Russia gets a lot of attention over its ongoing aggression in Ukraine and other former Soviet states. What does not get a lot of attention is Russia’s non-lethal methods of hybrid warfare to influence political outcomes in nations it considers adversarial. The tool for this at the Kremlin’s disposal is state-funded propaganda disguised as legitimate news—and it has the vast resources to distort the facts in ways that can potentially sway public perception to Russia’s favor. In the U.S., “fake news” is an annoyance on your Facebook feed, or a charge lobbed at an outlet that reports something you may not agree with. In Russia, fake news is a weapon, and the guns that fire the bullets are its state news outlets like RT and Sputnik. RT doesn’t generate remotely the same ratings as CNN or other news networks, but they serve their geopolitical purpose: to create some degree of legitimacy among enough Americans who don’t believe in mainstream news. This weekend, President Donald Trump accused former President Barack Obama of ordering a wiretap on Trump Tower during the presidential election. Even though a president cannot legally order a wiretap and Obama denied the accusation, RT ran an article Sunday… Read full this story
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