Internship to develop research on countering Russian disinformation in Europe

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, russia has been actively spreading disinformation about Ukraine and its role in the world. The constant portrayal of Ukraine as a non-self-sufficient and non-independent state with high levels of corruption and low levels of social responsibility of its citizens has led to a false image of Ukrainians and Ukraine in a large part of European society. In this project, we set out to counter russian disinformation. For 3 months, our interns, under the close guidance and supervision of the best mentors from partner organizations, worked on researching how russian disinformation works in the world. But this time we decided not to limit ourselves to Europe. One of our fellows, with our financial support, founded the first Arabic-language fact-checking publication that will open the eyes of Arabic-speaking countries to the real events that are unfolding in Ukraine right now – POST-PAST. We are pleased to present the results of our interns’ work below.


Russian propaganda in the Czech media in 2014-2022

Russian disinformation campaigns are present in the information space of all European countries. The Czech Republic is no exception. After February 2022, Russian propaganda was expectedly active in justifying aggression and discrediting Ukraine. However, Russia had been spreading disinformation about Ukraine long before the full-scale invasion. In her article, Vitalina Šelefeta analyzes how pro-Russian rhetoric in the Czech media changed from 2014 to 2022.

Founder and editor-in-chief of POST-PAST Media

Post-Past is a media outlet dedicated to countering historical disinformation, conspiracy theorizing, and prejudice. Our goal is to keep the past in the past; to prevent it from shouting down our present and becoming our future.

The network of experts with whom we cooperate creates a “protective wall of facts,” to use Elliot Higgins’ terminology. They comment, provide context, and refute historical fakes. In our opinion, in the twenty-first century, history lacks just such a defense.

Post-Past also has an Arabic-language version, which aims to counter pro-Russian narratives and prejudice against Ukraine and Europe in the Middle East and North Africa region. We create Arabic-language content that is firmly rooted in the local context, trends and tendencies, while also incorporating information about Ukraine that could help counteract prejudice and Russian propaganda in the region.



How to Find the Truth in the World of Russian Disinformation: German Experience

Even after 2022, when the illegality of Russia’s actions became obvious, there is still a lack of awareness of the scale of brutality and crimes committed by the Russian military among the general public.

According to the “Belastungsprobe für die Demokratie” study, almost one in five Germans believed that NATO provoked Russia for so long that Russia had to start a war (19%). The most worrying trend is that since April 2022, the support for pro-Russian statements has been gradually increasing.

All this confirms the existence of an acute problem with Russian disinformation in Germany. This article will try to explain how it works, why people believe in it, and how to fight it in German realities. It is especially important because where there is less solidarity with Ukraine, the politicians become increasingly hesitant to step up the support. And while people doubt where the truth lies, more and more innocent residents of Ukraine are dying.

We also express our gratitude to our partners: VoxUkraine and the Transatlantic Dialogue Center, who willingly agreed to mentor the interns. It was with their help that the interns were able to research the topics they selected in depth and comprehensively. We are confident that our research will benefit everyone who reads it and will open the eyes of society to how Russian disinformation functions and spreads.
We were happy to sponsor the research and are glad that we can strengthen the educational opportunities of Ukrainian youth so that their work will benefit civilized society.