There is a new hope for internet users: The troops of elves countering the internet trolls have proliferated in yet another country – the regional leader in countering malicious foreign influences: the Czech Republic.
During the EP election campaign, Political Capital and its three partners found out that both official Kremlin-backed portals (RT and Sputnik) and local pro-Kremlin media supported the campaigns of Eurosceptic parties by only describing their policy recommendations positively and exaggerating their chances in the EP elections1. Eurosceptic groups failed to achieve any kind of breakthrough on the election day, and will be unable to exert a strong influence on a European level. Still, pro-Kremlin portals do…
The Kremlin has used massive disinformation efforts, among others, to interfere in democratic processes across the West in the past few years. Consequently, the 2019 EP elections were always treated as potential targets for Russia, which was acknowledged by European institutions well in advance.
After the presidential election in March 2019, won by the pro-European candidate Zuzana Čaputová, the designated archenemy of pro-Russian and conspiratorial media, the European elections became the main issue in public and political discourses.
Political Capital and its research partners (Jonas Syrovatka, Adam Lelonek, Grigorij Meseznikov) explored the narratives the Kremlin used to influence public opinion in Europe and, in particular, the Visegrád Group since January 1, 2019.
Given the aforementioned factors, it is crucial to ask how much Polish society knows about information security and information threats, which is an important task for journalists, administrative staff, and academia. The messages delivered by Russian propaganda have been consistent over the decades.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has returned from his three-day visit to the USA. Given the similarities between the Czech and American leaders, the negotiations went, allegedly, better than well. As Babiš is often nicknamed “the Czech Trump”, it is actually surprising that the visit did not happen sooner.
While the media focuse on the Kremlin’s “hybrid warfare” against the Western democracies or the Chinese social credit system controlling people’s everyday life through mass-surveillance, the illiberal state of Viktor Orbán is also doing its fair share to exercise information control via new digital powers.
We are entering a new era of influence operations in the cyber space. As global players such as Twitter and Google are joining the fight against the spread of hostile propaganda, Kremlin friendly trolls have no trouble adjusting to the new cyber rules and still keeping their activities one step ahead.