It has been two and a half years since one of the leading news portāls in Latvia Delfi.lv publishes a series of articles created by the Centre for East European Policy Studies (CEEPS) “Russian Disinformation – The Case of Latvia”. Since the summer of the Year 2017, articles, which are published monthly, have become readers’ favorites, and 30th piece is coming soon. The purpose of this project is to uncover, disprove, and explain instances of disinformation in the content of web portals, thus contributing to the development of critical thinking and media literacy in society.
CEEPS researchers are convinced that the very fact and methods of disinformation should be discussed, as some part of the Latvian society still believes in the most abject statements and conspiracy theories. Hence the second aim of this series of articles – using its long-standing expertise on the impact and implementation methods of Russian propaganda, CEEPS wants to remind Latvian experts, politicians and officials that lies are still purposeful divisions of Latvian society, weakening democracy and reducing security.
Each of the articles contains typical examples of the most popular messages and topics of the current period about Latvia, as well as demonstrates the most vivid methods of disinformation in Russia. During the particular project, the Russian so called media, Latvian branches of Russian media and the local Russian-language media are analized. The Russian news agency Ria Novosti, internet portals RuBaltic, Sputnik, Baltnews and Vesti, are highlighted as major disseminators of misinformation.
Disinformers frequently highlights topics regarding history and education issues. Issues related to the status of the Russian language and anti-NATO messages remain as well. Everything is permeated with relentless accusations of Russophobia.
After Year 2014, when the international community realized that the annexation of Crimea was carried out using hybrid warfare methods, where misinformation is one of the essential elements, similar fact checking and disinformation debunking projects in recent years are going on also in other European countries, for example, in Ukraine and the Czech Republic.
The latest article in the series “Russian Disinformation – The Case of Latvia” (in Latvian) is available here.