On June 25, the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center hosted an all-day conference titled, “Exposing Russian Disinformation in the Twenty-First Century,” in Berlin in partnership with the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). The conference featured panel discussions on the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign in Europe and at home with prominent German and Russian journalists and experts on the topic, including Boris Reitschuster, Lucian Kim, James Kirchick, Gemma Pörzgen, Galina Timchenko, Maria Stepanova, and Andrey Lipsky. Addressing a full room, Ambassador John Emerson, US Ambassador to Germany, delivered opening remarks. Eurasia Center Director and former Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst and President of the Heinrich Böll Foundation Ralf Fücks welcomed the participants.
The afternoon sessions featured presentations of Boris Nemtsov’s, Putin. War., by Russian opposition leader Ilya Yashin and the Atlantic Council’s popular report, Hiding in Plain Sight: Putin’s War in Ukraine, by Eurasia Center Associate Director Alina Polyakova and founder of the investigative journalist group Bellingcat Eliot Higgins. The conference concluded with a panel discussion on what US and European policy makers and Russian opposition leaders should do to counter the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign. The panel, moderated by Ambassador John Herbst, featured Russian opposition leaders Ilya Yashin and Ilya Ponomarev and European policy makers MP Marieluise Beck from the German Green party and ECFR’s Francisco de Borja Lasheras. The panelists discussed the obstacles German leaders face when dealing with the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign, the importance of European unity on the issue, and the possibilities for future dialogues with Russian citizens and civil society.