“Cyber-Soldiers of Russia's Propaganda War” Russia is carrying out a propaganda war on the Internet. It employs at least 600 paid trolls, writes the French daily, “Le Figaro”.
SCND July 30, 2014
Russia is carrying out an anti-Ukrainian propaganda war on the Internet. The Russian [Government] Internet Research Agency employs at least 600 full-time staffers [read: trolls], who comment on Ukrainian crises in social media, and on internet sites of [Western] media outlets - writes the influential French Daily ,"Le Figaro”.
In the article entitled "Propaganda 2.0" Elena Morenkova Perrier, a political science professor at the University of Paris 2, comments on the operations of the "Kremlin’s Cyber-Soldiers”, who flooded the "Le Figaro’s" website with comments, after its publication of the article on Russia's responsibility for shooting down the Malaysian passenger plane, on July 22nd.
After its publication of articles concerning Russia’s support for the so-called “separatists” in Eastern Ukraine, the British “Guardian” has also observed a steady stream of disparaging comments by obvious Russian government “Trolls”.
"The Guardian’s" moderators sift roughly through 40 thousand pro-Russian comments every day, rejecting those posted by these trolls" - writes “Le Figaro”
Morenkova Perrier recalls, that in contrast with the Kremlin’s “Communications’ Disaster” in the aftermath of a brief Russian-Georgian war in 2008, this time Russia mobilized its full resources for an all-out internet propaganda offensive.
As the Ukrainian crisis are now gaining momentum, some 600 paid “bloggers” and “commentators” employed by the Russian [Government] Agency for Internet Research are trying to influence public opinion and win adherents of the Russian version of events; doing it by continuous on-line presence on the pages of newspapers, [comments’ sections], and other media outlets, among them foreign - the expert writes.
The Russian independent “Novaya Gazeta” [Rus. “The New Gazette”] has also written about the use of such professional Internet propaganda experts in its article entitled "The Kremlin’s Troll Army."
"Parubiy: Russia’s war against Ukraine and the world"
I[...] The so-called “journalists” from the Russian channels LifeNews, Russia Today and the like are “dual-use weapons,” performing the functions of shaping the “right image” for propaganda purposes while conducting intelligence and subversive work as agents of the special services of the Russian Federation.
Russian military experts and scientists have been working on developing information and information-psychological war for some time and quite thoroughly. In particular, the Russian scientist Andrey Manoilo, graduate of the FSB (Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation) Academy, has explored with exceptional depth the phenomenon of current information warfare in his monograph “National information policy under special conditions.”
Russian authorities have never disputed this claim - emphasizes Perrier, but also notes that not all propaganda campaigns are initiated by the Kremlin directly.
For example, the flood of comments that appeared in response to the "Le Figaro’s" article, have been inspired by the Russian social network “V Kontaktye” [Rus. “In Touch”] and by anti-Maydan activists, who carried out a similar campaign on Twitter.
In addition to this media propaganda war “a parallel cyber-war is being fought between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian hackers”.
Let us recall that the first two large-scale cyber attacks, in which Russia was involved, took place in 2007 and 2008, and were designed to target websites of state institutions in Estonia and Georgia. [SCND: Similar cyber-attacks against Polish government institutions that originated from the territory of the Russian Federation, took place immediately before the April 10, 2010, crash of the Polish government TU-154M jet in Smolensk, Russia. See more here] - Comments Morenkova Perrier.
The French daily also recalls that in March of this year, the pro-Russian hackers blocked nearly 150 Ukrainian websites, as well as websites of NATO and several private American security agencies.
It is not clear to what extent the Russian authorities are engaged in carrying out cyber-attacks […], however, what is quite clear, is that the Kremlin in no way hinders such internet operations [...] The [Russian] government distances itself sufficiently enough to be able to deny its direct involvement in these attacks, and at the same time enjoys the strategic benefits they bring – concludes Morenkova Perrier.
The trip to Smolensk was expected to highlight Russia finally admitting culpability in the massacre, after long having blamed it on the Germans, an atrocity they had tried to conceal for over 70 years.
As for the reception committee, it had different ideas. Putin wasn’t looking forward to such an occasion. Into this poisonous reception brew was President Kaczynski’s well-known public criticism of Moscow and Putin, a habit that has ended the lives of others within Russia – and abroad. A few discouraging Russian requirements – that Kaczynski could not attend in any official capacity – did not halt the Poles. Kaczynski would go anyway on non-official, “personal” business. To Russians, such a distinction would be meaningless, not lessening the possible international excoriation of such an event. A problem ripe for a modern, Russian solution: a tragic, ‘natural’ accident.
2014 Smolensk Crash Investigation Update by Maria Szonert Binienda
Early morning on April 10, 2010, the Polish Governmental Airplane Tu-154M (“Polish Air Force One”) departed from Warsaw, Poland, to Smolensk, Russia, carrying on board the highest level delegation of the Republic of Poland for the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre. The official delegation consisted of the President of Poland, First Lady, all members of the Central Command of the Polish Armed Forces, parliamentary, government and Church officials, and representatives of the families of the Katyn victims. Upon entering the airspace of the Military Airdrome “Severny” in Smolensk, Russia, the Polish pilot made one reconnaissance approach to landing. At the decision altitude, he chose not to land and issued a command to “go around.” Seconds later, the Polish Air Force One crashed. The entire Polish delegation of the highest level perished less than a mile from the Severny Airdrome in Smolensk, Russia. All 96 people on board were killed; there were no survivors ("Smolensk Crash").
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