: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine to be a hot topic at NATO Parliamentary Assembly Spring Session in Budapest

The  delegates of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Spring Session in Budapest on 15-18 May 2015 to consider reports dedicated to the problem of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, hybrid warfare and countering propaganda attacks  by the Russian Federation against the Euro-Atlantic community.

The draft Report by Witold WASZCZYKOWSKI (Poland), The battle for hearts and minds: countering propaganda attacks against the Euro-Atlantic community describes Russian information campaign against Ukraine and West:

“The information campaign accompanying – and, in fact, preceding the aggression against Ukraine is not merely catering for the military effort, but rather the other way around.”

“Russia’s information machine appears to haveedge due to its professionalism, lack of scruples and ethical boundaries, as well as its unified message and narrative.”

The report also describes the methods of Russian information warfare in Crimea:

“According to the analysis of the NATO Stratcom Centre of Excellence, Russia is not merely trying to make sure its voice is heard in the former Soviet space and beyond, but it has mainstreamed the informational dimension in its strategic thinking as well as diplomatic and military activities. For instance, the so-called green men, or Russian Special Forces, in Crimea and Donbas were not merely performing traditional military functions, they were also engaged communication efforts; they were cooperating with Russian media representatives to help them to obtain footage that corroborated Russia’s version of the events in Ukraine.”

“In the context of the conflict with Ukraine, pro-government Russian ‘historians’ uncovered evidence that Crimea has long been historically a part of Russia despite the fact that it only became part of the Russian empire in the late 18th century, about a century later than Kyiv, and that Russians became the dominant ethnic group in the peninsula only after the deportation of Crimean Tatars in the wake of the World War II. “

It is mentioned about double standards of Russia’s politics:

“It is also symptomatic that Putin’s supporters both inside and outside of Russia do not seem to see a contradiction between Moscow’s anti-Nazi rhetoric in Ukraine and the fact that the Kremlin is friendly with a number of far-right movements in Europe”

There is also the information how the Russia’s propaganda machine works:

“Russia’s information machine, on a number of occasions, has blatantly falsified evidence and reported outright lies. The most notorious case of this was the completely fabricated report by Russia’s Channel One about a 3-year-old boy who had been tortured and crucified by Ukrainian soldiers in a public square in Slovyansk, a report that was allegedly supported by eyewitness accounts. The invented ‘doctor’s’ bogus Facebook message was quoted as the evidence of Ukrainian nationalists’ atrocities in Odessa. On the day of the presidential election in Ukraine, Russian mainstream media reported that the leader of Right Sector was leading the polls and displayed – a hacked – website of the Ukrainian election commission as evidence for the story. In reality, the leader of the Right Sector received 0.7% of the votes. “

“Russian media also frequently use photographs or videos from the wars in Syria, Kosovo and Chechnya, pretending that they were taken in Eastern Ukraine. A long queue on the Ukrainian-Polish border was presented as a queue of Ukrainian refugees escaping to Russia. Unabashed use of such methods has even caused some RT TV journalists to resign in protest.”

“Russian mainstream media is also willing to cover up contemptible acts that clearly violate international law, such as pro-Russian separatists forcing imprisoned Ukrainian soldiers to march through Donetsk while facing psychological and physical abuse from the mob.”

Another draft Report by Julio MIRANDA CALHA (Portugal) HYBRID WARFARE: NATO’S NEW STRATEGIC CHALLENGE? is about how Russia provids hybrid warfare by using non-military, political, informational, and economical and manipulation means together with military means.

“Russia’s successful seizure of territory and continued disruption of Ukrainian civil order has prompted many to suggest that its use of hybrid tactics represents a new, highly effective form of warfare. Russia has employed and co-ordinated a wide range of tactics to achieve its objectives: from political and economic coercion, cyber-attacks, disinformation and propaganda, to covert and overt military action. “

“While Russia certainly used soft probing to seek its objective of bringing Ukraine back into its sphere of influence, it has clearly failed to do so as Kyiv is now more firmly convinced of closer integration with the Euro-Atlantic community than ever. “


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