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

Topics of the Week

UK politicians sue the government over its reluctance to probe allegations that the Kremlin attempted to interfere with the Scottish and Brexit referendums.

US federal, state and local governments are on the watch for disinformation aimed at discrediting electoral outcomes as election results remain up in the air.

Kremlin's Current Narrative: Regardless of the outcome of the US elections, America will continue to try to "politically, culturally and economically rape" whoever it can submit.

Good Old Soviet Joke

Stirlitz wakes up in a cell with no recollection of how he got there. 

"Who got me? Which name should I use?" he wonders. "Let's see. If they wear black (SS) uniforms, I'll say I'm Standartenführer Stirlitz. If they wear green (Red Army) uniforms, I'm Colonel Isayev". 

The door opens and a blue-uniformed NKVD policeman comes in saying: "You really should ease up on the vodka, Comrade Tikhonov!"

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Policy & Research News

UK politicians sue the government over its refusal to investigate Russian interference

A cross-party group launched court proceedings against the government over its reluctance to probe allegations that Kremlin attempted to interfere with the Scottish referendum in 2014 and Brexit referendum in 2016 to sway the results. 

Earlier in July Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee released a ‘Russia report’ which concluded that the UK government has not properly investigated the case of Russian meddling in the 2016 Brexit referendum. 

A group of parliamentarians is seeking a judicial review of government ‘inaction’, stating that it has infringed its obligation under Article 3, Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The legal action initiated by politicians is aimed to force the government to set up an independent investigation or public inquiry, and to prevent such future threats to the UK’s national security and democratic elections. 

Big Tech asks for EU liability cover to tackle hate speech

Tech Giants, such as Google, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok are asking for EU protection in order to deal with illegal and hateful content. Namely, the new piece of legislation would serve for ‘better quality content moderation’, while preventing companies from the legal liabilities for proactive removal of hate speech and illegal content from their platforms. 

In light of wide hate speech spread in Myanmar and Russian attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election the UK’s Brexit vote and the government scrutiny over how tech companies tackle inflammatory content and fake news is growing. The European Commission is currently preparing new digital policy measures that will expand tech’s scope responsibilities for what the content spread across their sites, varying from hate speech to terrorist propaganda. The new Digital Services Act is aimed at curbing the power of the Big Tech and expected to be in place by the end of this year.

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US Developments

Officials on Watch for Disinformation If 2020 Election Results Are Delayed

Federal, state and local governments are on the watch for disinformation aimed at discrediting electoral outcomes as election results remain up in the air. Officials have prepared for several weeks for an expected wave of disinformation and have stepped up monitoring efforts. Officials fear that the long tally times will lead to an onslaught of disinformation contesting the election results, whoever wins. Social media campaigns have also ramped up efforts to combat disinformation as the votes come in.

Foreign Actors Haven’t Interfered Like Last Time

Attempts by foreign actors to sway the U.S. electorate have been mostly absent for this year's presidential election. In opposition to the last presidential election, social media companies have reacted more quickly to foreign troll networks and the media has foregone some of the more salacious stories that may have swayed votes. However, the damage wrought by the 2016 disinformation campaign is felt in this election as faith in U.S. democracy remains undermined. Experts have cautioned that the worst of the disinformation may come in the days following the election when results are still unclear.

Kremlin's Current Narrative

Regardless of the outcome of the elections, America will continue to try to “politically, culturally and economically rape” whoever it can submit

There are several points of view on how the foreign policies of the US during the Trump presidency have affected the state’s relations with the allies. RIA.News suggest that regardless of the outcome of the elections, the hegemony that in the first place has defined the American international relations since the end of the Cold War is now over. Therefore, more and more states, including the European block, are expected to start “revolts” against Washington.

According to the news source, the “intra-elite conflict” of the American government is between “the ambitious realists-Trumpists and hysterical revanchists-visionaries.” Both ideological camps realize that the “golden age” of the American hegemony is long gone, and both yearn to reestablish it. However, neither the attempts to hurt China in any way possible, nor the ambitions to restart the American politics with a Democratic president who sees Europe as an “orphaned ex-colony”, will help. The reason is that not only China and Russia, but Europe as well will not agree to submit to Washington any longer. The plan of Europe now is to become a sort of “quasi-federal great power” led by Paris and Berlin.

Another source argues that the principle “America before anything else” will continue to dominate the American foreign policy, which is more of a reason for Germany to act more actively and assume more responsibility in the international arena. Because Trump considered Germany a political rival in Europe, 69% of the respondents of a poll quoted by the source, believe that Berlin’s politics towards Washington is “too restrained.”

Nobody in Europe dares to predict or actually expects any difference from the outcome of elections. However, they know that the United States has no intention of seeing Europe as an “equal partner”, and regardless of the president, “America will always need slaves, or, ‘damsels in distress’ – under the pretext of rescuing whom Washington can engage in political, cultural and economic rape” (source).

Moscow only hopes that after the elections, “the common sense will win in the US,” by finally agreeing with the Russian proposals on arms controls, as well as realizing that “further implantation of anti-Russian myths” in the first place fuels “the political passions and the atmosphere of mistrust within the American society.”

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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 

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