The Age of Russian Disinformation and War

Russia’s belligerent use of propaganda and misinformation reaches new levels

20 December 2022

Alina Bârgăoanu

Marcin Król Fellow

The concept of Russian disinformation vs misinformation has been known widely in the Western world since the Brexit campaign and the 2016 US presidential elections. However, the nuances of the concept have only more recently begun to be understood since the various themes are so subtle and multipronged that many segments of society fail to see how they are being targeted.

10 months after the start of Moscow’s war against Ukraine, one can already see some clear trends emerging in the field of Russian disinformation, misinformation, propaganda and hostile information campaigns.

Beyond the techniques, methods and strategic narratives pertaining to these interconnected processes, the main trend revealed during these 10 months is that, when it comes to hybrid and information warfare, the main terms, frames and narratives of public conversation are as important as military might, logistics or physical infrastructure; and that the less tangible victory over public opinion and public consciousness on the information battlefield is likely to be the true victory.

What is the answer to what can be reasonably expected to be a long confrontation, one that defies the traditional, binary categories of war and peace, especially in the information and communication field?

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Alina Bârgăoanu

Marcin Król Fellow

Marcin Król Fellow at Visegrad Insight. Romanian communication scholar, Dean of the College of Communication and Public Relations, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest. She is currently a member of the advisory board of the European Digital Media Observatory and of the European Commission expert group on tackling disinformation and promoting digital literacy through education and training. Her research centres on the effects of populist politics in Europe as well as assessing the European Union’s attempts to maintain liberal order.

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