Marko Mihkelson: The Russian disinformation machine


The June double number issue of Diplomaatia (Diplomacy) concentrates in a big way on Russian influence activities with analysis in practical as well as in an academic way.

Propastop brings forward Diplomaatia’s opening story, Marko Mihkelson’s article on „Disinformation: Russia’s old and effective weapon of influence“, in which the author goes through four pages of the rise of the Russian propaganda-apparatus and its development to this day.

Mihkelson highlights Marquis de Custin’s book, penned just under two hundred years ago; La Russie en 1839, that gives a good frame work to understanding Russia and moves on from there to the birth of the science of disinformation and it’s development.

The introduction of Disinformation as a tactical weapon of influence had clear borders already in 1923 when the assistant director of the GPU, Józef Unszlicht initiated a special disinformation unit to be used in active intelligence operations. Unszlicht, who had Polish roots was one of the founders of the Tšekaa, the predecessor to the KGB, saw the huge opportunity to be deceitful and use disinformation in successful false intelligence maneuvers in Western open society.

As the article progresses, the author arrives to the period of Russian influence activities during the re-independence of Estonia, bringing forward several note worthy incidents from that period.

On the 23rd of August 1993, exactly 54 years after the signing of the Molotovi-Ribbentrop pact, the press representative of Jeltsin, Vjatšeslav Kostikov stated a fateful truth: „ any force that is trying to take the Baltics from Russia must take into account that Russia has occupied the Baltic geopolitical space for several hundred years as well as exuded enormous amounts of material and intellectual expenditures for its development“.

Mihkelson found that during the last quarter century there has been a constant info attack against us with the main theme being the Second World War.

„It has been especially sharp since the beginning of Putin’s regime culminating in the Bronze soldier night events in 2007. As in that case and in other situations, Russia has not been particularly successful in its endeavours.

Mihkelson ends his article in current times and does a brief analysis on todays Russia interests and directions used to achieve their goals.

The battle for the hearts and minds of the free world took place in the past and has not lessened to this day. The new clients of Russia are now the extremists, both right and left, with whose support Moscow is trying to weaken the unity of both the European Union and NATO, to ruin the internal stability of the partner countries and to cause a situation where Europe findlandises.

Photo: Propastop