"Russian Propaganda"

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Concept.png "Russian Propaganda"
(propaganda,  projection)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Russian Propaganda.jpg
Interest of• 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
• Hannes Adomeit
• Alliance for Securing Democracy
• Answering Russia's Strategic Narratives
• Natalia Antaleva
• Jessikka Aro
• Bellingcat
• Nick Carter
• Stephen Dalziel
• Lyudmyla Denisova
• Detector Media
• DisinfoPortal
• EU Disinfolab
• Mark Galeotti
• GlasnostGone
• James Greene
• Chris Hernon
• Institute for Statecraft
• Integrity Initiative
• Nina Jankowicz
• Phil Jolley
• Kseniya Kirillova
• Karel Kullamaa
• Daniel Lafayeedney
• John Lough
• Gary Machado
• Victor Madeira
• Alina Mosendz
• Ben Nimmo
• Nicolás de Pedro
• Alina Polyakova
• Peter Pomerantsev
• PropOrNot
• Reframing Russia
• Greg Rowett
• Jenni Sargent
• James Sherr
• Andrew Shortland
• Richard Slack
• Timothy Snyder
• StopFake
• Joanna Szostek
• Jānis Sārts
• Tackling Tools of Malign Influence
"Russian Propaganda" is much talked about recently by NATO-aligned countries.

This page is about the charge levelled against Russia by other nation states. Non-to be confused with actual propaganda by Russia.

“What's funny about all this is that by constantly warning of the dangers of Russian propaganda, imperial spinmeisters are admitting that they know it's possible to manipulate public thought at mass scale using media. They're just lying about who's doing it to us. In reality, they're not worried about Russian propaganda. "Russian propaganda" is just a spooky story we are told to keep us from noticing that our civilization is saturated in US propaganda.”
Caitlin Johnstone (31 August 2022)  We're Being Trained To Worry About 'Russian Propaganda' While Drowning In US Propaganda [1]

"Russian Propaganda" is a component of the 21st century effort to reboot the Cold War. This page summarises this modern meme, many components of which itself looks increasingly like propaganda. In August 2022, Caitlin Johnstone entitled an article "Russian Propaganda" Just Means Disobedience.[2]

Official narrative

NATO's official narrative is that Russia engages in propaganda, unlike Western countries.[citation needed]


The origins of the modern promotion of the concept of "Russian Propaganda" are unclear.


Full article: PropOrNot

In 2016, as part of the "Fake News Website" project, an unidentified group set up PropOrNot. This published a list of 200 sites that it claimed were engaged in "Russian propaganda". Some such as RT were Russian run, others (such as this website) have no known Russian connection.

PropOrNot did not claim they were all organised by Russia and specifically included sites which were unknowingly repeating "Russian Propaganda", which it referred to as "useful idiots".

As projection

Purported "Russian Propaganda" may in som instances be in the eye of the beholder - i.e. a psychological projection of the intentions of those who are themselves spreading propaganda against Russia.

Specific rebuffs

US weapons shipments to Syrian

In 2017 Bulgaria journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva received documents from 'Anonymous Bulgaria' pertaining to shipment of US weapons. Her article, which included document scans, suggested that the CIA was using diplomatic flights to transfer US arms to groups such as the Al Nusra Front.

In an August 2018 opinion piece entitled ‘Fake News’ Takes to the Air, Sam Ross for International Policy Digest described Gaytandzhieva as an "overly ambitious reporter who had previously never written in English let alone on matters as intricate as airline diplomacy." He claimed that the story was part of a "‘Black PR’ campaign... to besmirch the reputation of and the relationships hosted by longstanding U.S. military contractors such as Silk Way Airlines". He claimed that the source documents stemmed from a July 2017 "hack made on the Azerbaijani Embassy of Bulgaria, undertaken by ‘Anonymous Bulgaria’ (with IP-address roots linked to Russia)". He cited no sources for his information and did not link to the article concerned.[3]


The Integrity Initiative leaks revealed that the UK deep state was engaged in a multi-million pound effort to promote the concept of "Russian Propaganda.


Related Quotations

"Countering disinformation"“the counter-disinformation space as a whole [in Georgia] is slightly less evolved than in other regions, still being largely though not exclusively focused on fact-checking, which might be termed counter-disinformation 1.0.”June 2018
"Countering disinformation"“Another barrier to combating disinformation is the fact that certain Kremlin-backed narratives are factually true. For example, the Serbian organisation European Western Balkans noted that one of the country's most prominent pro-Kremlin narratives relates to Russia's ongoing support for Belgrade in the Kosovo dispute which is true. Responding to inconvenient truths, as opposed to pure propaganda, is naturally more problematic.”June 2018
"Post-truth"“making use of fictional work for reinforcing messages about Russian hybrid warfare”
"Terrorism/Response"“It is critical to understand that the threat from groups historically seen as direct sponsors of terrorism such as ISIS/Daesh and the coordinated state efforts from Russia in recent years are linked.”Anonymous6 August 2018
Alliance for Securing Democracy“Create a real-time feed into the Sponsor with daily analysis on Russian disinformation, providing a constantly-updated narrative that could then be shared with Embassies, either via email or in another ready-made format they could then disseminate locally. [Note: it would be essential to ensure that this work did not duplicate that already done by e.g. Alliance for Securing Democracy).”Victor Madeira16 March 2018
Answering Russia's Strategic Narratives“Russia’s disinformation campaigns have enabled the Kremlin to sow divisions in Europe’s societies. Countering these actions requires the development of effective, multi-layered strategies, tactics and capabilities. HCSS organizes a conference on 22 June 2017 to bring together and expand upon a network of stakeholders involved in countering Russian societal interference in European countries.

