Category: Analytics


Grigorij Mesežnikov, political scientist and the President of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) in Slovakia

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Systemic Narratives that Seek to Undermine the Country’s Choices

Since 2014, a fairly developed ecosystem of local agents of Russian information and propaganda influence, using their native language, has emerged and exists in relatively comfortable conditions in Slovakia. These agents are the main distributors of locally produced Russian propaganda and feed systemic narratives into Slovak society.

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David J. Kramer, director of European and Eurasian studies and a senior fellow at the Vaclav Havel Program on Human Rights and Diplomacy at Florida International University’s Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs and a former assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will face tremendous challenges when he enters office, starting with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. When it comes to foreign policy, China will be at the top of the to-do list along with restoring and reinvigorating badly frayed alliances. Dealing with Russia and its President Vladimir Putin should be high on that list, too.

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David J. Kramer, director of European and Eurasian studies at Florida International University’s Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affair

Vladimir Kobets, executive director of the International Strategic Action Network for Security

Popular protests against the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus have left Western leaders anxious about how Russia will respond. Forceful intervention would not seem out of character for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has noted on state television that Lukashenko asked him to keep riot police at the ready in case “the situation gets out of control.” But such a course of action is almost certainly not Putin’s preference in Belarus. The Kremlin invaded and occupied territory in Georgia and Ukraine to prevent those countries from moving geopolitically westward. But in doing so, the Kremlin’s neoimperialists planted deep roots of resistance to Russian occupation and intensified popular support for Euro-Atlantic integration—especially among younger Georgians and Ukrainians. Belatedly, Moscow is learning that no amount of disinformation can reverse these trends.

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Andrei Yeliseyeu, Director of EAST Research Center (Warsaw), iSANS expert

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A selection of propaganda narratives about Belarus

The whole assortment of hundreds and thousands of propaganda stories revolve around a dozen original storylines.

To see the forest through the trees

Day after day, Russian national television stations, big news and multimedia agencies, and dozens of smaller pro-Kremlin sites churn out hours of audio and video and dozens to hundreds of stories about Belarus. Targeting a Belarusian audience, pro-Kremlin resources also communicate distinctively about events in other countries.

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Šimon Pinkas, Project Assistant at Prague Security Studies Institute

The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has become a security challenge of global significance, one not limited to the medical dimension only. As Tedros A. Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization Director-General, pointed out during the annual Munich Security Conference, the COVID-19 pandemic is accompanied by so-called “infodemics”. This term describes an upsurge in information related to the pandemic, of which a significant part is factually incorrect or outright manipulative. Infodemics can have a considerable impact on the ability of states to tackle the disease as pollution of the information space contributes to the hardships related to the governments’ ability to communicate effectively with its citizens. Without such communication, however, confused and scared citizens are likely to look for information on their own and become exposed to conspirators or alarmist voices.

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