Disinformation Diplomats, Stand Up for Ukraine, Chernobyl Archives, More: Ukraine Update, April 9, 2022


Politico: Russia turns its diplomats into disinformation warriors. “After the European Union banned Kremlin-backed media outlets and social media giants demoted their posts for peddling falsehoods about the war in Ukraine, Moscow has turned to its cadre of diplomats, government spokespeople and ministers — many of whom have extensive followings on social media — to promote disinformation about the conflict in Eastern Europe, according to four EU and United States officials.”

Moscow Times: Russia Accuses Google of ‘Fake News,’ Bans Ads. “Russia’s state communications watchdog said Thursday it would ban U.S. internet giant Google from advertising its services in the country, accusing YouTube of spreading ‘fake news’ about its military campaign in Ukraine. Russia has moved to block access to non-state media and information resources and fears are mounting that Google could be next in line for a ban.”

Bloomberg: Elton John, Celine Dion Come Out For ‘Stand Up For Ukraine’ Social Media Rally. “Celebrities from Elton John to Celine Dion took part of a social media rally on April 8 to raise funds for the millions of people displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. International advocacy group Global Citizen organized the ‘Stand Up For Ukraine’ rally in advance of a pledging event for world leaders and corporations hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Warsaw on April 9.”


Washington Post: China is Russia’s most powerful weapon for information warfare. “Russian propaganda about the war in Ukraine cratered last month after Russian state news channels were blocked in Europe and restricted globally. But in recent weeks, China has emerged as a potent outlet for Kremlin disinformation, researchers say, portraying Ukraine and NATO as the aggressors and sharing false claims about neo-Nazi control of the Ukrainian government.”

WIRED: An ‘Explosion’ of Anti-Ukraine Disinformation Is Hitting Moldova. “Moldova, a small ex-Soviet nation sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, has been suffering from what researchers describe as ‘an explosion’ of disinformation since war broke out in Ukraine. In a type of smear campaign against Ukrainian refugees, researchers say, real videos that express anti-refugee messages are being artificially amplified across both Facebook and TikTok.”

Slate: Russia’s War on Google and Apple Maps. “In the weeks since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, the Kremlin has received a great deal of attention for blocking Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But less attention has been paid to a years-long information war Russia has been waging on mobile map applications—like Apple Maps and Google Maps. And now that war is coming to a head.”

From Ukrayinska Pravda, and translated from Ukrainian: The occupiers destroyed the archives of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. “The long-standing archive collected by Ukrainians at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was destroyed by Russian occupation forces. This was announced on his Facebook page by the head of the Public Council at the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management (DAZV) Oleksandr Syrota.”


Euronews: Finnish government websites hit by cyberattack during Zelenskyy speech. “Finland’s government says that its websites were targeted in a cyberattack during a speech to parliament by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The official pages of the Finnish foreign and defence ministries were both down briefly on Friday afternoon.”

Lieber Institute, West Point: Ukraine Symposium – The Ukraine Conflict, Smart Phones, And The LOAC Of Takings. “According to at least one report, in the course of their operations Russian forces entered residential complexes in the suburbs of Kyiv, displaced residents from their apartments, held them captive in basements, and seized many of their cell phones and laptops (personal digital devices or PDDs for short) under threat of summary execution. Although these deprivations may pale in comparison to the catalog of other atrocities the Russians are perpetrating—not the least of which are disturbing reports, like those coming out of Bucha, of the torture and murder of civilians—in an age of dependence on digital interconnectivity, they are worth exploring. This post focuses on the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) relevant to these specific takings.”


Tony Blair Institute for Global Change: Communicating With the Russian People: How to Break Through Putin’s Digital Iron Curtain. “In the age of social media, the truth has become the Kremlin’s main enemy. While it is crucial for the West to have a firm and unwavering approach towards sanctions, which are targeting all segments of the population, it is also important to keep communication lines with Russian citizens open in order to expose Russian propaganda and false narratives, particularly with regards to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Western intentions.”

Voice Of America: Neutralizing Disinformation – One of Russia’s Weapons. “The Government of Russia has developed a disinformation and propaganda ecosystem that creates and spreads false narratives in support of the Kremlin’s goals. Any and every event or policy around the globe may be weaponized through lies and distortion.”

The Atlantic: RT America, You Were Very Weird and Bad . “You can still watch Russian-propaganda television if you really want to. RT, the English-language news network funded by the Kremlin and based in Moscow, was dropped from YouTube and American cable in early March, but still appears on an assortment of alternative video-hosting platforms, where reporting on the war is described as a ‘special operation chronicle.’ What you won’t find, though, on any television or social-media site, are the thousands of hours of programming that RT filmed and broadcast over the past 12 years from its production site down the street from the White House. RT America, as this bureau was called, has been all but erased from the internet.”

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