Last week's events concerning the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign


  1. Russia's economic and political strategy in the European energy crisis.
  2. WADA's sanctioning over Russian anti-doping organization.
  3. Latest GEC Counter-Disinformation Dispatch reveals how disinformation and propaganda is shaped internally in Russia.
  4. US Warns Russia Against Exploiting Gas Crisis.
  5. Russia presents British cultural initiatives as malign influence campaigns.
  6. Russia denies leveraging the European gas crisis, presenting itself as a helpful hand.



Check out latest EVC Talk!

The CSO's role in the fight against disinformation.

Good Old Soviet Joke

My uncle spoke of his time in Soviet Russia back in the day

He said there were only 2 channels on TV. He said Channel 1 was propaganda, and Channel 2 was a KGB pointing a Kalashnikov at the screen saying "Turn back to Channel 1!"

Facebook Twitter

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter!

Policy & Research News

Russia's economic and political strategy in the European energy crisis

Russia's most significant global gas company "Gazprom" decided to raise its prices for European consumers and limit the amount of gas for exports. The reasoning behind this increase is the company's critical priority of reinforcing its inventory for the upcoming winter in Russia. The reality of the situation shows just how influential Russian energy is on Europe. European markets heavily rely on Russian energy sources, given the current energy crisis in which "natural gas prices have soared by 600% and have affected key economic sectors". 

Russia's government has viewed this situation as a perfect opportunity to assert political leverage through Gazprom's resources. The Kremlin has adopted strategies "blackmail and the weaponization of gas supplies" to create economic reliance upon Russia. European analysts have viewed Russia's ongoing decision not to transit gas through Ukraine as "geopolitical coercion" to build the Nordstream pipeline. Whether Russia can build enough pressure on the European community to cave into their demands is yet to be seen.

WADA's sanctioning over Russian anti-doping organization

Last week, the World Anti-Doping Agency "revoked the status of a Moscow anti-doping laboratory due to its failure to comply with ethical and laboratory standards." The laboratory's full accreditation was revoked in 2015 due to evidence of institutionalized doping, and it has been provisionally suspended since 2020. However, the most recent decision from WADA states that the facility cannot analyze blood samples concerning "athlete biological passports" from athletes. The laboratory can appeal the decision, but there is significant evidence against its practices.

WADA's most recent decision concerns the country's state-sponsored doping issue in sports. Russia has often denied the reality of state-sponsored doping existing in the country, but it has acknowledged the possibility of flaws within its testing system. Russia already faces sanctions from sporting organizations that have banned it from competing under its flag and its national anthem at various international sporting events. Although Russia has been punished, it has still participated in sporting events given these practices.

Facebook Twitter

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter!

US Developments

Latest GEC Counter-Disinformation Dispatch reveals how disinformation and propaganda is shaped internally in Russia

On October 4, the American Global Engagement Centre (GEC) published an article in their Counter-Disinformation Dispatch, revealing the pattern used by the Kremlin to spread disinformation and propaganda in situations where Russia is a primary suspect for the assassination of a political opponent. 

The article analyzes a set of internal instructions issued to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Kremlin-linked organization that specializes in disinformation. The instructions, leaked by activist and IRA infiltrator Ludmila Savchuk to the website, ordered trolls to focus on posting content related to murder of the former Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov on February 27, 2015. 

Faced with accusations that Nemtsov was murdered because he was a political opponent to the regime, the instructions show three main tactics that trolls use to shape the narrative: making wild and improbable claims, appealing to “common sense” by denying official involvement, and blaming enemies for their “provocation.” The term “provocation” is frequently used by trolls to claim that the murder of political opponents is the fault of the Kremlin’s enemies, who seeks to make Russia look bad. 

The GEC noted these tactics are common across several cases, including in the poisoning of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia and the poisoning of opposition leader Alexi Navalny. 

