U.S. Mission to NATO takes initiative to detect Russian disinformation
The U.S. Mission to NATO has launched an initiative called “We choose facts”, which aims to disarm the disinformation and propaganda that Russia uses in relation to the disputes with Ukraine, Portalb.mk writes.
The U.S. Mission to NATO considers disinformation to be one of the Kremlin’s most important and widespread weapons, as Russia has functionalized the concept of constant competition in the information space by encouraging the development of a disinformation and propaganda ecosystem. According to them, this ecosystem aims to strategically create and disseminate false narratives, in order to advance the Kremlin’s political goals.
“Truth disarms Russian disinformation weapons. The Kremlin creates and spreads misinformation in an attempt to confuse people about Russia’s real actions in Ukraine, Georgia, and other places in Europe. Since the truth is not in favor of the Kremlin, Russia’s intelligence service creates, posts, and influences websites that claim to be media outlets to disseminate lies and sow misunderstandings. Misinformation is a quick and cheap way to destabilize societies and set the stage for potential military action. Although repeated involvement in these malicious activities has been discovered many times, Russia continues to act contrary to international norms and global stability,” the State Department said in a statement published on its website.
As part of this initiative, the U.S. Mission to NATO released data on activities undertaken to spread Russian disinformation and propaganda.
The report showed that between June and September 2021, Russian trolls had spread misinformation in the comments section of 32 Western media outlets in 16 countries, Ukraine included. They post so much that one profile changed location 69 times and was renamed 549 times in order to avoid detection. The trolls’ goal is to cause confusion and schism. But they also have another goal. Russia’s biggest disinformation and propaganda system shows their comments to support the fictional world-view that the Kremlin is working to spread.
Moreover, some illustrations were published of how Russia has distorted the truth in certain situations.
- Ukraine is an aggressor in Russian-Ukrainian relations.
- Russia has been using aggressive tactics against Ukraine since 2014.
Actions undertaken by Russia so far:
- Attacked Ukraine in 2014
- Occupied Crimea
- Assembled over 100,000 soldiers on the Ukrainian border
This leaves no doubt that Russia is the aggressor.
Recall that Russia has gathered more than 100,000 soldiers on the border with Ukraine, encircling it from three sides, Crimea to the south, the Russian side of the border and Belarus to the north. Moscow has conducted a series of military exercises at the border area, raising concerns that it may be preparing for a new attack after Russia invaded the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014. For now, however, Russia denies that it will occupy Ukraine. Many countries called for their citizens to leave Ukraine.
The Kremlin has called on NATO to limit its activities in Eastern Europe and to promise not to expand with the former Soviet Union, in this case, Ukraine. On the other hand, in response to Russia’s actions, NATO members have deployed troops and equipment to other member states bordering Ukraine.
If Russia attacks Ukraine, it would not be the first time. Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014. The country also supports the rebels in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where approximately 14,000 people have lost their lives.