DFR Lab

  • #PutinAtWar: Dismissing MH17

    On May 24, 2018, a Dutch-led international investigation said that the weapon which downed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in July 2014 had been provided by a Russian military unit.

    Kremlin and pro-Kremlin outlets were quick to launch a counter-offensive, denying any Russian involvement, and attacking the investigators and their methods.

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  • #PutinAtWar: Background on Central Person in MH17 Downing

    Andrey Ivanovich Laptev was Minister of Defense of the Russia-backed breakaway state of South Ossetia between 2006 and 2008, leaving office in March just before the outbreak of the Russo-Georgian August war. Laptev was replaced by Major-General Vasily Lunev and fell into relative obscurity since then. According to the Bellingcat investigation of the shootdown of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, Laptev was an officer of the Russian General Staff’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), who currently lives under the pseudonym Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov and played an instrumental role transporting the Buk-M1 air defense system that show down MH17.

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  • Why We’re Partnering With Facebook on Election Integrity

    Today @DFRLab announced that we are partnering with Facebook to expand our #ElectionWatch program to identify, expose, and explain disinformation during elections around the world. The effort is part of a broader initiative to provide independent and credible research about the role of social media in elections, as well as democracy more generally.

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  • #ElectionWatch: A Guide to Italian Elections

    Here’s what you need to know ahead of nationwide elections on March 4

    Italians will go to the polls on March 4 in one of the most significant elections in Europe this year. Reflecting the tense political climate across the continent, hot-button issues such as immigration and border security have dominated the debate in one of the most divisive general election campaigns Italy has seen in recent years.

    Italy’s notoriously complicated electoral system has long made the country’s elections interesting to watch, but several factors add chaos to intrigue this year. The 2018 elections have given rise to both new and old Italian political personalities—from the emergence of the insurgent, anti-establishment Five Star Movement or the comeback of four-time prime minister and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi. Regardless of who emerges from the political fray in control of the country, any outcome will have wide-ranging consequences for Italy’s future.

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