Disinformation Review: Week Three
Many thanks for all your contributions. Every week we have more and more people and organisations alerting us to disinformation articles, thereby helping to ensure that the picture on disinformation will become ever more precise each week.
This week's disinformation trend sees multiple reports about Ukraine's military action in the Eastern regions. Already last week, we saw a couple of disinformation articles about the military conflict between Ukraine and separatist forces. This week, they have become more prevalent, as you will see in the Review – mainly featured in TV Zvezda (run by the Russian Ministry of Defence), but also some Youtube videos. Some articles claimed that the OSCE confirmed an attack by Ukrainian forces – although the OSCE didn't confirm this information. Other reports said that Ukrainian forces bombarded western Donetsk, although local residents denied it.
During the week, there were also reports that the Ukrainian army registered the preparation for an attack by the separatist forces. During the weekend, at least five Ukrainian soldiers were killed – the highest number since the cease-fire began two months ago.
Multiple disinformation articles were reported about the United Kingdom. In a story by Webnovosti.info, it is claimed that David Cameron threatened Vladimir Putin with "more" attacks on Russian civilian airplanes (the article claims that Western secret services were behind the Airbus crash in Egypt). This particular story was later translated into Czech. In addition, a 22-minute video blames the UK for lying in the Litvinenko case.
The Nordic audience was targeted by such stories as: the Dutch investigation into MH17 flight is biased; Sweden and Finland are causing a refugee crisis in Norway; and claims of infringing media freedom in Estonia (all spread by local versions of Sputnik).
Further articles this week stated that the EU and Germany want to legalise pedophilia (Czechfreepress.cz), and that since the Russian army started its operations in Syria, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have returned home (TV Zvezda again).
We are happy to announce that Political Capital Institute from Hungary, directed by Péter Krekó, has decided to provide us with regular updates about the disinformation efforts in their country. This week, it is mainly focused on Syria.
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Thank you very much once again for your reports, we are looking forward to the new ones,
East StratCom Task Force
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