Waves of Disinformation in the Hybrid Russian-Ukrainian War

Tetiana Krainikova*, Serhii Prokopenko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

This article presents research results into waves of disinformation — massive torrents of false information directed at various audiences during the Russian-Ukrainian war in May — July 2022, intending to elicit specific communication effects (manipulation, misleading, intimidation, demoralization, etc.). It was found that waves of disinformation are characterized by narrative and intensity. Based on the Telegram statistics of the “Perevirka” bot (“Check”) developed by the Gwara Media organization, we formed a sample of the most resonant messages (298 units), which were subject to informal (traditional) document analysis, as well as classification, narrative, and comparative analysis. We identified 24 primary waves of disinformation, among which the most powerful were the following: 1) “The Armed Forces of Ukraine and those who back them are criminals”; 2) “Ukraine will lose the war”; 3) “The West does not need Ukraine as a state”; 4) “Ukraine is a country of chaos and extremists.” The recorded waves testify to the aggressiveness and multi-directionality of Russian rhetoric, which encourages the development of a productive system of information countermeasures in Ukraine and the world and the development of media literacy among the population. Based on the analysis of waves of Russian disinformation, we provided recommendations for the audience on dealing with actual and potential propaganda messages.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Issues of Mass Communication
Issue number33
Pages (from-to)12-25
Number of pages14
ISSN2312-5160
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Hybrid war
  • Political discourse
  • Waves of disinformation
  • Fake narratives

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