FROM INFORMATION LAUNDERING TO INFLUENCE ACTIVITIES: RUSSIA’S FOOTPRINTS IN NORDIC-BALTIC COUNTRIES

The report Russia’s Footprint in the Nordic-Baltic Information Environment presents Russia’s activities in the (dis-)information landscape in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden – the Nordic-Baltic region.

It begins with an explanation of how narratives can be understood in the context of strategic communication, followed by a case study focusing on how the Kremlin plans and employs information influence activities. The report also contains an analysis of narratives pushed by pro-Kremlin media and ends with a chapter about what constitutes information laundering and how it impacts information environments in Nordic states.

Information laundering

The report concludes with a deep dive into information laundering operations. Similar to money laundering, false or deceitful information is legitimised through a network of intermediaries that gradually apply a set of techniques in order to distort it and obscure the original source.

The analysis of 570 single actors across 52 representative laundering cases confirmed that laundering is conducted in every NB8 country, with domestic actors enabling the spread of Kremlin influence within the country and across the region.

The study reveals how information laundering actors disseminate ideologically charged narratives, commonly overlapping with extremist ideologies.

Narratives fostered by pro-Kremlin media

The report gives an overview of what the narratives about Nordic-Baltic countries are that the Kremlin is trying to promote internationally and how have they changed. The analysis covers mainstream pro-Kremlin media – Sputnik, RT and Pervyi Kanal – and compares findings in the year 2016 with 2018.

Narratives that were present in both years are as follows:

  • Refugees and migrants as a destabilising factor;
  • The Nord Stream 2 project will not fail;
  • Child welfare issues in the NB8;
  • The idea of a Russian threat is ridiculous;
  • Radical Islam is a destabilising factor;
  • Rise of far-right nationalists;
  • Islamic culture is a destabilising factor;
  • Finland and Russia are good partners;
  • NB8 countries discriminate against minorities;
  • Some NB8 countries glorify Nazi collaborators;
  • May 9 is commemorated around the world;
  • NATO lures Finland and Sweden into joining the Alliance.

 

Source: еuvsdisinfo.eu

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