “Happy Vladentine’s Day” blog [http://vladentinesday.tumblr.com], a collection of photos with tongue-in-cheek Valentine’s Day captions that feature Russian President Vladimir Putin. Dubbed “love letters from a global badass,” the site shows imaginary, Putin-themed messages of endearment printed across some of the most […]

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Moscow hopes to get rid of thorns in Russia-U.S. relations despite the Magnitsky Act

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Interfax – December 26, 2012) Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov hopes that the damage done by the Magnitsky Act to Russian-U.S. relations will not be irreparable. “Hopefully, we will turn this page, the damage done to our relations will not be irreparable, and we will be able to make further progress. Although, certainly, this burden will weigh us down,” […]

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Vedomosti Misrepresented Survey Results in Recent Article [Re: Protests]

Moscow Protest file photo

From: “William Dunkerley” <wd@publishinghelp.com> Subject: Vedomosti Misrepresented Survey Results in Recent Article Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2012 Vedomosti Misrepresented Survey Results in Recent Article By William Dunkerley William Dunkerley is a media business analyst and consultant specializing in Russia and the former Soviet Union. An October 30, 2012 Vedomosti article titled “No Pathologies in Anatomy: Russians disbelieve that protesters meant […]

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New NTV Documentaries Likely to Cause a Stir

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium Gesturing

Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – October 4, 2012 State-controlled NTV television is scheduled to air two new politically themed documentaries this weekend ­ an opposition expose on Friday and a feature about the day-to-day life of President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, his 60th birthday. The channel has a history of producing controversial documentaries about Kremlin foes ­ […]

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