Our Analytical Products

Guide to Kremlin’s disinformation & influence operations in Europe

In this document, you will find a convenient summary of publications by our Kremlin Watch Program. Designed for ease of use, this report will provide what we call a “Summary of what every policy-maker should know“, however, it is a useful tool for anyone interested in the topic of Kremlin’s disinformation and influence in Europe.


POLICY PAPERS – WHAT SHOULD BE DONE

Jakub Janda thinkpiece for Newsweek.

This paper aims to contribute to the highly salient debate on fake news and hate speech by analysing possible ways of online platforms’ regulation.

We present our complex strategy „50 Measures to Oust Kremlin Hostile Disinformation Influence out of Europe„. This paper has been consulted with several dozens of state and non-state diplomatic, academic, security and intelligence professionals.

In January 2016, news media reported that a German girl of Russian origin had allegedly been raped by several migrants in Berlin. Although the story was disproved soon, it eventually yielded notable reactions, among them a Russian immigrants’ protest march to the German Chancellery and accusations by Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. What had happened? This event clearly shows the risks posed to European countries by Russia’s disinformation campaigns – especially in times of emerging right-wing populist parties throughout the European Union. Therefore critical lessons for national strategic communications have to be drawn.

European Values Think-Tank’s Jakub Janda, Head of the Kremlin Watch Programme, put together a cohesive recommendation for the Czech Strategy against Systematic Disinformation Campaigns of Foreign Powers. This strategy proposal was developed under umbrella of Audit of National Security, organized by Interior Ministry of the Czech Republic. European Values Think-Tank served as a consultant for chapter „Influence of Foreign Powers“. It was extensively consulted with Czech security forces & agencies.

The West barely knows how to tailor its counter-policies, because most of the analytical work has not yet been started at the needed scale. Until now, most Western leaders didn’t care, and that has to change now. Here we argue for six pratical steps which should be done now.

The Kremlin and its allies have started to harvest the fruits of the seeds they have been planting for years. Now, there are steps we call to be made to push it back.

The aggressive actions of the Kremlin are unprecedented in the modern era. Invasion of neighbouring countries, massive bombings and killings of civilians, and the first annexation of a foreign land by force in Europe since World War II, constant violations of other states’ borders, kidnapping foreign citizens, harassment of foreign diplomats, or massive cyber attacks are all in Russia’s current regime toolkit. EU HRVP Federica Mogherini should start taking Russian disinformation seriously, we argued in a call we launched with 150+ European security experts


ANALYTICAL PRODUCTS ON DISINFORMATION

European Values Think Tank presents a new Kremlin Watch Report on Kremlin influence in the 2018 Czech presidential elections.

European Values Think-Tank presents a new Kremlin Watch Report,  “The Kremlin’s Platform for ‘Useful Idiots’ in the West: An Overview of RT’s Editorial Strategy and Evidence of Impact”, authored by Monika Richter, Kremlin Watch Analyst. The Report is accompanied with an appendix document, the RT Guest List.

A new Kremlin Watch Report by Kateryna Kruk, our Special Fellow, which analyses different ways in which Ukraine tried to combat Russian information attacks, covering the period from the annexation of Crimea until the end of 2017.

This brief Report aims to enumerate the tools that are nowadays used for hostile electoral interference and how they can be countered. It consists of 35 measures in 15 steps for enhancing the resilience of the democratic electoral process.

The Kremlin Watch Team monitors on weekly basis scientific publications in the field of disinformation and hostile Russian influence. The following reader brings you the most interesting analyses in this area, which we read in the year 2017. The reader can serve as a tool for acquiring a broader view on the subject, though of course, it is not complete or exhaustive.

The Kremlin Watch Team monitors on weekly basis scientific publications in the field of disinformation and hostile Russian influence. The following reader brings you the most interesting analyses in this area, which we read in the year 2016. The reader can serve as a tool for acquiring a broader view on the subject, though of course, it is not complete or exhaustive.

As political and expert community struggles to use shared typology on this matter, analysts speak about this phenomenon in a similar way, but there are dozens of interpretations of what each term means and how it is perceived. That causes inaction and exhausting need for never-ending explanations of what means what. Therefore, we are summing up already existing definitions and frameworks.

European Values Think-Tank presents a new Kremlin Watch Report, authored by Ilyas Sharibzhanov, Analyst of the Kremlin Watch Programme. Mass media in Russia have changed significantly since the days of President Yeltsin and the contrast with the free and independent media in Russia of just 20 years ago has been ever so evident for the past three years, with Russia’s media turning from a market into a state-organized system of propaganda machine.


EMPIRICAL RESEARCH ON THE EUROPEAN SITUATION

How do the EU28 perceive and react to the threat of hostile influence and disinformation operations by the Russian Federation and its proxies?

Over the last year, the Czech Republic has undergone a major policy shift on the topic of Russian disinformation. Many questions have been raised on how it has happened and what practically it means. This paper aims to bring a simplified overview of what has happened in this particular field in the Czech context since 2014.

European Values Think-Tank presents a comprehensive review of shifts in strategic & policy documents of EU28 following Russian aggression against Ukraine. The purpose of this review is to map out the EU member states’ positions on Russia based on the latest national strategies, reports and official statements on foreign and security policy.

At this article for the Atlantic Councul, we are reviewing the EEAS East STRATCOM databse of disinformation and we take out the lessons learnt from 2016.

