“The HIV virus was secretly created by US scientists as a biological weapon.” Sounds familiar?
This HIV hoax was one of the most successful disinformation campaigns initiated by the KGB, the Soviet Union’s security and intelligence agency. Planted in 1983 in an obscure Indian newspaper, gradually it spread throughout the global media sphere, gaining legitimacy and the attention of major print and TV news outlets.
In the first episode of its series, the New York Times reveals the origins of the infamous man-made HIV conspiracy, explains what is behind the KGB jargon of “active measures” (and what we call it today), and introduces former KGB agents who were at the center of it all.
From American and British companies owning the ZIKA virus to Ukraine spreading Ebola on the US’s behalf – biological and chemical warfare, clandestine drug experiments and vaccination myths have become a Kremlin go-to narrative for conspiracy theories.
Many of these stories were on heavy rotation as the Kremlin waged a concerted disinformation campaign around the Salisbury attack. Conspiracy theories were used as tools to shift blame and create a distorted reality in which chemical and biological warfare are practiced by anyone but Russia – the US, Europe and EU Eastern Partnership countries.
Watch the entire series on the website of The New York Times.
- A guide to Russian propaganda
- A guide to Russian propaganda, part 3: Rapid fire conspiracy theories
- How Russia produces conspiracies on bio weapons to befog Skripal case
- Three important lessons of the Skripal Case the West has yet to learn
- Five ways Russia is generating a conspiracy smokescreen around the Skripal poisoning
- Conspiracy: The US creates bioweapons in 400 countries (there are only 195)
- The most comprehensive guide ever to MH17 conspiracies
- “Masks of the Revolution”: a film of sensationalism and conspiracy theory
- Children’s toy part of conspiracy against the Kremlin
- NATO sprays poison over Poland, ‘civil war’ in Ukraine and other Russian disinformation of the week
- Russian media forge more papers to blame Ukraine of downing MH17, make bad grammar mistakes
- Behind the smokescreen: who are the actors spreading disinformation on ex-Russian spy Skripal?
- Heavyweight megaphones of Russian disinformation in Eastern Ukraine
- The civil war hoax: words that fooled the world