OSW expert: Russian trolley plants are trying to show Ukrainian …

Issues in Polish-Ukrainian relations, especially historical events, are eagerly used by Russian propagandists to divide Poles and Ukrainians, Katarzyna Chorilo, an expert at the Warsaw Center for Oriental Studies (OSW), evaluated in an interview with PAP. She added that the Kremlin’s advocates are trying to send a negative message to all EU countries about refugees.

The so-called Troll factories are also arriving and will be arriving in the coming months for content that negatively exposes Ukrainian refugees in Poland, she added.

“The exploitation of threads related to Ukrainian nationals fleeing to the West has a broader dimension and is not just about Poland. Promoters are trying to reach communities in EU countries by publishing content that would suggest that refugees are a source of danger – and this presumably leads to a situation where they will not be Welcoming them (Refugees – PAP. The current situation (the war between Russia and Ukraine – PAP) makes rhetoric against refugees an important element of the Kremlin’s message of disinformation. Its paramount goal is to reduce Western support for Ukraine “- stressed Chorilo.

Russian analysts are of the opinion that the so-called Troll factories (state-controlled companies that spread propaganda content on the Internet, especially on forums and social networks – PAP) are still hiring new people, which indicates the intensification of the Kremlin’s activities in the field of information warfare.

The expert stressed that the Kremlin’s long-term investments in experts and media circles in the West do not achieve the expected results currently. “The war with Ukraine has completely changed the situation, and even turned it on its head. First, the scale and brutality of Russian crimes against civilians in Ukraine is obvious and difficult to defend. In Western countries, it has significantly reduced the scope of the influence of propaganda. With regard to European countries, the Russian narrative is It has a great influence in Hungary and Serbia, and partly also in Germany ”- assessment of Chorilo.

The interlocutor referred to the “usefulness” of some Western journalists in broadcasting the regime to Russian television. “The Kremlin organizes study trips for such people to the occupied territories, for example to Mariupol. Recently, journalists from Germany and France participated in them, as reported by Russian TV, and they are representatives of specialized media, but their presence is enough, ”to build a propaganda message on Kremlin TV about + Objectives of Western journalists who strive for the truth, despite the censorship prevailing in the West +” – said the analyst.

According to an expert from the Warsaw Center, the latest Russian public opinion poll conducted by the international company GroupM which shows the decline of Russians’ confidence in state-owned television should not be treated as a representative. “The survey was valuable because it confirmed a trend that had been visible for years – television is still the main source of information for Russians, but confidence in it is declining. However, only respondents from large cities with a population of over 100,000 people participated in this in The poll, so the results cannot be in the provinces of Russia, where Putin has the most support, television plays a much greater role than in urban centers, the analyst explained.

Chorillo also referred to the propaganda “cover” of Russian activities in the occupied territories of eastern and southern Ukraine. “The invaders do not spread any hidden message there, but choose solutions of pure force to frighten the population. This scheme involves turning off Ukrainian television and replacing it with Russian programs, as well as destroying access to Internet communications and Ukrainian mobile networks. The aggressor uses every opportunity to reach the population with appropriate + content. + Pro-Russian – for example, there are reports on the distribution of + Komsomolskaya Truth + (a magazine that publishes propaganda content) along with humanitarian assistance ”- emphasized the OSW expert.

The Center for Oriental Studies, founded in 1990 at the initiative of Marek Karp, is one of the leading research centers in Central Europe. OSW has been headed by Dr. Adam Eberhart since 2016.

Author: Michał Szczygielski (PAP)

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