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Social networks have become their own battleground with content created by Russian media controlled by the Kremlin. Viral videos, which allegedly show that the aggressors are the Ukrainian military, turned out to be false.
“Videos and other content posted on social networks … are part of the Russian doctrine of information warfare,” said the former US Defense Agency officer. Rebecca Koffler told Fox News Digital. “The goal is to persuade the Russian population to take action by the government, in this case the military invasion of Ukraine, and to persuade foreigners who are sympathetic to Russia to see the Russian side of history.”
Koffler, author of Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America and host of the Censored, but Not Silenced podcast, says Russia is practicing what intelligence agencies call a “strategic hoax” designed to confuse Western intelligence and government leaders ”. about the intentions of Russia / Putin “, fueled by” a significant amount of money “from the Kremlin.
“Russia’s goal is not to turn those who are against Russia and make them supporters of Russia, but to sow enough doubts and confuse people about the real facts on earth so that they become unable to draw reasonable conclusions about it. who is right and who is wrong, ”Koffler said.
Russian media also advertise Putin’s narrative, where the truth is “mixed” with lies.
For example, headlines from Rossiyskaya Gazeta, roughly translated as Russian National Newspaper, give an idea of how the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is portrayed.
Recent headlines such as “Careful but strong”, “Kiev will not be able to return the Donbass by military force”, “Putin: Military aid will be delivered to the Donbass if necessary” and “They are defending the Motherland” expand Russia’s message.
Kofler assured that Rossiyskaya Gazeta was “pretending to be USA Today” in Russia, but was instead a “mouthpiece” for the government.
She also warned of RT America, formerly known as Russia Today, what she considered “the hand of Russian government propaganda. Point.”
“They wanted to distance themselves from the word ‘Russia.’ They do it not only, you know, in the media, but also in intelligence, right? They always keep an eye on retired intelligence officers and someone who will either be unhappy or just get another job or like retired military. the car is in English, and they have it in many other languages. “
“Vladimir Putin owns the media … For him, it’s just a tool to convey his message the way he wants,” – Fox News contributor. Daniel Hoffman, a CIA veteran whose tour includes the former Soviet Union, told Fox News Digital. “He’s in a hybrid war now, so he started cyberattacks … His military is in action, his diplomatic efforts, his information war, because he uses his own state media to do things, obviously he has his intelligence stories of landing.
“He has different, you know, cyber efforts to own the space of the information battle, and that’s what he does. And it’s all coordinated.”
As part of the information war, Kofler said the Biden administration could do very little to fight Russia because of the First Amendment, and any action by the federal government, she said, would further sow distrust among Americans. But she gave advice to those who do not want to be deceived by Russian propaganda.
“Don’t believe everything you see on the internet. This applies to any content: Russian, American, whatever, ”Koffler said. “It is very difficult for an ordinary person with blind eyes to notice fake content. The Russians are professionals in this. There is a whole agency, the Internet Research Agency, that releases content that is used for covert influence. The goal is not only to hack American networks, but the minds of Americans. “
Koffler, who was born in the Soviet Union, added that she grew up not believing “anything” she heard, but was taught to “think for herself.”
“It was my instruction from my parents … Don’t believe what you hear on TV, don’t believe everything your teachers teach you, and in fact, trust only yourself,” Koffler said. “I see that our society is coming for this reason, not only because of the Russians, but you see how, you know, the left and the right [are] completely on different notes, and everyone sings their own tune, and there is no more crossover or live news. ”
“People just need to be experienced news readers and understand what the news source is and is there that source, whoever it is … are they trying to influence or inform?” Said Hoffman. “They need to check the sources because nowadays … you can pick up information from anywhere.”