The Institute of Modern Russia IMR is a nonprofit nonpartisan. public policy organization a think tank based in New York IMR s. mission is to foster democratic and economic development in Russia. through research advocacy public events and grant making We. are committed to strengthening respect for human rights the rule. of law and civil society in Russia Our goal is to promote a principles. based approach to US Russia relations and Russia s integration into. the community of democracies, The Interpreter is a daily online journal dedicated primarily to. translating media from the Russian press and blogosphere into. English and reporting on events inside Russia and in countries. directly impacted by Russia s foreign policy, Conceived as a kind of Inopressa in reverse The Interpreter aspires. to dismantle the language barrier that separates journalists Russia. analysts policymakers diplomats and interested laymen in the. English speaking world from the debates scandals intrigues and. political developments taking place in the Russian Federation. Introductions 4, Executive Summary 6, Background 8. The Kremlin Tool Kit 14, The Weaponization of Information 14. The Weaponization of Culture and Ideas 18, The Weaponization of Money 22. The New Non Linear Internationale 24, Ukraine and the Advent of Non Linear War 29. Responses to 21st Century Challenges 34, Defining Western Weak Spots 34. Best Practices 38, Recommendations 40, For Weaponization of Information 40. For Weaponization of Money 42, For Weaponization of Ideas 42. Introductions, I am a journalist Like most people in my profes. sion and indeed most who value liberal democ, racy I consider freedom of speech and freedom. sian Orthodox Church and compatriot organiza, tions abroad as elements of a belligerent foreign. policy that aims to subvert other countries And, of information to be sacred More debate more things get even more complex when we come to. polyphony will eventually lead to new ideas and the idea of financial interdependence The global. generate progress The story of the 20th century ization of markets the theory goes will lead to. was also the story of the battle against censor the sublimation of conflict into peaceful com. ship But what happens when a powerful actor merce But rather than seeing globalization as a. systematically abuses freedom of information to chance for all to rise together the Kremlin sees. spread disinformation Uses freedom of speech it as a mechanism for enabling aggression and an. in such a way as to subvert the very possibility of opportunity to divide and rule. a debate And does so not merely inside a coun, try as part of vicious election campaigns but as The challenges the Kremlin is posing are dis. part of a transnational military campaign Since tinctly 21st century ones Feeling itself relatively. at least 2008 Kremlin military and intelligence weak the Kremlin has systematically learnt to. thinkers have been talking about information not use the principles of liberal democracies against. in the familiar terms of persuasion public them in what we call here the weaponization of. diplomacy or even propaganda but in wea information culture and money vital parts of. ponized terms as a tool to confuse blackmail the Kremlin s concept of non linear war The. demoralize subvert and paralyze danger is that these methods will be copied by. other countries or strong malevolent non state, Like freedom of information free dialogue be actors New ideas and tools are needed to deal. tween cultures is key to the liberal vision of glo with this Such is the purpose of this paper. balization The more cultural exchange we have, the more harmony we will have But what should. we do when the Kremlin begins to use the Rus Peter Pomerantsev. O ne of the stranger aspects of 21st century, geopolitics has been the West s denial that. it has an adversary or enemy in Vladimir Putin, of the US Russian reset in 2009 Let me tell. you that no one wishes the re election of Barack, Obama as US president as I do the placeholder. Whether out of wishful thinking naivet or president Dmitry Medvedev told the Financial. cynicism a useful myth was cultivated over the Times as recently as 2011 today Prime Minister. last fourteen years namely that the United States Medvedev wonders if Obama suffers from an. and Europe had an honest partner or ally in the aberration in the brain. Kremlin no matter how often the latter behaved, as if the opposite were true This myth blanket If the ongoing catastrophe in Syria and the. ed everything from counterterrorism to nuclear Edward Snowden affair weakened the myth that. de proliferation to energy security to global fi Russia desired true partnership or alliance with. nance And in spite of rather naked periods of dis the West then Putin s annexation of Crimea and. ruption the pro democracy color revolutions his invasion of eastern Ukraine destroyed it Now. in Europe and the Caucasus in 2004 2005 the the United States and Europe have been forced. gas wars with Ukraine in 2005 2006 the Rus to face the reality of a revanchist and militari. sian Georgian War in 2008 the myth endured ly revitalized Russia with imperial ambitions. and was actually expanded upon with the advent International treaties that were meant to govern. the post Cold War order have been torn up Land The wisdom of Orwell must be combined with. that was not so long ago the cynosure of the the savvy of Don Draper. worst atrocities of modernity has once again be, come an active war zone above which commer Russia combines Soviet era whataboutism and. cial airliners filled with hundreds of foreign born Chekist active measures with a wised up post. innocents are blown out of the sky with impunity modern smirk that says that everything is a sham. A former KGB lieutenant colonel rumored to be Where the Soviets once co opted and repurposed. the wealthiest man in Europe stands an excellent concepts such as democracy human rights. chance of outstripping Josef Stalin s tenure in and sovereignty to mask their opposites the. power and now speaks openly of invading five Putinists use them playfully to suggest that not. separate NATO countries As if to demonstrate even the West really believes in them Gitmo. the seriousness of his threat he dispatches fighter Iraq Ferguson BP Jobbik Schr der all liberal. jets and long range nuclear bombers into their ism is cant and anyone can be bought. airspaces on a near weekly basis, A mafia state as conceived by an advertising. Putin is many things but he is no fool The executive is arguably more dangerous than a. inviolability of NATO s Article V is now being communist superpower because ideology is no. debated or questioned in major NATO capitals longer the wardrobe of politics but rather an. with the underlying assumption being that one interchangeable and contradictory set of acces. day this