Russia’s war on Ukraine has been accompanied by an information war that has extended far beyond the borders of both Russia and Ukraine, including in the Baltic nations where there is a constant bombardment of false narratives.
The Civic Resilience Initiative (CRI), a Lithuanian NGO dedicated to improving the resilience of Lithuanian society and other societies in our region – including as a partner to Propastop – has just released a comprehensive new report examining and debunking these narratives over recent months of the war. You can download it as a PDF here: Media monitoring report 2022 – Civic Resilience Initiative
The report notes that, even before Russia launched its full scale war on Ukraine, the governments and citizens of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are subject to daily Russian strategic information operations and propaganda activities that are part of campaigns designed to undermine trust in their institutions, foment ethnic and social tensions, and erode confidence in North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) collective defense commitments. Despite this, awareness of Russia’s disinformation activities and efforts have been growing both in the West and in Central and Eastern Europe over recent years.
The CRI report focused on propaganda in Russian language news outlets targeting audiences in the Baltic region between 13 June and 28 August. They identified 520 widely interacted articles deemed as propaganda with false pro-Kremlin narratives. The vast majority of them (over 95%) were published in “RuBaltic.Ru”.
They were categorized into 7 groups of primary narratives. The most popular were
Each category contained sub-narratives too, of which the most popular were:
Some of these false narratives are specifically about the Baltic nations, such as by vastly overstating the level of support for Russia’s war, falsely smearing politicians opposing Russia’s war as being supportive of Nazism, or by stoking false fears of our nations’ abilities to withstand Russian pressure, like this false claim below about Lithuania’s energy capacity. The report does an excellent job debunking these narratives, while creating greater awareness of the wider problem of Russian disinformation.
CRI uses engaging education to increase resilience primarily in the spheres of security, media-literacy, disinformation, cyber, civil and grass-root activities, and the empowerment of civil societies to actively engage in educational activities themselves. Its long-standing cooperation partners include NATO Public Diplomacy Division, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Wilfried Martens Center for European Studies, Lithuanian Elves, Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lithuanian Ministry of Defense and others.
You can learn more about them here: cri.lt
And download the full report here: Media monitoring report 2022 – Civic Resilience Initiative