Russia's President Vladimir Putin appears on a television screen at the stock market in Frankfurt, Germany

Steinert-Threlkeld on Russia’s Disinformation Campaign

In an interview with Business Insider, Assistant Professor of Public Policy Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld discussed the state of misinformation in Russia. He explained that the Russian disinformation campaign works by pushing out a large amount of misinformation, some of which contains small amounts of truth. “When you control the information that people see, you control their willingness to act in certain political directions,” Steinert-Threlkeld said. “So if people learned that a train station was bombed by Ukraine by neo-Nazis as opposed to Russian military forces, then the soldier deaths that Russians will eventually learn about is justified, right? Because you’re not the aggressor, you’re the defender.” Western leaders have urged Russian citizens to access independent and verified news about the war. But Steinert-Threlkeld estimated that only about 10% of Russia’s population currently has access to virtual private networks, or VPNs, and those who do have access aren’t necessarily protected from having their location revealed.

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