supposedly sacred covenant might be sories Let your words speak not through their. torn up at the pleasure of an unpredictable and meanings wrote Czeslaw Milosz in his poem. inscrutable authoritarian leader Meanwhile Child of Europe But through them against. those same capitals having queasily acceded to whom they are used. sanctions against Russian state institutions and, officials over Crimea and the Donbas are now How does one fight a system that embraces. signaling their desire to help the Russian presi Tupac and Instagram but compares Obama to a. dent save himself from further misadventures so monkey and deems the Internet a CIA invention. as to return to business as usual as quickly as That censors online information but provides. possible Where Lenin once spoke of capitalists a happy platform to the founder of WikiLeaks. selling him the rope by which he d hang them a self styled purveyor of total transparency. Putin sees them happily fastening the noose That purports to disdain corporate greed and cel. around their own necks ebrates Occupy Wall Street while presiding over. an economy as corrupt as Nigeria s That casts, This paper has one aim to help those in gov an Anschluss of a neighboring country using. ernment civil society and journalism assess the the grammar of both blood and soil nationalism. nature of a powerful adversary in anticipation of and anti fascism This is why American social. future conflicts with him There is no better place reactionaries Australian anarchists British. to start than in understanding how Putin seeks to anti imperialists and Hungarian neo Nazis all. win friends and influence people worldwide but find so much to favor in the application of Pu. most especially in the West tinism at home and abroad Putinism is whatev. er they want it to be, Russia has hybridized not only its actual warfare. but also its informational warfare Much of the What follows is an overview of the challenges. epistemology democratic nations thought they this system presents to the West and a set of. had permanently retired after the Cold War modest recommendations for how best to con. needs to be re learned and adapted to even clev front them. erer forms of propaganda and disinformation Michael Weiss. Executive Summary, The Kremlin Tool Kit, The Kremlin exploits the idea of freedom of The West s acquiescence to sheltering corrupt Rus. information to inject disinformation into soci sian money demoralizes the Russian opposition. ety The effect is not to persuade as in classic while making the West more dependent on the. public diplomacy or earn credibility but to sow Kremlin. confusion via conspiracy theories and proliferate The Kremlin is helping foster an anti Western. falsehoods authoritarian Internationale that is becoming ever. The Kremlin is increasing its information war more popular in Central Europe and throughout. budget RT which includes multilingual rolling the world. news a wire service and radio channels has an The weaponization of information culture and money. estimated budget of over 300 million set to in is a vital part of the Kremlin s hybrid or non lin. crease by 41 to include German and French ear war which combines the above elements with. language channels There is increasing use of covert and small scale military operations The. social media to spread disinformation and trolls conflict in Ukraine saw non linear war in action. to attack publications and personalities Other rising authoritarian states will look to copy. Unlike in the Cold War when Soviets largely sup Moscow s model of hybrid war and the West has. ported leftist groups a fluid approach to ideol no institutional or analytical tools to deal with it. ogy now allows the Kremlin to simultaneously, back far left and far right movements greens. anti globalists and financial elites The aim is to. exacerbate divides and create an echo chamber of Defining Western Weak. Kremlin support Spots, The Kremlin exploits the openness of liberal. democracies to use the Orthodox Church and, expatriate NGOs to further aggressive foreign The Kremlin applies different approaches to differ. policy goals ent regions across the world using local rivalries. There is an attempt to co opt parts of the expert and resentments to divide and conquer. community in the West via such bodies as the The Kremlin exploits systemic weak spots in the. Valdai Forum which critics accuse of swapping Western system providing a sort of X ray of the. access for acquiescence Other senior Western underbelly of liberal democracy. experts are given positions in Russian companies The Kremlin successfully erodes the integrity of. and become de facto communications representa investigative and political journalism producing. tives of the Kremlin a lack of faith in traditional media. Financial PR firms and hired influencers help the Offshore zones and opaque shell companies help. Kremlin s cause by arguing that finance and sustain Kremlin corruption and aid its influence. politics should be kept separate But whereas the For journalists the threat of libel means few pub. liberal idea of globalization sees money as polit lications are ready to take on Kremlin connected. ically neutral with global commerce leading to figures. peace and interdependence the Kremlin uses the Lack of transparency in funding and the blurring of. openness of global markets as an opportunity to distinctions between think tanks and lobbying. employ money commerce and energy as foreign helps the Kremlin push its agendas forward with. policy weapons out due scrutiny, Recommendations, For the Weaponization of Information politics security and corruption meet this needs. to be backed up by a fund for journalists who, A Transparency International for Disinforma face potential libel litigation for the offense of. tion The creation of an NGO that would create doing their jobs A non profit organization based. an internationally recognized ratings system for in Western capitals modeled on Lawyers Without. disinformation and provide analytical tools with Borders but dedicated exclusively to defending. which to define forms of communication journalists is long overdue. A Disinformation Charter for Media and Blog Target Offshore A network of stringers in off. gers Top down censorship should be avoided shore jurisdictions is needed to carry out deep. But rival media from Al Jazeera to the BBC Fox research into the financial holdings of Russian. and beyond need to get together to create a charter oligarchs and officials. win friends and influence people worldwide but most especially in the West Russia has hybridized not only its actual warfare but also its informational warfare Much of the epistemology democratic nations thought they had permanently retired after the Cold War needs to be re learned and adapted to even clev
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