Russia financing anti-Ukrainian disinformation campaign in Latin America - U.S. State Department

Russia financing anti-Ukrainian disinformation campaign in Latin America - U.S. State Department

Ukrinform
The U.S. says the Russian government is currently financing an on-going, well-funded disinformation campaign across Latin America, including by flooding the media with propaganda and fake news aimed at undermining support for Ukraine and fueling anti-American and anti-NATO sentiment.

This is according to a statement published on the website of the U.S. Department of State, reports Ukrinform.

"The Russian government is currently financing an on-going, well-funded disinformation campaign across Latin America," the State Department said.

It is noted that the Russian Social Design Agency (SDA), the Institute for Internet Development, and Structura coordinated on the development of an information manipulation campaign targeting Latin America that aims to promote Russia’s strategic interests in the region at the expense of other countries by overtly and covertly coopting local media and influencers to spread disinformation and propaganda.

"These are ‘influence-for-hire’ firms with deep technical capability, experience in exploiting open information environments, and a history of proliferating disinformation and propaganda to further Russia’s foreign influence objectives," the statement said.

In particular, Russia is using media contacts in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay to spread its propaganda to weaken support for Ukraine's fight against the Russian invasion and fuel anti-American and anti-NATO sentiments.

Teams in Russia create content that is sent to trained journalists in Latin America for review, editing and, ultimately, publication in the media, the U.S. State Department said.

The Department named the Spanish-language online publication Pressenza, whose website states that it was founded in Milan, Italy, in 2009 and has been registered in Ecuador since 2014, and Chile's El Ciudadano as the main sources circulating this material.

Russian embassies in Latin America and state-funded media are coordinating efforts aimed at strengthening pro-Kremlin messages, spreading anti-American narratives and developing partnerships between Russian state media and local media, embassies of third countries in the region perceived as pro-Moscow, and local journalists, the State Department said.

As Reuters notes, on October 20, the United States released a declassified intelligence assessment sent to the governments of more than 100 countries, which said Moscow was using spies, social media, and Russian state media to undermine public confidence in the integrity of democratic elections.

The European Union imposed sanctions on the Social Design Agency and Structura in July, accusing them of spreading propaganda in support of Russia's war against Ukraine.

Photo: RIA/Scanpix

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