Russian Disinformation on Ukraine
U.S. Department of State, working with the U.S. interagency, is aware of several Russian military and intelligence entities that are engaged in information confrontation targeting Ukraine. These activities include the spread of disinformation and propaganda attempting to paint Ukraine and Ukrainian government officials as the aggressor in the Russia-Ukraine relationship. Such measures are intended to influence Western countries into believing Ukraine’s behavior could provoke a global conflict and convince Russian citizens of the need for Russian military action in Ukraine. Below are examples of Russian lies about the current crisis and its causes – and the truth.
Over many years, Russia has fabricated a set of false narratives that its disinformation and propaganda ecosystem persistently injects into the global information environment. These narratives act like a template, which enables the Kremlin to adjust these narratives, with one consistency – a complete disregard for truth as it shapes the information environment to support its policy goals.
Russian military and intelligence entities are engaging in this activity across Russia’s disinformation and propaganda ecosystem, to include malign social media operations, the use of overt and covert online proxy media outlets, the injection of disinformation into television and radio programming, the hosting of conferences designed to influence attendees into falsely believing that Ukraine, not Russia, is at fault for heightened tensions in the region, and the leveraging of cyber operations to deface media outlets and conduct hack and release operations.
Here are five major reoccurring Russian disinformation themes that the Kremlin is currently readjusting in an attempt to fill the information environment with false narratives about its actions in Ukraine.