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Anatomy of the Russian disinformation campaign: understanding the complexity of a covert network as part of state policy and a military tool against Europe

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  1. Background of EU-Russia relations
    1. A general portrait of the Russian Federation
    2. The current legal basis for EU-Russia relationship
    3. Trade
    4. Energy asymmetrical interdependence
  2. Post-Soviet great power ambitions of Russia
    1. The Grand Strategy
    2. Compatriots abroad and the Russian World
    3. Revised military doctrine
    4. Hybrid warfare
  3. Systems of organized persuasion
    1. Propaganda
    2. Strategic communications
    3. Disinformation
    4. The Russian Federation's aspect of disinformation
    5. Misleading the enemy
    6. Soviet terminology in the Ukraine crisis
    7. Russia's government role in disinformation during the Ukrainian conflict
  4. The Russian media space
    1. Reporting in Kremlin-controlled mass media
    2. Pro-government bias in the news
    3. Dispersion of metanarratives during the Ukraine crisis through Russian media
    4. The RT channel
    5. RT's budget
    6. The Network
    7. RT's Mission
    8. Sputnik and co
    9. Other media
  5. Social media
    1. Info-war in Social Media
    2. A parallel universe of trolls
    3. The aggressive operations of social media
  6. EU response

About two decades ago, it was impossible to imagine that foreign disinformation could actually affect the policy decision making or disturb social cohesion and solidarity in European countries. Back then, media outlets such as television, radio stations and newspapers enjoyed munificent funding and exercised their monopolistic power over global audience. But gradually, Western journalism started being seriously under-resourced. This development, together with the multiplication of information blocked the expanding global reach of Western mass media. The diversity of information began confusing the audience which in most cases failed to judge the accuracy of the incoming messages. The Kremlin took advantage of this state of weakness having found the chance to promote its territorial and geopolitical objectives to the detriment of European countries. It did so by investing heavily on the spread of misleading information, fake news and the production of alternative stories. Disinformation has become an integral and essential part of the Russian doctrine of military deception which has evolved with time.

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