Email chains and other Russia’s propaganda tools in central and eastern Europe

Disinformation in CEE countries - Russia uses different tools and channels for different countries

 

Analysis & Opinion, Information security, Russia

The messages of pro-Kremlin disinformation may differ from country to country, as may the tools and channels for spreading it. But one aspect is common: the negative approach towards the EU and NATO.

Such is one of the conclusions of the recent study “Information warfare in the Internet: Countering pro-Kremlin disinformation in the CEE countries” published by the Warsaw-based Centre for International Relations. The paper covers the information space in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Firstly, the channels used for spreading pro-Kremlin disinformation in each country are analysed. Whereas in the Czech Republic there are around 40 websites involved, and in Hungary even 80 to 100, in Poland the authors highlight the use of the comments sections of news outlets.

Among less analysed, but extremely influential tools, email chains are mentioned. They are very hard to track, but they spread widely among the elderly population in particular. In this study, Hungary is mentioned as the country where this channel is used most. The Czech online daily Aktualne.cz recently mentioned this tool, too.

“Globalist elites planned the refugee crisis”

The second section of each country-related part of the study covers the main narratives spread by the disinformation-oriented outlets. In some of the countries, the core messages are tailored to local audience – in the Czech Republic, for example, the pro-Kremlin outlets focus on anti-refugee messaging and accusing the “globalist elites” of planning this conspiracy.

Also in Poland, the organisers of the disinformation campaign have to be very receptive towards the specifics of a local audience that would hardly be persuaded by more openly pro-Kremlin messaging. Thus, the propaganda in Poland focuses mostly on undermining the relations between this country and Ukraine.

But, as we read in the study, “pro-Kremlin disinformation against Hungary produced surprisingly few content tailored specifically to the Hungarian audience. This is an important difference if compared to Poland.” And in Moldova, even some Russian mass media can be quite successful – meaning that even absurd messages like “NATO prepares a nuclear war with Russia and Moldova will be one of the battlefields” get spread in this country.

The authors conclude their study with a few recommendations, among them:

  • provide myth-busting products in national languages, through mainstream channels;
  • use alert-systems to notify government officials and journalists about a risk of disinformation;
  • convene regular workshops for civil servants;
  • reveal who is behind the websites spreading pro-Kremlin disinformation;
  • name and shame the authors of the disinformation stories;
  • raise awareness about pro-Kremlin disinformation through mass media.

Read the full study here.


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  • veth
    • Brent

      I can think of a more suitable harsher penalty

      “Life…but served in the failing state of Russia”

      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del%27s_ontological_proof Styx

        Breath in deeper and you will get even higher, gas ..

  • Микола Данчук

    Reminds me of ” chain…chain…chain chain of fools ” but that is good music.

    The lies and fake news are becoming too extreme, too radical and hateful. Too many talking heads willing to twist the fabric of moral compass and engage into anarchy. Has society failed, have we learned nothing from the horrors of the past, are we destined to repeat and repeat…repeat as fools?

  • zorbatheturk

    I have noticed these mythical ” globalists ” emerging as threats on fake news stories. Looks like it’s the Kremlin who is behind this nonsense.

    • Scradje

      ‘Globalists’ is a term that has been popularized by skummsukking kremlin shills such as Alex Jones, Wikileaks/Assange, David Icke, Michael Savage, the Pauls, Farage etc for years. It’s part of the kremtroll lexicon, along with ‘hasbara’, ‘khazars’, ‘Nuland/cookies/$6bn’, ‘neocons’, ‘neocon warmongers’, ‘russophobes’, ‘Kyiv junta’, ‘CIA/Mossad false flag’, and of course ‘putin is a great man who looks after his people’.

      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del%27s_ontological_proof Styx

        “Scradje” is a term that has been popularized by “skummsukking” kYiv shills such as JerseyJeff78, frau oknemfroDorfmenko, hogsident Porosyonko, smurk, turdler, brent, zorbathetwerp and many, many more items of vintage “ukrainian” dung, currently decomposing on Disqus under great many aliases ..

        • zorbatheturk

          Bogovsky.

          • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del%27s_ontological_proof Styx

            Is your mother’s maiden name, I know ..

      • zorbatheturk

        Yup. The Kremlin is constantly trying to undermine established orders by promulgating these dumbass conspiracy theories. The more Americans are prepping and hoarding canned beans in Colorado the less attention they are focusing on RuSSian evil.

        • Scradje

          I find it hard to understand why Jones, Savage and the Pauls are not under arrest for acting as witting or unwitting agents of influence for a murderous fascist power.

          • zorbatheturk

            Freedom of speech, I guess. One of those funny western concepts… they almost need to bring back Senator Joe McCarthy and the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities, HUAC… the Bulgarian jerk running Zero Hedge needs to be exported to Guantanamo Bay pronto too.

      • Y K

        Don’t forget “banksters”, “Mammon”, “Rothschilds” and such. :-)