Inoculate Yourself Against Russian Disinformation - And Its Amplifiers

With a little effort and objectivity anyone can learn to spot Russian disinformation narratives. They are pervasive, adaptable to any ideology, and increasingly destabilizing. Developing and honing this skill has never been more important.

Inoculate Yourself Against Russian Disinformation - And Its Amplifiers

Russian narratives can show up in the darnedest of places. It doesn't matter if you're looking far left, far right, or into the most obscure fringe movements - Russia has mastered strategies to cultivate and leverage them all. Unfortunately, this combination of extremists, fringe movements, and Russian narratives is also increasingly bleeding into mainstream media, commentary, and political circles. Some amplify these narratives intentionally and with malice while others have been duped by the propaganda machine. And some, I suppose, just organically form terrible opinions. Useful idiots are seemingly everywhere and far too many of them are masquerading as patriots. This garbage continues to move through society and the media at scale and like a virus - exactly as its engineers intended.

The disinformation ecosystem is complex but learning to recognize these narratives in the wild isn't as difficult as you might think. While I'm not going to peel the entire onion here, I have compiled some material that will serve as a helpful primer. If you can't rattle off a dozen classic Russian disinfo narratives without giving it a second thought than this material is for you. Take the dive. It will not only open your eyes to how pervasive this material has become but it will also help prepare you for the onslaught that Russia will unleash in the dark days ahead.

Fact vs. Fiction: Russian Disinformation on Ukraine - United States Department of State
The Kremlin has launched widespread disinformation campaigns, imprisoned journalists, shut down independent media outlets, and attacked its opposition.
Report: RT and Sputnik’s Role in Russia’s Disinformation and Propaganda Ecosystem - United States Department of State
Russian state-funded and state-directed media outlets RT and Sputnik are critical elements in Russia’s disinformation and propaganda ecosystem. In an August 2020 report, the Global Engagement Center outlined the five pillars of Russia’s disinformation and propaganda ecosystem. RT and Sputnik are key…
GEC Special Report: Russia’s Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda - United States Department of State
The report outlines the five pillars of Russia’s disinformation and propaganda ecosystem and how these pillars work together to create a media multiplier effect. Russia’s disinformation presents a threat, but it does not stand unopposed. The U.S. government, our allies and partner governments, inter…
Russia’s Top Five Persistent Disinformation Narratives - United States Department of State
Russia has long exploited the “Illusion of Truth” effect: When a lie is repeated so often that people begin to believe it. Understanding this effect can help you avoid falling for it.
Countering Russian Disinformation
This article is part of the CSIS executive education program Understanding the Russian Military Today. Executive Summary Disinformation is a tool commonly used by a number of states to sow discord, undermine faith in governing institutions, stoke fear and anxiety, and ultimately achieve certain poli…
Russia’s Propaganda & Disinformation Ecosystem - 2022 Update & New Disclosures
New revelations and a structural update to our chart
We map and expose Kremlin’s subversion operations
Kremlin Watch is a strategic program of the European Values Think-Tank which aims to expose and confront instruments of Russian influence and disinformation operations focused against Western democracies. We are the only nongovernmental centre in the Czech Republic that systematically deals with the…
StratCom | NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence Riga, Latvia
Russia’s “Firehose of Falsehood” Propaganda Model
Russia’s propaganda model is high-volume and multichannel, and it disseminates messages without regard for the truth. It is rapid, continuous, and repetitive, and it does not commit to consistency.
‘War Is Coming’: Mysterious TikTok Videos Are Scaring Sweden’s Children
The campaign offers an early test for the country’s new anti-disinformation agency.
Russian media spreading disinformation about US bioweapons as troops mass near Ukraine - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Unsubstantiated allegations about US bioweapons or malicious biological research near Russia are being echoed at the highest levels of the Russian government. State media are repeating the claims. The Kremlin’s alleged proxy media outlets are writing about them, and after President Vladimir Putin an…
Putin’s absurd genocide claims cannot hide his war crimes in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin likes to claim that an anti-Russian genocide is underway in Ukraine but in reality he is upset by the historical loss of influence suffered by representatives of the Russian state.
Fox News Abandons the GOP on Russia
Russia-Ukraine is becoming a trial of strength between different parts of the conservative universe.
Navy Fighting Against Surging Russian Disinformation Ahead of Potential Ukraine Invasion
A Russian-language website alleged that locals had found “a sonar countermeasure device” washed up on the shores of Urup Island, south of Vladivostok.
US accuses financial website of spreading Russian propaganda
U.S. intelligence officials allege a conservative financial website with a significant American readership is amplifying Kremlin propaganda
Jack Posobiec Links to Russian Intelligence-Backed Website
One America News Network (OANN) correspondent Jack Posobiec tweeted 28 times over a span of ten months links to a website the U.S. government says is backed by Russian intelligence.
Russia Is Spreading Garbage Information, And Then It Might Use That Garbage Information To Justify Starting A War
While many of Russia’s attempts to spread incendiary information are bumbling and easily proven false, the reports could provide the pretext President Vladimir Putin is seeking to attack Ukraine.
Fox News echo chamber fuels Russian propaganda - CNN Video
CNN’s Matthew Chance looks at how Russian state TV is reacting to Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s coverage of President Joe Biden and the build up of Russian military along the Ukrainian border.
Exclusive: Russian operation masqueraded as right-wing news site to target U.S. voters - sources
The Russian group accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. election has posed as an independent news outlet to target right-wing social media users ahead of this year’s vote, two people familiar with an FBI probe into the activity told Reuters.
Russian disinformation frenzy seeds groundwork for Ukraine invasion
Social media platforms have been on high alert for Russian disinformation
US accuses Moscow spies of working with Russian-language media outlets to spread Ukraine disinformation
The US believes Russian intelligence agencies have worked closely with the editorial staff of five Russian-language media outlets to boost public support for a renewed Russian invasion of Ukraine, US officials familiar with the intelligence assessment told CNN in a media briefing.
A Short Guide to the History of ‘Fake News’ and Disinformation: A New ICFJ Learning Module
Fake news has a long history dating back to Ancient Rome. But it has been increasingly weaponized during the 21st century with the advent of new technology allowing for easy manipulation and fabrication of content. Thus, its important to understand the historical context of the emerging ’information…