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Kremlin documents revealed: They describe “Moscow's most important information warfare goal”

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Divide Western societies and “instill fear” – this is the current plan of Russia and its latest version of information warfare against democracy. Journalists from the portal The Insider and the weekly “Der Spiegel” have obtained documents from the Russian foreign intelligence agency (SWZ FR). They show that the Russians are focusing on publishing false information and impersonating radical European and Ukrainian political forces.

During the journalistic investigation, the focus was on a group of employees of the RF Security Service, which operated under the cover of the Peacemaker International Security Center, established in December 2020. The key role in this organization is played by 45-year-old Mikhail Kolesov, who is an agent of both the RF Security Service and the FSB of the Russian Federation (Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation). He was supposed to be involved in servicing spies and also worked in Kabul under the cover of a diplomat.

On May 26, 2022, during a meeting of the Federation Council, agents of the RF SWZ presented their report on the methods of conducting confrontation with the West. This document, like the correspondence between agents, ended up in the hands of two editorial offices: the Latvian portal The Insider and the German weekly “Der Spiegel”.


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“The most important goal of Moscow's information war is to deepen the internal contradictions between the ruling elites in Europe,” wrote The Insider, citing a report by officers of the Russian Security Service. In their opinion, the Kremlin should not rely on the “old” media, but spread its narrative via social media and messengers. They suggested placing alleged appeals from pro-Kiev organizations with new political, economic and social demands on countries supporting the Ukraine.

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Russia's plan: to exploit the Ukrainian refugee issue

Agents also suggested that emotions should be emphasized to “exploit internal contradictions in the West and help divide society,” the leaked document said. They said that “the leitmotif of the campaign in Western countries is to instill the strongest emotion in the human psyche – fear.”

The topic of Ukrainian refugees should be used for this purpose. They recommended creating a fictitious news agency that would publish relevant information along with video and audio materials, later distributed in the “new media”.

Another method was to organize mass protests in EU countries. According to The Insider, their cost was estimated at 100 euros per person, and the demonstrations should not exceed 100 participants. Both portals revealed that in 2023, a group of Russians hired by the Russian secret services constantly appeared at protests in Paris, Brussels, Madrid and The Hague. Their goal was to show that anti-Ukrainian sentiment is a mass phenomenon in Europe.

As part of the investigation, The Insider recalled the disinformation operation Doppelganger, which was also written about by the #FakeHunter website. It consisted of, among other things, publishing fake covers and articles of reputable press titles on the Internet.

The Insider and Der Spiegel have questioned the effectiveness of Russian intelligence efforts. In the case of Doppelganger, who was responsible for disinformation about refugees in GermanyTwitter (now X) had a reach of one and a half million daily users. “For the audiences of really big platforms like YouTube or TikTok, such reach is negligible and cannot have a significant political impact,” The Insider claims.


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