US media is reporting that Russian state-owned Spanish-language media outlets have launched a “tidal wave” of Kremlin propaganda on Ukraine and are outperforming their US counterparts by 3 to 1. The report suggests that Russia is winning the information war on Ukraine with Spanish speakers. According to a report in Foreign Policy:
February 9, 2022 Russia’s state-owned media organizations unleashed a tidal wave of disinformation at Spanish-language speakers in January, according to analysis provided to Foreign Policy, in an effort that researchers believe is aimed at muddying support among Hispanics in the Western Hemisphere for Ukraine. According to the Washington-based company Omelas, which put together an artificial intelligence-enabled dashboard to track Russian propaganda, Russian Spanish-language outlets—generously doling out Kremlin propaganda on Ukraine—outperformed their U.S. counterparts on audience engagement by a ratio of more than 3 to 1 in the last two weeks of January. “They want to disrupt [and] politically influence the discourse in any or all of these countries to make it more difficult for the people to understand what is actually happening,” said Andrew Gonzalez, a program manager at Omelas who conducted the study. “On Ukraine, if they’re able to discombobulate the people from understanding what’s going on, it makes it much harder for the government to generate support for some type of retaliation or countermeasure.”
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In November, the Global Influence Operations Report reported that RT en Español, the Spanish-language channel of Russian broadcaster RT, is the second most-watched Spanish-language news channel on YouTube. The Global Influence Operations Report has extensively covered Russia’s disinformation war over Ukraine, including:
- Russian claims that the West, NATO, and the US are threatening Russia
- Russia’s key narratives on Ukraine
- Russian claims accusing Ukraine of plotting genocide against ethnic Russians