The resilience capabilities of Eastern and Central European countries


At the beginning of the summer, the Ukrainian Foreign Policy Council published a large study on the resilience of Eastern and Central European countries to Russian influence activities and based on the results of the study put together a comparative index (disinformation resilience index).

The study examines 14 influencing groups in Eastern and Central European countries, the media landscape, legal framework, the existence and functioning of media regulators, institutions dealing with disinformation and activities to increase media literacy.

The study is in two parts. The first part focuses on the Disinformation Resistance Index and the second, substantially more extensive, describes thoroughly the situation of 14 Eastern and Central European countries in 2017.

The index consists of three parts. The first part summarizes the susceptibility and influence from Russia towards the population of the target country. The second assesses the country’s readiness and ability to engage in activities against Russia’s influencing activities and the third part assesses Russia’s capabilities in digital disinformation activities.

The index shows the results for all 14 countries in three categories. The best result in all of the categories is the smallest number. The smaller the number the better the result.

Although the results are not shown on a best to worst ranking, they are rated on a five- point scale. Estonia for example, received 2.1 points in the category of susceptibility. In Latvia, it is 2.9 and Lithuania is 2.0.

As for preparedness and capacity for dealing against Russian disinformation, Estonia received 1.6, Latvia 2.6 and Lithuania 2.1 points. In the section that shows fighting against Russian digital influence activities, Estonia measured 2.6, Latvia 2.6 and Lithuania 1.8.

The study’s report does not reveal which factors influenced the development of the grades towards either side and it is not clear which results were used to obtain the average.

The second part of the report, a 302-page analysis seems to be the most valuable part of the material.

It thoroughly describes the situation in each country via six subdivisions, prepared by each countries expert or group of experts. Reading the reports about these countries will give you an idea about the profile of the population and the factors involved in Russian influencing activities. It includes an overview of the media landscape, the legal framework and the media regulating institutions as well as activities against Russian disinformation activities and media literacy upgrading projects.

The reports provide an excellent insight into how and with what resources other countries are fighting against Russian disinformation activities and what can be learned from their actions.

Photo: Lonnon Foster/Flickr/CC
Graphics: out take from the study