Russia destabilizes the world

For the past decades Russia has created different ways of destabilizing situation in lots of countries around the world. Last year the USA became one of its main targets. Besides interfering in presidential elections, Russia launched an Internet campaign using Facebook’s event-management tool aimed at remotely organizing political protests in the country, The Daily Beast reported last week. An anti-immigrant rally in Idaho in August 2016 was an example of such Russian operation.

Facebook affirmed that it «shut down several promoted events as part of the takedown».

Clint Watts — a former FBI special agent, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a senior fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at The George Washington University — told about Russia’s influence campaign:

«The objective of influence is to create behavior change. The simplest behavior is to have someone disseminate propaganda that Russia created and seeded. The second part of behavior influence is when you can get people to physically do something». He also stressed earlier that «the Russians have used social media-driven information campaigns to discredit the U.S. for years. Facebook and Twitter remain littered with pro-Russian, Western-looking accounts and supporting automated bots designed to undermine the credibility of the U.S. government».

The USA isn`t the only victim of such operations. Russia, in the same way, regularly tries to stir up protests in Ukraine, Canada, Poland, Czech Republic, Moldova and lots of other countries. It is now a widespread practice that Russian special forces recruit foreign journalists and experts all over the world and push through them pro-Kremlin messages not only in the social networks but also in popular mass media.

Earlier this year The New York Times published the results of investigation concerning Russia`s attempts to organize protests in Poland and Czech Republic. According to Czech journalist Ladislav Kasuka, he was offered money to organize protests against NATO and the pro-Western Ukranian government in Prague.

In 2014 Sergei Pravosudov, editor in chief of Russian magazine «Gazprom» and the Director of the Russian Institute for National Energy, wrote about Russian so-called «soft power» in Serbia and Bulgaria. He stressed that «in order to strengthen its position, Russia will actively manipulate the public opinion there under the pretense of humanitarian projects» that usually provoke people to rally.

To consolidate influence in Central Europe and post-Soviet countries, Russian Federation use methods already proved in the war with Ukraine. They include:

  • direct energy blackmail;

  • direct financing of fringe pro-Russian parties by Russian state-owned companies;

  • pseudo-legal assistance to «compatriotes»;

  • creeping federalization aimed at splitting the country on the basis of language or economy;

  • creating an internal opposition to cover terrorist and separatist activities;

  • any point of view but Russian is considered to be Russophobic;

But the most popular and widespread is cyberwarfare. Its tactics differentiate in different countries:

  • hacker attacks;

  • dissemination of disinformation and propaganda;

  • participation of state-sponsored teams in political blogs (Russia’s troll army);

  • internet surveillance;

  • persecution of cyber-dissidents.

These are well-known facts but still people usually have a breezy attitude towards such things and think «it’s neither my headache nor my piece of cake» by the time they are involved in it. So, we should be sober-minded and withstand negative influence. But to fight it we must learn it!

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