Disinformation Internet Moldova Poland Russia The Caucasus Ukraine

Issue Brief

February 29, 2024

In Europe and the South Caucasus, the Kremlin leans on energy blackmail and scare tactics

By the Digital Forensic Research Lab

This is one chapter of the DFRLab’s report, Undermining Ukraine: How Russia widened its global information war in 2023. Read the rest here.

In 2023, Russia continued to extend its information influence operations in Europe and the South Caucasus. The Kremlin has strategically capitalized on existing disagreements and developments within these areas to undermine Ukraine and enhance Russian influence on the ground, employing varying tactics based on the specific sociopolitical context for the target country. In EU countries, for example, sophisticated online operations such as the pro-Kremlin “Doppelganger” campaign advocated for the lifting of sanctions and presented Russian gas as vital for the EU economy; in Moldova, however, Russia cut Gazprom supplies and framed the pro-EU government and Ukraine as responsible for socioeconomic hardships.

We observed another common thread: the promotion of warmongering narratives, taking various forms but ultimately structured to foster domestic fears of war in targeted countries. In Poland and Ukraine, Russia attempted to sow discord in their partnership by spreading disinformation that Poland harbors hostile intentions toward Ukraine. In Moldova, Russian propaganda suggested that Moldovan and Ukrainian forces were planning to intervene in Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria. Similarly, since 2022, the Georgian government has exploited the fear of war with Russia as a means to diminish local support for Ukraine and advance its domestic political agenda. The DFRLab observed a similar trend in two South Caucasus countries, Georgia and Armenia. Despite Armenia’s strained relations with Russia, the country grew its trade relationship with Russia. In Georgia, the ban on direct flights to and from Russia was lifted and trade has increased since the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, particularly in importing oil and gas. In both countries, propaganda campaigns attempted to manipulate the populace by drawing parallels with the situation in Ukraine, framing its path as leading inexorably to war. In Georgia, government propaganda went further by accusing the US Agency for International Development (USAID) of plotting a revolution, a narrative also promoted in Azerbaijan.

Case study: Russia-based Facebook operation targeting Europe

Operation Doppelganger is the largest and most persistent pro-Kremlin online information influence campaign aimed at undermining Ukraine in Europe. The DFRLab, EU DisinfoLab with Qurium Media Foundation, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, and multiple European media outlets targeted by the campaign first investigated Doppelganger in the summer of 2022. In June 2023, French media resurfaced the ongoing campaign, citing a deeper investigation by Viginum, a technical and operational service of the French government responsible for vigilance and protection against foreign digital interference. Viginum, Qurium, and EU DisinfoLab found many technical pieces of evidence linking the campaign to Russia: the use of Russian web infrastructure to host domains involved in the campaign; the use of the Russian language in video file names; the presence of three different time zones in video file metadata, specifically finding that the videos created at GMT+8 match with the Irkutsk region in Russia and connecting some to the Telegram channel War on Fakes, a Russian news service known for using fact-checking tropes to disseminate disinformation or denials of Russian atrocities.

In September 2022, Meta took down 1,633 Facebook accounts, 703 Facebook pages, twenty-nine Instagram profiles, and one Facebook group connected to the campaign. In its announcement of the takedown, Meta wrote that, though the company had blocked posts with external links to the operation’s domains from appearing on its platforms, “they attempted to set up new websites, suggesting persistence and continuous investment in this activity across the internet.” In December 2022, Meta attributed the campaign to two companies in Russia, Structura National Technology and Social Design Agency (Агентство Социального Проектирования).

The campaign started as early as May 2022. It used over fifty domains impersonating (e.g., spoofing) existing media outlets in Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Links to forged articles hosted on the spoofed domains were then shared on social media platforms, mostly Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The campaign employed paid advertising and seems to have bought interactions to garner engagement with the posts.

The content of the influence campaign seemed intended to undermine the Ukrainian government and people, to advocate for the sanctions on Russia to be lifted, to emphasize the worsening European economy notionally because of the sanctions, and to push for allies to stop supplying Ukraine with weapons.

Posts and articles appeared in multiple languages with often poor proficiency, indicating non-native authors or the use of a machine-translation tool. While conducting its research into Doppelganger, Qurium noticed geoblocking used for certain hyperlinks amplified via social media. For instance, if a reader connected from a German internet protocol (IP) address, the false article in German would appear. If connected from outside Germany, a text from “Old Sultan,” a German fairy tale, would appear.

The spoofed websites used the graphic design of the legitimate websites operated by the media outlets. The easiest way to determine if a website was spoofed was by looking at top-level domains (TLDs), frequently with many different, nearly identical URLs used to spoof a single outlet. Of just reputable German outlets, seemingly the priority in September 2022, Qurium identified nine TLDs impersonating Der Spiegel, eight spoofing Bild, and eight mimicking T-Online. Qurium also mentioned that French outlet 20 Minutes was similarly spoofed. In June 2023, Viginum identified additional instances of 20 Minutes being impersonated, as well as Le Monde, Le Parisien, and Le Figaro. Though expansive in terms of digital assets used and the number of languages it targeted, the campaign garnered little engagement. Similar campaigns appeared in Ukraine. Russians created websites masquerading as Ukrainian media websites to promote narratives of despair and the uselessness of resisting Russia. These webpages featured identical pages, stealing even real journalists’ names, providing their content with unearned legitimacy. While such campaigns are usually delivered via Facebook ads, they also act as parasites by laundering their disinformation through the reputations of the well-known media brands they spoofed.

