Dismiss, Distort, Distract, and Dismay: Continuity and Change in Russian Disinformation

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Jon White

Russian disinformation is not new. It demonstrates more continuity than change from its Soviet antecedents. The most signi cant changes are the lack of a universal ideology and the evolution of means of delivery. Putin’s Russkii mir (Russian World) is not as universal in its appeal as Soviet communism was. On the other hand, Russia has updated how it disseminates its disinformation. The Soviet experience with disinformation can be divided into two theatres: offensive disinformation, which sought to in uence decision-makers and public opinion abroad and defensive, which sought to in uence Soviet citizens. This study will examine Soviet offensive and defensive disinformation and compare it to Russian offensive and defensive disinformation.