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The Insider: Leaked documents expose Kremlin’s disinformation campaigns in West

Russia’s foreign intelligence agency Project Kylo aims to exploit fear and uncertainty to sway Western audiences against their governments and support for Ukraine, according to leaked documents.
Russia open to "truly serious" Ukraine peace proposals, Foreign Ministry says
The Kremlin in Moscow. Photo: Depositphotos
The Insider: Leaked documents expose Kremlin’s disinformation campaigns in West

The Insider has obtained hacked correspondence revealing how Russia’s foreign intelligence agency (SVR) conducts disinformation campaigns targeting Western countries. The leaked documents, intended for various Russian government agencies, outline a Project Kylo strategy that aims to spread disinformation on sensitive Western topics and stoke anti-government sentiments.

According to The Insider, Mikhail Kolesov, a 45-year-old SVR officer, is the architect of Project Kylo. In a document titled Propaganda, Kolesov proposed a new approach to the Kremlin’s information warfare efforts, describing it as “systematic, targeted and active, offensive in nature.”

The leaked materials suggest that the SVR’s strategy involves creating fake NGOs to organize anti-establishment demonstrations in the United States and its allies. 

“Waging network wars in EU cyberspace based on the increasing demands of Ukrainian migrants and the new waves of irritation of the local population provoked by this, according to preliminary estimates, will have a very high efficiency both now and in the foreseeable future,” the documents state.

The Insider reports that the SVR plans to manipulate Western audiences by exploiting emotions, particularly fear. The leaked documents state: “It is precisely the fear for the future, uncertainty about tomorrow, the inability to make long-term plans, the unclear fate of children and future generations. The cultivation of these triggers floods an individual’s subconscious with panic and terror.”

The investigation reveals that the SVR intends to use advanced technology to target individuals in the West while bypassing Western media platforms. The documents mention a “unique algorithm based on the new ‘Storm’ platform module and special software” for disseminating content.

According to The Insider, the SVR officers involved in the project agree that “morality and ethics should play no part in this covert form of psychological warfare, owing to the fact that Russia’s enemies evidently brook no such considerations in their own methods.”

The leaked correspondence also reveals a separate project called “Ledorub” (Icepick), which focuses on destroying the reputations of Kremlin enemies in exile. One example provided in the documents details plans to discredit a former Russian banker living in Boston who is involved in fundraising for Alexey Navalny‘s Anti-Corruption Foundation.

The Insider’s report suggests that some tactics outlined in the leaked documents have already been implemented. The article cites recent incidents across Europe, including staged protests and provocations, that align with the strategies described in Project Kylo.

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