The Kremlin has developed a new way to distribute propaganda videos about the war in Ukraine. To do this, digital tricks are used that allow you to bypass the restrictions imposed by governments and technology companies. This was found out by the American intelligence firm Nisos, which monitors disinformation and other cyber threats.
Accounts linked to Russian state media have posted dozens of videos in 18 languages, analysts say, leaving no telltale signs to identify the source. The videos promote Kremlin conspiracy theories and blame Ukraine for civilian casualties. They also say that the inhabitants of the occupied territories welcomed the Russian military.
English versions of the videos are circulating on Twitter and platforms popular with American conservatives, including Gab and Truth Social. The latter was created by former US President Donald Trump.
The bottom line is that the video is downloaded from Telegram and it is impossible to trace its source, told Nisos Senior Analyst Patricia Bailey told The Associated Press. According to her, watermarks and other marks that could be used to identify the author are removed from the video, and then posted on Twitter and other social networks.
Nisos researchers found that hundreds of accounts associated with the Russian military, diplomats or state media are involved in the distribution of the video. Many of the accounts used fake profile photos or posted only such content, indicating that they were fake.
At the end of September, Meta Corporation* announced about the disclosure of the “Russian disinformation campaign”. In particular, it discovered more than 60 clone websites of the world’s leading media, including the German newspaper Bild, the British Daily Mail and the Italian agency Ansa.
Instead of news, they posted materials with the Kremlin’s view of the war, designed to drive a wedge between Ukraine and its allies. For example, on a fake page of The Guardian there was an article that the evidence of the death of civilians in Bucha near Kyiv was staged, and on a page similar in layout to Der Spiegel that Germany should lift sanctions from Russia for its own good.
As Meta found out, the disinformation campaign lasted from April to September and was the largest since the start of the Russian invasion. According to experts, its organizers spent more than $100,000 just advertising fake pages on social networks.
The European Union has banned the broadcasts of Russia’s biggest state-owned media outlets, RT and Sputnik, following Putin’s decision to start a war in Ukraine. Video hosting YouTube from Google and social networks Facebook and Instagram from Meta* announced the fight against the content of the Kremlin propaganda in the territory of 27 EU countries.
* recognized as extremist in the Russian Federation