Reference Articles


Propaganda, entry in Encyclopædia Britannica

Active Measures, entry in Wikipedia

Short general introductions

How Vladimir Putin is revolutionizing information warfare
Peter Pomerantsev, The Atlantic, September 9 2014.

Part 1: Propaganda prepares Russia for war
EuroMaidanPR, 5 May 2016.

By Patrick Hilsman - May 6, 2015, in the Seattle Globalist

The risk of the Kremlin rolling the dice against NATO is real
By John R. Schindler,  02/15/16, in The Observer

By James J. Coyle, on 6/23/15, in Newsweek

Fake news stories. Doctored photographs. Staged TV clips. Armies of paid trolls. Has Putin’s Russia developed a new kind of information warfare – fought in the ‘psychosphere’ rather than on the battlefield? Or is it all just a giant bluff?
Peter Pomerantsev, The Guardian, 9 April 2015.

Propaganda and disinformation

March 21, 2016, by Yevhen Fedchenko, in the Estonian Journal of Military Studies

Confusion, Nudge, Mobilization, and the Creation of Alternate Realities
Andrew Wilson, 4 / 2015, in The Aspen Review

Social media’s role in ‘Hybrid Strategies’. Thomas Elkjer Nissen, 20th September 2016.
Russian information and propaganda war: some methods and forms to counteract.
Dr.Volodymyr Ogrysko, 20th September 2016.

Next Phase Russian Information Warfare
Keir Giles, 20th May 2016, NATO StratCom..

Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss, The Interpreter, November 2014.

Emerson T. Brooing and P. W. Singer, The Atlantic, November 2016


From a nondescript office building in St. Petersburg, Russia, an army of well-paid “trolls” has tried to wreak havoc all around the Internet — and in real-life American communities.
By Adrian Chen, June 2 2015, in the New York Times

On a Russian “troll factory” worker who quit and then anonymously told her story.
Viktor Rezunkov, Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty, March 16, 2015.

Former workers tell how hundreds of bloggers are paid to flood forums and social networks at home and abroad with anti-western and pro-Kremlin comments
Shaun Walker in St Petersburg, The Guardian, Thursday 2 April 2015

As Russia's "troll factory" is taken to court by Lyudmila Savchuk, the former employee tells how she was ordered to blog about ‘great Putin’ and ‘bad opposition’ to the Kremlin
Tom Parfitt, St Petersburg, The Telegraph, 24 Jun 2015.

Agency that hired people to write pro-Kremlin propaganda was sued by ex-employee Lyudmila Savchuk to ‘bring the internet trolls out of the shade’
Agence France-Presse in St Petersburg, Tuesday 18 August 2015.  

“I can’t be a 24-hour cheerleader for Hezbollah, Moscow, Tehran, Beijing, and Trump anymore. It’s wrong. Period. I know it gets you views now, but it will kill your brand over the long run,” Lokey texted Ivandjiiski. “This isn’t a revolution. It’s a joke.”
By Tracy Alloway and Luke Kawa, April 29, 2016, in Bloomberg

The goal of U.S. public diplomacy should be to establish the United States as a more credible, truthful, and honest broker of information than Russia
By Sean Keeley, Center on Global Interests 26 April 2016.


Robert Morgus, 19 October 2016.

Lily Hay Newman, 10 July 16

Files appear to be from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and DNC hacks.
Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, 10 May 2016.


Social Network Analysis

It reveals the shockingly large extent of the Kremlin’s Twitter bot network then, but probably far from the “full scale of” the Russian Twitter bot-net now, and their bot-net is only one, probably quite small part of their campaign.
Lawrence Alexander, Global Voices, 2 April 2015.

Sanda Svetoka, 7 July 2016, NATO StratCom.

By Andrew Aaron Weisburd, 7 Febuary 2016, in активные мероприятия

“Material Evidence” is one of the pro-Putin Internet websites used to coordinate troll factories.
Lawrence Alexander, Global Voices, 29 September 2015

How To Guides to Citizen Intelligence

Michael Bazzell, 2016.

