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Pro-Russian Media Targets Annual NATO Exercises/Ukraine

May 27th, 2021 16:27

The Atlantic Council’s DFR­Lab is report­ing that pro-Krem­lin media out­lets are using the tense sit­u­a­tion at the Russ­ian-Ukrain­ian bor­der to spread nar­ra­tives tar­get­ing the annu­al NATO exer­cis­es along with Ukraine. Accord­ing to the DFR­Lab report:

May 18, 2021 Amid the tense sit­u­a­tion at the Russ­ian-Ukrain­ian bor­der, pro-Krem­lin media spread sto­ries claim­ing that Defend­er Europe 21, an annu­al NATO mil­i­tary exer­cise, will serve as a pre­text for NATO troop deploy­ment near Crimea.  Accord­ing to these var­i­ous sto­ries and social media posts, Defend­er Europe 21 will be used as an excuse to amass NATO troops on the bor­der with Crimea and afford NATO allies the oppor­tu­ni­ty to prac­tice with Ukraine for a war with Rus­sia. To send this mes­sage, three over­ar­ch­ing sub-nar­ra­tives were used. One claimed that Kyiv and NATO are prepar­ing to take back Crimea; a sec­ond claimed that the Krem­lin is extend­ing its warn­ing signs not to “wake up the Russ­ian bear”; and a third called Ukraine a free train­ing ground for NATO troops. These nar­ra­tives serve as an effec­tive tool for domes­tic fear­mon­ger­ing tar­get­ing two of Russia’s main ene­mies simul­ta­ne­ous­ly — Ukraine and NATO.

Read the rest here.

In April, we report­ed that Russia’s build-up of mil­i­tary forces along the Ukrain­ian bor­der was accom­pa­nied by the expect­ed and inten­si­fied dis­in­for­ma­tion efforts.

For more GIOR report­ing on Russia’s dis­in­for­ma­tion efforts, go here.