Russia’s 21st Century Information War
For many months now Russia has engaged its domestic and international audiences in a massive information campaign. The goal of the campaign is to persuade and influence local and foreign populations that Russian territorial claims in Ukraine are based on legitimate responses to world events. This media offensive has used both old and new forms of persuasion to strategically communicate its goals. This article discusses the components of Russia’s information war offensive to influence Western and domestic opinion. Russia is accomplishing this information war both at home and abroad through a number of methods that will be described in the paper.
These include the use of deception, deflection of responsibility, outright lies, and the creation of an alternative reality. There is no Russian equivalent for strategic communications, so a definition of information war from a Russian perspective is offered in its place.