Kremlin propaganda: soviet active measures by other means

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Fedchenko, Yevhen
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This article traces the evolution of Russian propaganda and its role in active measures. Active measures were originally conceived during the Soviet era but still remain operative as they were recently deployed during the Russian occupation of Crimea and the war against Ukraine in Donbas. During these events active measures underwent something of a renaissance as there was the dramatic upsurge in propaganda usage and media manipulation. Fake media stories and forgeries have long played an integral part in the active measures that have been conducted by the Kremlin, which then amends its military capacity and diplomacy efforts to cover up the deceit. The manufacture and dissemination of fake news stories is carried out in a centralized and systematic fashion as the fabrications must be coherent and maintain alignment with the Kremlin's policies and talking points. It will be shown that the use of media-related active measures is not a new phenomenon and was widely utilized by the former Soviet Union as a way of actualizing its foreign policy by clandestine means. When examining more than 500 Russian propaganda pieces, which were debunked by the verification project, it becomes evident that the same of falsification and deception patterns that were common to the USSR already in the 1950's, are still present today. The only difference is the parasitic way in which the current Kremlin propaganda has seized on core liberal Western concepts, such as the promotion of freedom of speech, and then used this as a screen to allow it to deliver ‘the other point of view’. Whereas before the Kremlin historically relied on traditional media, such as printed news to distribute its fake news stories, it now makes use of a much wider array of mediums such as the internet and social media.
Russian propaganda, Crimea, war, Donbas, Putin
Fedchenko Yevhen. Kremlin propaganda: soviet active measures by other means / Yevhen Fedchenko // Estonian Journal of Military Studies. - 2016. - Vol. 2. - P. 141-170.