The U.S. Department of State has published a report entitled “Pillars of Russia’s Disinformation and Propaganda Ecosystem” which examines the main propaganda sources and channels through which Russia disseminates misinformation.
The document emphasizes that the Foreign Ministry is cooperating with other ministries and partners worldwide in response to this challenge. According to the U.S. Department of State, the Kremlin abuses modern forms of communication, but its misinformation “does not remain unnoticed.”
The report states that there are five pillars of Russia’s information war against the West, which work in a coordinated manned to get an avalanche effect in the media, the illusion of trust and a picture in the minds of ordinary people stating that “what is written by everyone is true.”
Here they are:
• official government resources of the Russian Federation (Kremlin, Foreign Ministry press services, government accounts in social networks);
• state funded international television and radio broadcasting (state media aimed at domestic and foreign audiences, as well as international socio-cultural institutions);
• development of proxy resources (language centers, dissemination of narrative information);
• use of social networks as a weapon;
• disinformation in cyberspace.
“The Kremlin bears direct responsibility for cultivating these tactics and platforms as part of its approach to using information as a weapon,” the report states.
The headlines of Sputnik, RIA Novosti, RT, Channel One, Russia 24 and other Russian media are brought as the examples of misinformation in the document.
Those resources that spread propaganda include, for example, the online magazine Strategic Culture Foundation and the Global Research website. The report also cites headlines from the media: “Zhirinovsky called the coronavirus in China a biological weapon of the United States” (“Govorit Moskva“), “Coronavirus – a secret weapon of the United States?” (Sputnik Arabic), “Biological weapons, secret laboratories and the CIA: pro-Kremlin figures accuse the United States of coronavirus outbreak” (DFRLab).
The authors point out that “Russian disinformation” faces the opposition of organized efforts of governments, civil society, academia, the press, the private sector, and citizens around the world and the United States is committed to be the part of them. The U.S. Department of State is proposing this report as a contribution to this joint effort, as report said. The U.S. Department of State also announced a $10 million reward for information about people who, under the foreign state’s control, tried to hack into the infrastructure of the US election.