How to use Google Analytics to track Kremlin agents of influence.
Lawrence Alexander, Global Voices, 13 July 2015.

This spring, a group of computer scientists set out to determine whether hackers were interfering with the Trump campaign. They found something they weren’t expecting.
Franklin Foer, 31 October 2016.

Political context & consequences


Vladimir Sazonov, originally published in Diplomaatia, 2 November 2016.

Peter Pomerantsev, (book) published by PublicAffairs, November 11th 2014.

How authoritarian regimes are learning to engineer human souls in the age of Facebook.
Peter Pomerantsev, Foreign Policy, 23 June 2015

This article considers the use of propaganda and disinformation by authoritarian regimes globally, not only by Russia, and with a larger focus on Syria than in many other articles.
Peter Pomerantsev, The Atlantic, 29 December 2015

“In these looking glass games, those who try to undermine the Trumps and Le Pens of this world by accusing them of being too close to the Kremlin risk merely doing them a favor.”
Peter Pomerantsev, Politico, 11 March 2016.

Anton Shekhovtsov, Diplomaatia, April 2015.

“Across the world, money laundering on an epidemic scale is undermining American foreign policy: crippling development, threatening democracy, damaging Western soft power and fueling state collapse. Across the West, this staggering flow of illicit funds has turned authoritarian kleptocrats into powerful players increasingly able to wield power inside Western institutions and game them to their own ends. There is only one way to block the illicit flows that empower kleptocrats and undermine democracy: Ending anonymous shell companies must become a national security priority for the U.S.”
Ben Judah, Hudson Institute, 20 October 2016.


EUvsDisinfo, 11 November 2016.

A BuzzFeed News analysis found that top fake election news stories generated more total engagement on Facebook than top election stories from 19 major news outlets combined.
Craig Silverman, BuzzFeed News, 16 November 2016.

A discussion on the sources of Russian conduct

Peter Pomerantsev and Arkady Ostrokovsky, The Atlantic, 6 November 2016.

By Nick Gass, 08/05/16, in Politico

By Paul Roderick Gregory, 5 June 2016, in Forbes

By Chris Zappone, 15 June 2016, in the Sydney Morning Herald

In the 2016 election, Putin’s propaganda network is picking sides
Michael Crowley, Politico, May/June 2016.

It’s time to face the facts: Kremlin spies and hackers are undermining American politics
By John R. Schindler, 08/13/16, in The Observer

By Max Seddon, on June 2, 2014, in Buzzfeed

Natasha Bertrand, Jul. 27, 2016, for Business Insider

By Andrew Osborn, Mar 24, 2016, for Reuters

By Ben Nimmo, on Aug 19 2016, in the Wall Street Journal

Catherine A. Fitzpatrick. The Interpreter, 9 November 2016

Andrew Weisburd, Clint Watts and JM Berger, War on the Rocks, 6 November 2016.
Trump isn’t the end of Russia’s information war against America. They are just getting started.

BuzzFeed News identified more than 100 pro-Trump websites being run from a single town in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Craig Silverman and Lawrence Alexander, 4 November 2016.

"Such misconceptions about Putin’s Russia are essentially myths for disaffected Westerners grasping for an alternative view of reality. For those piecing together the world via message boards and broadband rather than direct experience, anything and everything can be whatever one needs it to be.
Ultimately, Trump, who has long aped the affectations of the authoritarian strong man, implicitly offers a key component of palingenetic ultranationalism: the promise of societal rebirth following a period of moral decay. Putin, through his rhetoric and carefully-crafted strong man image, has proved an exemplar for those looking to bring the United States from it knees, even if, in the end, they are merely dragging it into the gutter."
William Echols, Russian Avos, September 10 2016.


