A recent target of this disinformation method has been The European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE), hosted by Finland. This week, pro-Kremlin attempts to obscure the public discussion around the center grew in both quantity and absurdity.
Finnish MV-lehti published an article claiming that the “NATO hybrid center has a license to kill”. Actually, the Hybrid CoE is not a NATO center, but an instrument of its participating countries: Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA. More fundamentally, the center obviously doesn’t have a license to kill, as no one has in Finland.
But the orchestrated disinformation campaign does not end up with one article. What we also saw was the setting up an organization with a similar name that calls NATO and the EU a threat to democracy in Europe. And in order to further confuse the public, a website was launched – http://hybridcoe.ru/ – [note the Russian domain] – that copies the design of the real center.
Fake Twitter accounts resembling the Hybrid CoE logo have been circulating since autumn 2016, and some of them got activated again in September. This account has been spreading a message that Finnish citizens would be unhappy with the new Hybrid Center – referring to comments on other disinforming outlets.
Blame the victim!
We’ll leave it to more reliable sources than Vesti Nedeli to set the record straight on this. But the Russian audience is constantly exposed to this parallel reality. And the results of this disinformation campaign are clearly visible for example in a Levada Center poll on the Molotov-Ribbentrop secret protocols, which reveal that 40% of Russians think it’s true, 17% think it’s false, and 44% are not aware or unsure that the protocols existed.
This week’s disinformation cocktail also included some favorite disinformation themes. We read that Europe’s excessive tolerance towards other religions results in punishing “true” Europeans, and in discriminating against orthodox values.
So disinformation outlets reported about a man being fined for eating bacon in front of Muslims in Sweden and about a Georgian judoka who suffered defeat during the course of the World Championship for wearing a cross around her neck. Visit our table to set the record straight on these two entertaining stories.
And the favorite narrative about EU orchestrating color revolutions was revived once again. Thus, in a Moldovan disinformation-oriented outlet, the readers were convinced that if the country refuses to join the EU, Brussels will punish it with a Maidan. We are sorry to disappoint, but it is not in EU’s capabilities to instigate a nation-wide revolution.
Disinformation cases reported in the previous week by EU vs Disinfo
- «There is a 97% probability Ukraine will fall apart»
- «US coal deprives Ukraine of its independence»
- «Ukraine to introduce food ration cards»
- «McLaren doesn’t accuse Russia of state-supported doping-conspiracy anymore»
- «RT leads among TV news channels on YouTube with 5 billion views»
- «Results of the Association Agreement in Moldova: People have become much poorer and the social genocide continues»
- «If Moldova refuses to join the EU, it is punished with a Maidan»
- «Angela Merkel has said: “If I want, you will read in tomorrow’s newspapers that 98% of the population is happy with my policies.”»
- «The US openly instructs Moldovan democrats what to do with Russian-language media in Moldova»
- «Georgian judoka suffered defeat in World Championship for wearing a cross»
- «US Special Envoy says Russia seeks to freeze conflict in Eastern Ukraine»
- «EU integration has become a disaster for Moldova»
- «Angela Merkel has admitted that reconsolidation of Crimea with Russia is irreversible»
- «Poland was the initiator of the WWII»
- «Laundromat: Azerbaijani targeted with fake news inspired by Soros»
- «American nuclear fuel will cause the second Chornobyl»
- «Moldovan workers live in poverty after the European integration has started»
- «American media questioned the legitimacy of the “neo-Nazi regime” in Ukraine»
- «The US and the EU are ready to give up Ukraine in exchange for Russia’s help with North Korea»
- «Donbas soldiers and Russian volunteers are fighting to prevent a genocide of the people of Donbas»
- «NATO’s hybrid center has a license to kill»
- «A man was fined for eating bacon in front of Muslims in Sweden»
- Democracies should prepare for the long fight against Russian disinformation warfare: study
- In the depths of disinformation: this is how RT propaganda works
- What can Ukraine offer NATO?
- Conspiracy: The US creates bioweapons in 400 countries (there are only 195)
- Initiatives to counter disinformation spring up in the Russian language
- “Poisoning” by headlines: how Russian disinformation keeps spreading
- Internet bots are key players in propelling disinformation: study of 9 countries
- Disinformation across ages: Russia’s old but effective weapon of influence
- Russian provocations test Georgia
- Deception, Disinformation, and Doubt: Hybrid Warfare in Eastern Ukraine
- The pro-Kremlin narrative about migrants in Europe
- Disinformation is attractive for millions in Central and Eastern Europe
- Belarusian authorities are helpless before information and psychological attacks from Russia
- Moscow deploys the most dangerous kind of disinformation against Ukraine
- Kremlin disinformation campaign extremely successful – EU East Stratcom
- Russian hybrid warfare: what are effects-based network operations and how to counteract them