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How Dictatorial Regimes Use Money To Infiltrate The Media in Democratic Countries

United States Capitol (Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0) During the Cold War, the Soviet Union sought to undermine the United States and its allies through a variety of active measures aimed at influencing and manipulating public opinion. Although the Cold War - understood in the narrow sense of the confrontation between a capitalist and a communist economic system - has ended, the struggle between different political ideologies and ways of life has not. As the Soviet-style centrally planned economic system was abandoned by nearly every country, the ideological confrontation shifted. States like Russia and China have embraced a mixed market economy, yet they have retained an authoritarian political system.  While capitalism conquered the authoritarian states of the former communist bloc, authoritarianism appears to be creeping into the polity of the US-led "free world". The Republican Party in the United States, for instance, has turned to authoritarianism . Accord

The Putin-proof golden rule to combat Russia's active measures - stop trashing each other

Kremlin, Moscow (by Минеева Ю. [Julmin] , retouched by Surendil via Wikimedia Commons)) In his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election Special Counsel Robert Mueller described how Russia's Internet Research Agency (IRA) spread propaganda and disinformation and manipulated American public opinion through the use of social media. "The IRA conducted social media operations targeted at large U.S. audiences with the goal of sowing discord in the U.S. political system," the document stated. These operations are described by the report as "active measures," a term that refers to the Russian intelligence's methods of propaganda and subversion directed at foreign governments. Originally, the phrase was used in the context of the Soviet Union's secret service, the KGB, but its practice has continued after the fall of the Soviet Union and has once again become a central part of Moscow's strategy. Oleg Kalugin , a f

Russian "Active Measures" Social Media Campaign - Excerpts from the Mueller Report

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump meet at the 2017 G-20 in Hamburg, 7 July 2017 (Source http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55006/photos , by Kremlin.ru) On April 18, a redacted version of the "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election," commonly referred to as the " Mueller Report ," was released to the public.  The 448 pages-long document details Russia's propaganda and manipulation tactics through social media,  as well as cooperation between the Trump Campaign and Russian entities for the purpose of damaging Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.  The following excerpts from the Report describe Russia's "active measures" on social media: ---- II. Russian "Active Measures" Social Media Campaign The first form of Russian election influence came principally from the Internet Research Agency, LLC (IRA), a Russian organization funded by Yevgeniy Viktorovic

European far right leaders gather in Yalta to defend Russia's Crimea policy

Yalta, Crimea (by Marcin Konsek via Wikimedia Commons ) In early April the Ukrainian embassy in Berlin notified the German government that 22 individuals, including five lawmakers of the far right, anti-EU Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, and two of the socialist Left party, planned on attending the Yalta International Economic Forum in Russia.  The 5th Yalta International Economic Forum titled "World. Russia. Crimea. New Global Reality" took place in the Crimean city of Yalta on April 17 - 20 for the purpose of attracting investment and promoting relations between Russia and foreign politicians willing to accept Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014.  At a conference held within the framework of the Forum, Head and Prime Minister of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov urged Friends of Crimea clubs to consolidate efforts to lift sactions imposed on Russia after the annexation of Crimea.   "We saw how many allies we have," Aksyonov said. "Toda

Venezuela, China, And The New Failure Of Western Foreign Policy

2017 Venezuela protests (by Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons) On January 23 United States president Donald Trump recognized Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's legitimate president. The citizens of Venezuela have suffered for too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime. Today, I have officially recognized the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela. https://t.co/WItWPiG9jK — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2019 Opposition leader Guaidó had previously declared himself interim president in an attempt to remove from office incumbent president Nicolas Maduro. Other countries, including Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and other South American governments , soon joined the United States in recognizing Guaidó as Venezuela's president. The European Union released a statement calling "for the start of an immediate political process leading to free and credible elections, in conf

Germany Warns Of Russian Cyber Attacks On Europe's Power Grids

Headquarters of Germany's Federal Intelligence Office, Berlin (by Fridolin Freudenfett [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons ) Cyber security experts of the German government have warned of possible Russian cyber attacks on power plants that could cause blackouts across Europe. According to German magazine Der Spiegel , the National Cyberdefence Centre (Nationales Cyber-Abwehrzentrum, NCAZ), an agency set up by the German federal government in 2011, issued a report warning that Russian hacking attacks on infrastructure could disrupt energy, water and gas supply as well as traffic. Due to the interdependence of Europe's infrastructure, a cyber attack on Germany could impact other European countries. The report was drawn up by experts from the Federal Criminal Police Office, the Federal Intelligence Service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the Federal Office for Information Security and other government bureaus.  The German authori

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl's Curtsy To Vladimir Putin Draws Criticism

Vladimir Putin (by Kremlin.ru [CC BY 3.0 ] via Wikimedia Commons ) Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl's curtsy to Russian President Vladimir Putin has drawn criticism from Austrian politicians and international media. On Saturday, August 18, Putin attended Kneissl's wedding in the state of Styria, in southeastern Austria. Among the guests were Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the conservative Austrian People’s Party, and vice chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the far-right Freedom party (FPÖ). Karin Kneissl  is a former journalist. On December 18, 2017, she was sworn in as Austria's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and Integration. She is an independent, but she was recommended for the role by the Freedom Party. At the wedding Vladimir Putin gave a short speech congratulating Kneissl and her husband, businessman Wolfgang Meilinger. Kneissl danced with Putin and at the end of the dance she gave the Russian leader a curtsy. Foota