European Union calls Russia a leader in disinformation
The European Union named Russia the main disinformator state of 2022. This is stated in the European External Action Service's report on disinformation and foreign information manipulation in 2022, Radio Liberty reports.
According to the report, the Russian war in Ukraine has been the main subject of information attacks. In 60 out of 100 incidents, supporting the invasion was the main motivation behind the attack.
The second goal of Russia's information attacks has been to discredit the EU and its member countries, the document states.
Peter Stano, the official representative of the EEAS, confirmed that the most disinformation regarding the European Union is coming from Russia or its agents. The report notes that the fakes are being spread through official diplomatic channels, state media that broadcast to both Russian and foreign audiences, and pro-Kremlin online channels whose ties to the Russian government are not listed directly, but which may be receiving funding from Moscow.
Namely, Russian propaganda tries to present Ukraine as a “Nazi” state, accuse it of “genocide” and murdering its own citizens, spread fakes about US biolabs operating there, which are allegedly developing biological weapons targeting “the Russian DNA”, and the ties between Ukrainian “neo-Nazis” and foreign intelligence services.
The report emphasizes that such misinformation by Kremlin sources is also actively disseminated by China's state media. In total, such misinformation was found in reports in at least 30 languages, including 16 European ones.
When it comes to the European Union, Russian and pro-Russian sources spread untrue reports about the lack of support for Ukraine in the EU societies, about the harmful effects of EU sanctions against Russia, and about the people of Europe allegedly starving and freezing due to the lack of resources that were previously purchased from Russia.
The report mentions Russian media companies Sputnik and Russia Today (RT) as the most telling examples of disinformation.
The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, confirmed that Russia "has mobilised all its instruments" for disinformation campaigns and "systematic distortion of reality." "We have seen attempts to confuse and mislead people, with ever-changing narratives and versions of the event. The aim is that nobody believes anything, any report anymore. To make people believe that 'well, in the end, everything is a lie. How can I distinguish between a lie and the truth?'” said Borrell.
He also mentioned the memes that started appearing after the European Union began its training mission; these memes accused the EU of being a servant of NATO. "This was posted on the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs website. Yes, on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. 10 minutes later, on their Telegram channel and then quickly amplified by over 100 channels, including Sputnik Africa," the diplomat said.
Borrell said that the European Union intends to combat the spread of false information. According to him, Europe intends to create an information sharing and analysis centre, which will oppose propaganda, in the near future.
As reported by IMI, the head of the EU foreign policy department, Josep Borrell, said that the European Union will launch a new platform to counter the disinformation campaigns by Russia and China.
European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova announced the creation of a European media project called Radio Free Russia, which would allow independent Russian journalists to report without censorship from the Kremlin.
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