“I don’t know if these people are acting on orders from Russia, but they are clearly what Lenin called ‘useful idiots,’” said Mika Pettersson, the editor of Finland’s national news agency and an organizer of the editors’ open letter. “They are playing into Putin’s pocket. Nationalist movements in Finland and other European countries want to destabilize the European Union and NATO, and this goes straight into Putin’s narrative.”

Higgins, Andrew.  “Effort to Expose Russia’s ‘Troll Army’ Draws Vicious Retaliation.”  The New York Times, May 30, 2016.

Imagine a person described as follows and excessive in each dimension:

fearful and suspicious
lacking in empathy
magical in thinking
possessed of fascist tendencies

Clone that person, place the clones in power, and call the assembly a state: how would such a state choose to “play” with others — or mess with them?

Consider the weapons —

ad hominem attack
anti-Semitic cant
assumptive “everyone knows” arguments
bold accusation lacking proof
deflection of attention (away from the speaker)
deflection of criticism (of the speaker’s thought)
false presentation (political theater)
sloganeering / parroting
questionable basis

“Bold Accusation Lacking Proof” – Reflection in the Mirror

On BackChannels, “Paranoid Delusional Narcissistic Reflection of Motivation“: what the aggressor has in mind for the victim he projects to the victim.

It plays this way (excerpted from the above cited article by Higgins):

Mr. Backman, who also represents the Donetsk People’s Republic, the breakaway state set up with Russian support in eastern Ukraine, denied targeting Ms. Aro as part of any “information war.” Rather, he insisted that Russia was itself the victim of a campaign of disinformation and distortion conducted by the West.

BackChannels first approached the topic of Russian disinformation through a compilation  in “Russia’s Disinformation History — Elements” (May 1, 2016).

Highly recommended reading: Pacepa, Ion Mihai and Rychlak, Ronald J.  Disinformation.  Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2013.

From the Soviet model for casting aspersions, a note from the Holocaust Encyclopedia on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Related: an excerpt from Walter Laqueur in the virtual pages of this blog: “Excerpt – 1920s – The Spread of Hate – Russia -> Germany | An Excerpt from Laqueur”.

From Ukraine: http://www.russialies.com/russias-top-220-lies-international-edition/

Also in The New York Times (published two days ago):

STOCKHOLM — With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.

The claims were alarming: If Sweden, a non-NATO member, signed the deal, the alliance would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil; NATO could attack Russia from Sweden without government approval; NATO soldiers, immune from prosecution, could rape Swedish women without fear of criminal charges.

They were all false . . . .

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/29/world/europe/russia-sweden-disinformation.html – 8/29/2016

Miscellaneous Fast Links Related to Russian Disinformation

https://news.vice.com/article/european-union-prepares-myth-busters-team-to-combat-russian-disinformation – 4/15/2015

http://warontherocks.com/2016/03/russian-hybrid-warfare-and-other-dark-arts/ – 3/11/2016

http://www.jamestown.org/single/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=42745#.V8WDVdQrJlZ – 8/18/2014

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/vladimir-putin-russia-news-media_us_56215944e4b0bce34700b1df – 10/24/2015

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/04/how-the-media-became-putins-most-powerful-weapon/391062/ – 4/21/2015

http://hungarianspectrum.org/2016/08/27/russian-disinformation-in-the-pro-government-hungarian-media/ – 8/27/2016

http://www.stratcomcoe.org/next-phase-russian-information-warfare-keir-giles – (PDF) May 2016.

http://www.fiia.fi/en/publication/588/fog_of_falsehood/ – 5/10/2016:

This report analyses Russian propaganda and disinformation – here collectively called strategic deception – concerning the conflict in Ukraine. The strategic deception is not exclusively a Russian term, but it does capture what we think is an essential feature of the current Russian foreign and security policy. It is driven by attempts to put the adversary into a defensive posture and off balance, and thus, to create conditions for surprise.

The methods utilized in contemporary Russian strategic deception are partly the same that were already used in Soviet propaganda. But where Soviet propaganda was anchored in ideological truth claims, the contemporary Russian variant can be compared to a kaleidoscope: a light piercing through it is instantly transformed into multiple versions of reality.

http://understandrussia.com/russian-soul/ – as found.

The rise of Novorossya is the most significant political development since the collapse of the USSR. It is a new politics, one that combines nationalism and socialism into a Christian, humane and just political order that has not been seen before. That it rises on the ashes of “independent Ukraine” and on Orthodox territory is no accident.


Posted to YouTube by statewithinastate2, April 29, 2015. Lecturer: Fr. Matthew Raphael Johnson, Ph.D.  Related pages:


After the talk, data from the related walk — here’s a record of Russian or Syrian air power associated with the bombing of Syrian hospitals:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/22/three-syrian-hospitals-bombed-since-russian-airstrikes-began-doctors-say – 10/22/2015

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/31/wave-of-russian-air-strikes-on-syrian-hospitals-leaves-60-dead/ – 5/31/2016

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-civil-war-assad-russia-air-strikes-deaths-bombing-hospitals-idlib-maternity-clinic-babies-a7163691.html – 7/30/2016

https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2016/03/syrian-and-russian-forces-targeting-hospitals-as-a-strategy-of-war/ – 3/3/2016

Posted to YouTube by DailyMilitary.News, Feb. 16, 2016.


The characteristics of Russian propaganda are: generating very strong emotions, aggression, and a dramatic departure from reality. Russian television stations, with very few exceptions, create a more and more complicated and unpredictable reality, ‘generate fears, bringing people to the brink of chaos and panic’. Once created, the huge stress damages the mechanism of rational thinking, people are herded into a crowd, where archaic instincts take over, triggered by the simplest of emotions’.[1]

In Russia, whoever is not with the Kremlin, whoever criticizes Putin, or even doubts the righteousness of his policies, is considered a traitor and an enemy. Against the very few who dare express minimal reservations towards official policy, a movement formed recently, with the blessing of power, the Anti-Maidan movement, with the express objective to combat any position, to wipe out the smallest trace of doubt towards Putin’s wisdom. Anti-Maidan fights against the ‘5th column’, the enemy within.[2]

Gosu, Armand and Octavian Manea.  “The Russian Psychological Warfare.”  Black Sea in Access Denial Age, September 11, 2015.