Full-Scale Democratic Response to Hostile Disinformation Operations

Europeanvalues представляет комплексную стратегию " 50 мер по вытеснению дезинформации Кремля и ее враждебного влияния из Европы ".

В данной работе были проведены консультации с несколькими десятками специалистов государственной и негосударственной дипломатических, академических, безопасности и разведки. Автор хотел бы выразить свою признательность за их вклад и обратную связь. Особая благодарность Бен Ниммо, Питер Померанцев, Штефан Майстер, Евгений Федченко, Якуб Каленский и Питер Креко.

Full-Scale Democratic Response to Hostile Disinformation Operations 50 Measures to Oust Kremlin Hostile Disinformation Influence out of Europe (original pdf) 

An aggressive disinformation effort by the Russian Federation and its allies has been very visible within EU member states since 2013 - the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis. The Kremlin uses this vehicle as part of its hybrid warfare to achieve its strategic objective to disrupt the internal cohesion of NATO, the EU and its willingness to react to aggressive policies of the Russian Federation. It also aims at a policy change in the case of sanctions, the Dutch referendum on EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, or the Brexit debate. The Chief of the Armed Staff of the Russian Federation, Valery Gerasimov, calls it:
“Information confrontation aimed at the reduction of the fight potential of the enemy”.
These disinformation efforts employ a multi-layer strategy. Where an authentic grievance or setback is present, the Kremlin disinformation machinery tries to explore and exploit it. At the EU and NATO level, it tries to use pro-Kremlin attitudes of selected politicians to undermine collective efforts. Within the EU, it aims to widen the already existing gaps between the South and the East, or new and old member states on the West versus the East. At the member state level, the goal is to undermine the trust of citizens towards their governments, allied organisations and states, democratic political parties, mainstream media or state institutions (such as judiciary or police) in general. Another goal is to promote pro-Kremlin politicians and parties in the likes of Alternative For Germany, the Front National in France, Jobbik in Hungary, Marian Kotleba’s LSNS in Slovakia, or UKIP in the UK. The defense Minister of the Russian Federation, Sergey Shoygu, openly referred to this approach of warfare in 2015 stating that "the time has come, when we all recognize, that words, camera, photo, the Internet and information in general have become yet another type of weapon, yet another type of armed forces."
Disinformation efforts target already existing grievances and cleavages, and exploit them further. We can never say that disinformation efforts are the only reason for the existence of these problems, but we can clearly point out that exploring such weak spots is an aim of the Kremlin machinery and specific documented actions translating as proof of such effort.

Let us use the most striking empirical examples while keeping in mind the limitations of the data:
 Only 29% of German and 29% of Italian citizens said in a 2015 Pew poll that Russia should be blamed for the violence in Eastern Ukraine.
 53% of French and 58% of German citizens said in a 2015 Pew poll that their country should not use military force to defend a NATO ally if Russia were to attack it.
 Only 31% of German citizens stated that German soldiers should stand in defence of NATO members - Poland and the Baltic states - if they were attacked by Russia, according to 2016 research by the Bertelsman Foundation and the Institute for Public Affairs: an already shocking outcome. Much analysis of such modus operandi has already been conducted over recent years; yet truly effective and practical policy steps are and have been rare. As such, this paper lays out specific recommendations in four key areas where urgent action is necessary. The list is not exhaustive, yet we deem that these are the most important steps which can and should be taken. This paper aims to be a coherent policy strategy implementable by appropriate practitioners.
There are four clusters of steps which need to be taken:
1. Firmly put hostile disinformation efforts on the foreign & security policy agenda.
2. Publicly challenge supporters of Kremlin-sponsored disinformation efforts, especially among politicians and public figures.
3. Disclose disinformation campaigns substance and vehicles.
4. Systematically build resilience within free societies.

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