This overview covers the events in 2015, based on the Annual Report of the Latvian Security Police (DP) , Annual Review of the Estonian Internal Security Service (KAPO) , and the National Security Threat Assessment of the Lithuanian State Security Department (VSD) . All three reports identify the activity of the Russian government, military, and intelligence services as the primary threat to security and stability in the region.

This research looks into how is the German Chancellor portrayed in Central European disinformation outlets, which tend to put the Krelin narratives onto her.

This paper sheds light on organisations operating in Europe that are funded by the Russian government, whether officially or unofficially. These include government-organised non-governmental organisations (GONGOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and think tanks.

Czech top two analytical institutions present a data-based study on how Russian propaganda media portray European leaders.

Together with Slovak institute CEPI, we published a study „ The most common myths and lies about Ukrainian crisis.“ The study was carried out by seven Czech and Slovak experts such as Lenka Víchová, David Svoboda, Karel Svoboda, Josef Pazderka, Ondřej Soukup and Jaroslav Naď.

We released a expertise analysing the impact of economic sanctions of the EU against the Russian Federation. Publication from co-workers of Analytical team, Veronika Víchová and Vlaďka Vojtíšková, also looks at the impact of sanctions, related to the Ukrainian crisis, on the Czech Republic.


EMPIRICAL RESEARCH ON THE CENTRAL EUROPEAN SITUATION

European Values, Political Capital and DoW present a study “Does Russia interfere in Czech, Austrian and Hungarian elections?”. In it, we come to the conclusion, that Czech Republic is expected to be the most intense battleground for Russian meddling efforts, especially during the presidential election.

This memo provides a comprehensive overview of Russian influence activities, prevailing countermeasures, and recommended next steps for external allied assessments.

The KII is to measure the capacity of the RF’s Government to have impact on the information space processes in other countries. The KII is a figure rated for each country separately. The higher the figure, the more opportunities the Kremlin has to influence the information processes in the country.

In a group of Central European think-tanks, we publish regular analysis of disinformation trends on bi-weekly basis.

Our team joined a consortium of Central European think-tanks organized by the Political Capital Institute on research into Kremlin connections into local far-right and paramilitary groups.

Vulnerability Index of Central European countries was developed to understand the on-going dynamics in Central Europe and attitudes towards the United States, Russia, the European Union and NATO, and to provide a comparative overview of what measures need to be implemented (and in which country) in order to make us more secure.

The key targets of the Kremlin’s divide et impera strategy in Central Europe have been the EU and NATO, as well as the United States. At the same time, the mass influx of disinformation often serves Russia directly, presenting it in a positive light at the local level, sometimes even depicting it in the role of the only rational actor, unrecognized or misunderstood peacemaker and saviour.

The hybrid warfare that Russia has been waging against Europe and the West, especially since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis is a fight for people’s minds and souls. Russia does not only try to undermine trust in Europe and its institutions among its citizens, but it also aims to offer an alternative. We present this joint analytical paper by Political Capital with contributions by Jakub Janda and Ondřej Kundra, investigative journalist and Head of Political Desk at Czech Weekly Respekt.


EMPIRICAL RESEARCH ON THE CZECH SITUATION

New Kremlin Watch Report looks into the accusations of Czech involvement in the case of Skripal’s poisoning, which were fueled by Czech president Zeman’s statements. The report concludes that there is no reason to think that the Czech Republic is involved in Skripal’s poisoning by creating or handling the Novichok. and that the Czech president again proved that he will serve the interests of Kremlin and go against the official Czech position.

Summary of activities of Czech president Miloš Zeman as Kremlin’s Trojan horse. These are mainly spreading Kremlin narratives on the international scene, spreading Kremlin narratives in the Czech Republic, his presence in the Russian information space in order to support Putin’s regime, his support of confederates, extremists and pro-Kremlin dis-informers in the Czech Republic and his attempts to sabotage the Czech government’s policy towards Russian Federation

The following Kremlin Watch Report deals with the activities of the Czech disinformation community. Specifically, it provides an overview of the key systematic findings about Czech disinformation outlets based on investigations into the topic carried out by the Kremlin Watch Program since November 2015. Therefore, it is not an in-depth research into individual cases, nor an overview of the whole disinformation scene, which includes non-governmental organisations, informal groups on social media, politicians and other entities. It is rather a brief excursion into the topic with some examples of the most powerful and active disinformation outlets and their practice. It will mostly serve to those exploring the topic, and it will also provide a general overview to all who are not yet aware how the Czech local disinformation scene works. Given the fact that the report deals with an issue that is dynamic and volatile, general trends that are identified in this report might slowly change depending on the receptivity of the Czech public to disinformation.

This is a brief report on the state of play of the Kremlin’s hostile influence in the Czech Republic as of July 2017, and on what is being done to counter it. New report by Kremlin Watch analysts Jakub Janda and Veronika Víchová for the The Warsaw Institute Review.

Our team joined a consortium of Central European think-tanks organized by the Political Capital Institute on research into Kremlin connections into local far-right and paramilitary groups.

In this paper Jakub Janda and Ondřej Kundra have written on the topic of the current state of influence of the Russian Federation in the Czech Republic. The authors identify primary interests of the Russian Federation in the Czech Republic, give examples of these related operations and provide an analytical structure to describe the influence of foreign powers.

The European Values Think-Tank presents a representative survey among residents of the Czech Republic conducted by the STEM agency. The level of trust towards disinformation spread by alternative media was tested. Based on this data, Disinformation Index was created. The project was done together with Slovak Atlantic Commission within framework of “GLOBSEC Trends”.