Through the exchange of governmental responses used at the military and foreign policy level, and the experiences of societal bottom-up initiatives and fact-checking collaborative initiatives, we can begin to build an increasingly coherent response to Russia’s strategic narratives.

The explicit goal is to foster a self-sustaining network that can act as a dissemination point in countering Russian disinformation and other kinds of malign interference. Through the stimulation of debate, participants will produce a concise overview that will take stock of best practices and perspectives for action.”
Corporate media/Deep state control“Expand the network of IfS associates and partner organisations to include e.g. DarthPutin, GlasnostGone, StopFake, European Values, Saper Vedere, and coordinate their efforts to mirror and amplify what IfS is already doing where possible.”Victor Madeira16 March 2018
Georgia“Conspiracy theories are also widespread. For example, a prominent narrative has been that the Lugar Center, a biological research laboratory in Tbilisi built with US assistance, is developing viruses to destroy Georgian genes.”June 2018
Institute for Statecraft/Control“Comment [VM2]: Most of these aren’t even Cluster countries – can II justify spending ££ on strengthening media there? Don’t get me wrong: any help we can provide these and other colleagues is a win in my books but I’m trying to anticipate how the Sponsor may see the relevance of speakers from some of these countries.”Victor Madeira16 March 2018
Institute for Statecraft/Purposes“The Italian reactions to Skripal case highlight and confirm a pattern already present in a previous report: pro-Russian sentiments in Italy are mainly inflated not by trolls or fake news but thanks to a large network encompassing politicians, journalists, media, websites etc. already aligned with Russian narrative... To counter this Italian trend it's important to properly address the key political leaders, their new populist parties, and key editorialists, by an effective, discrete and articulated information campaign and narrative and not to be exclusively focused on trolls and fake news.”Integrity Initiative16 March 2018
Institute for Statecraft/Purposes“Moreover, the “war” mindset is being pumped into the Russian population. It is one of the great successes of Putin’s propaganda offensive”Chris Donnelly19 January 2018
Language“In this report, ‘disinformation’ refers to Kremlin influence operations within the communications environment, delivered through overt and covert promotion of intentionally false, distorting or distracting narratives.”
Alina Mosendz“This region has its own specifics. Some are quite sceptical about the fact that we refute only Russian fakes and allegedly do not pay attention to the Ukrainian ones. At the same time, the majority of fake news in Spain is related to the internal political struggle. However, they are still very susceptible to pro-Russian narratives. Russian disinformation also has a strong influence on some Latin American countries.”Alina Mosendz
Ben Nimmo“Nimmo’s track record is simply appalling. In this report for the Atlantic Council website, he falsely identified British pensioner @Ian56789 as a “Russian troll farm”, which led to Ian being named as such by the British government, and to perhaps the most surreal Sky News interview of all time. Perhaps still more remarkably, Nimmo searches for use of the phrase “cui bono?” in reference to the Skripal and fake Douma chemical weapons attacks. Nimmo characterises use of the phrase cui bono as evidence of pro-Assad and pro-Kremlin bots and trolls – he really does. Most people would think to consider cui bono indicates a smattering more commonsense than Nimmo himself displays.Craig Murray
Ben Nimmo
28 August 2018
Polarisation“given the high anti-Russian sentiment in the country [of Georgia], there is a space for pro-Western voices, especially on independent TV stations. It is necessary to increase capacity to allow for this to happen on a larger scale.”
PropOrNot“the following are tropes/slurs primarily used by Russian propaganda:
Neocon”, “neoliberal”, “Zionist”, “corporatist”, “warmonger”, “Rothschild”, “imperialist”, & “establishment”.”
7 January 2019


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:FCO Disinformation update: Salisbury and Syriareview26 December 2018Integrity Initiative
Andy Pryce
UK Foreign Office email, presumably to trusted pro-government journalists, with information as 'background for your own work'. Cliff notes on Douma, Skripal etc.
File:The Kremlin's Trojan Horses.pdfpaper18 November 2016Alina Polyakova
Marlene Laruelle
Stefan Meister
Neil Barnett
A cartoonishly over-the-top piece of anti-Russian hysteria from the Atlantic Council.


Official examples

Russia Today
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