This article traces the evolution of Russian propaganda as part of active measures from Soviet times  through Russian occupation of Crimea and the war against Ukraine in Donbas  as the climax in use of propaganda and media manipulations.
Yevhen Fedchenko, 21 March 2016.

By M. Bahadirhan Dinçaslan, 016/08/10, in EuroMaidanPress

Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, Moscow Times, March 22, 2015

Martin Smith and Tash Shifrin, Dream Deferred, 23 April 2016.

Upcoming conference to feature guests from Catalonia and Texas, but no Chechens or Uyghurs
By Casey Michel, The Diplomat, 26 July  2016.

Fear of Russian manipulation plays a role in the upcoming American elections, just as it did in Georgia in 2012.
Melik Kaylan, 11 April 2016

The Kremlin claims it’s neutral as Britain prepares to vote on whether to leave the European Union, but Russia’s own propaganda says otherwise
By Nico Hines and Pierre Vaux, 06.07.16, in The Daily Beast

What Putin, Trump, and Brexit have in common in an era of misinformation.
Sound recording of a panel discussion at Pushkin House with Anne Applebaum, Peter Pomeranzev, Arkady Ostrovsky, Mikhail Zygar and Will Moy. In English.

House of Commons Defence Committee, 5 July 2016.

“the main guidelines for developing Russian military capabilities by 2020 are:
i. From direct destruction to direct influence; ii. from direct annihilation of the opponent to its inner decay; iii. from a war with weapons and technology to a culture war; iv. from a war with conventional forces to specially prepared forces and commercial irregular groupings; v. from the traditional (3D) battleground to information/psychological warfare and war of perceptions; vi. from direct clash to contactless war; vii. from a superficial and compartmented war to a total war, including the enemy’s internal side and base; viii. from war in the physical environment to a war in the human consciousness and in cyberspace; ix. from symmetric to asymmetric warfare by a combination of political, economic, information, technological, and ecological campaigns; x. From war in a defined period of time to a state of permanent war as the natural condition in national life.”
Jānis Bērziņš, National Defence Academy of Latvia Center for Security and Strategic Research, April 2014.


“Syria is an exercise in narrative escalation dominance” Peter Pomeranzev

This article considers the use of propaganda and disinformation by authoritarian regimes globally and not only by Russia, with a larger focus on Syria than in many other articles but its focus is really global.
Peter Pomerantsev, The Atlantic, 29 December 2015

Lisa Wedeen, 1999, Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria (book).
Includes history of propaganda under the Assad regime before the revolution and the counter-revolutionary occupation by Iran and Russia.

Review of Lisa Wedeen’s book, Ambiguities of Domination.
Amal Hanano, The National, November 23, 2013.

“This essay draws on fieldwork done in 2010 and 2011. I was in Syria when the uprising started
and stayed until 21 May 2011. I have subsequently traveled to Lebanon on multiple occasions
and lived in Beirut during the summer of 2012. I also spent the winter of 2012 in Paris where I
had the privilege of conversing repeatedly and at length with displaced Syrians. … My debt to Syrians named and unnamed is inestimable. This article is for them.”
Lisa Wedeen, Professor of Political Science at University of Chicago, 2013.

Russian domestic propaganda

EUvsDisinfo has a section of weekly updates on Russian domestic propaganda.

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Institute of World Politics, 27 January 2015.

Paul A. Goble, 19 August 2016.


Russia’s propaganda assault on the West is well-organized and well-funded. However, it is also predictable, and this is its weakness., 19 May 2015.

By Michael A. McFaul, July 30, 2016, in the New York Times

What at first looked like as a social media grudge match could be a precursor to invasion, war, and resistance in the Baltics
By Michael Weiss, 03.20.16, in The Daily Beast

Centre for European Policy Analysis, 2 August 2016.

Why It Might Work and Options to Counter It
By Christopher Pauland Miriam Matthews, July 2016, for RAND Corporation