In Navalny’s case, Russia claimed that it was “irrational” for Moscow to kill Navalny, claimed the action was an act of “provocation” by the West, and peddled improbable conspiracies like “Navalny is a mouthpiece for the CIA.” 

US Warns Russia Against Exploiting Gas Crisis

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned the Russian government on Thursday that any attempts to exploit the gas crisis would backfire. 

Speaking to the BBC on Thursday, Sullivan noted that Russia has in the past used energy as a political tool for coercion. He urged them to instead respond to market demands for energy. 

Gas prices have increased nearly fivefold in Europe, leading to fears that there will be an energy crisis come winter should the weather be colder than normal.  

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that he could boost gas supplies to Europe through domestic markets and existing long-term contracts. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak also hinted that Germany’s certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline could cool gas prices in Europe.

Analysts are warning that the EU is a “hostage to Russia over energy supplies.” Experts believe that Russia withheld gas supplies to Europe on purpose to speed up Germany’s certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Russia has denied such links.

The US has been a vocal opponent of the pipeline, voicing concerns that the pipeline could threaten Europe’s energy security. 

Ukraine is also threatened by the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The completed pipeline bypasses an existing route through Ukraine, resulting in a loss of $3 billion per year in gas transit fees. The nation also fears a Russian invasion once the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is operational. 

Nevertheless, the US and Germany reached an agreement in July to allow completion of the pipeline under certain conditions. Should Russia weaponize energy or threaten Ukraine, the German government is required to take action against it, including possible sanctions. The US also retains a right to issue sanctions against the project. 

Kremlin's Current Narrative

Russia denies leveraging the European gas crisis, presenting itself as a helpful hand

Meanwhile, another recent RT article on the gas crisis around presents a picture of Russia fulfilling its obligations and trying to ease the European gas situation, rather than trying to leverage the situation for Nord Stream 2.

Accusations made in the American senate about manipulating the European gas market and holding back its gas supply in order to secure leverage on Nord Stream II’s certification and the need to further sanction Nord Stream 2 are presented as baseless. Instead, Russia is fulfilling its obligations and attempting to help Europe and is a reliable provider. The article also cites Putin on the reasons for the gas crisis in Europe, where "several unfavourable factors have developed simultaneously." The first is the rapid post-crisis economic recovery, which has “warmed up” the demand for energy, the second a cold winter, a reduction in wind energy production and finally, mistakes in European gas calculations. Essentially, Putin is blaming Europe for being both illogically critical, as well as an unstable partner in the relationship, rather than Russia.

Russia presents British cultural initiatives as malign influence campaigns

A recent RT article explored the UK government’s special attention to Russian students and young professionals, NGOs and human rights centres. It reports that London planned to spend 121 million rubles (£ 1.2 million) on building ties with Russian youth in 2019-2021 as part of the Global Britain Fund. It mentions grants to support social and political projects for dozens of domestic and foreign NGOs whose activities are related to Russia, such as "Memorial", "Mediazona" and the Internet project "Lawyer’s Voice”, as well as support for infiltrating Baltic Russian-language media.

It is presented as a violation of Russia’s interests and an attack of influence on the Russian youth – the difference between cultural interaction and interference in domestic politics. One expert claims, that “Britain has always tried to reduce Russia's international influence, often under the guise of "building bridges.", whilst another claims that the program is aimed at “the formation of negative views towards Russia.” In general, the programme is linked into a wider network of “anti-Russian struggle” due to which Russia “cannot and must not relax”.

Do you like our work?

Our effort to protect liberal democracy across Europe is dependent on private donations.

Support us

Kremlin Watch is a strategic program of the European Values Center for Security Policy, which aims to expose and confront instruments of Russian influence and disinformation operations focused against the liberal-democratic system.

For comments. suggestions or media inquiries, please contact the Head of the Kremlin Watch Program Veronika Víchová at 

Facebook Twitter

European Values Center for Security Policy

Facebook Twitter Youtube