Screenshots of a real story in reputable Ukrainian outlet UNIAN (top), compared with a nearly identical forgery (bottom), which was promoted in a Facebook ad. (Source: Unian, top; Unian.in/archive, bottom)
Screenshots of a real story in reputable Ukrainian outlet UNIAN (top), compared with a nearly identical forgery (bottom), which was promoted in a Facebook ad. (Source: Unian, top; Unian.in/archive, bottom)

Similarly, malign actors use the official logos and insignia of the Ukrainian government and international organizations to scam Ukrainians’ data or nudge them to subscribe to dubious Telegram channels, promising financial support. Such campaigns have multiple objectives: spreading discouraging narratives, undermining Ukrainians’ resilience and resistance, stealing personal data, or promoting narratives while using victims’ individual pages. Despite efforts to block such campaigns in Ukraine and abroad, they constantly reappear on popular platforms, promoting conspiracies or damaging Ukraine.

Case study: Poland

In 2023, pro-Kremlin actors expanded their efforts to undermine the relationship between Ukraine and Poland by sowing discord between the two nations. Russian and Belarusian actors attempted to influence Poland’s October 2023 parliamentary elections, specifically malicious activities against Poland primarily in three domains: information environment, cyberspace, and on the ground in Poland.

Since February 2022, Poland has hosted the largest number of Ukrainian refugees, causing pro-Kremlin actors to push false claims about refugees in Polish in an attempt to portray Ukrainian refugees in a negative light and to exacerbate anti-refugee sentiments within Polish society. In August 2023, Polish-language Telegram channel Niezależny Dziennik Polityczny (Independent Political Journal), which is believed to be managed by pro-Kremlin actors outside Poland, and pro-Kremlin Russian media outlet EurAsia Daily wrote that Polish authorities were allegedly hiding that Ukrainian refugees were supposedly responsible for a Legionella bacteria outbreak, which reportedly killed at least five people in the southeastern Polish city of Rzeszów in August and September 2023. Disinformation targeting Ukrainian refugees in 2023 also encompassed other false narratives, such as the notion that the Polish government cares about Ukrainian refugees more than Polish citizens, that Ukrainian refugees push Polish citizens out of the labor market, that refugees represent a burden for the Polish economy, and that they violate Polish law and undermine public order, among other distortions and falsehoods.

On the other side, pro-Kremlin actors tried to antagonize the Ukrainian people against Poland by pushing false claims about Poland’s supposedly hostile intentions toward Ukraine. In August 2023, Russian Defense Minister Shoigu falsely claimed that Poland was planning to create a Polish-Ukrainian Union with the  goal of occupying Ukraine’s territories. Anonymous Russian Telegram channels also disseminated a fabricated statement purportedly from Poland’s former ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) demanding that Ukraine give Poland the city of Lviv in exchange for Polish support in the war against Russia.

Pro-Kremlin actors also tried to intimidate Polish society by pushing fabricated content about the presence of Wagner fighters near the Polish border. After President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko stated on July 23, 2023, that the Wagner Group’s mercenaries stationed in Belarus had asked for permission “to go on a trip to Warsaw and Rzeszów,” Russian Telegram channels started to disseminate forged photos that allegedly confirmed the presence of Wagner fighters on the Polish-Belarus border. It seemed that this campaign aimed to sow fear in Poland by suggesting that the Wagner Group would target Poland if the nation continued to support Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russian security services managed to recruit spy groups on the ground in Poland, which were uncovered by Polish security services. In March 2023, the Polish Internal Security Agency (ABW) arrested twelve people, charging them with collaborating with the Russian secret service, conducting intelligence activities against Poland, and preparing acts of sabotage on behalf of Russian intelligence to obstruct delivery of weapons to Ukraine through Poland. In November 2023, Poland arrested an additional sixteen foreigners, accusing them of being part of a network spying on Poland on behalf of Russian secret services. The alleged assignments for this second group included, among other tasks, “monitoring and documenting the passage of transports with military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, or carrying out preparations for the derailment of trains transporting aid to Ukraine.” On August 14, ABW announced the detention of two Russian citizens who had allegedly conducted clandestine activities in Poland on behalf of Russia. The ABW press release stated that the suspects distributed three hundred Wagner recruitment leaflets around Krakow and Warsaw, and they were accused of acting on behalf of a foreign intelligence agency to the detriment of Poland.

Case study: Moldova

In terms of Russian influence, the nation of Moldova is among the most vulnerable. Like Ukraine, it faces territorial issues arising from separatist movements backed militarily and politically by Moscow, and Moldovan President Maia Sandu has expressed open interest to joining a “larger alliance,” but without naming NATO specifically—the type of statement Russia considers provocative.

Since the outset of the war, Moldovan authorities have consistently and strongly denounced Russian aggression in Ukraine, and its relationship with Russia worsened once missiles targeting Ukraine repeatedly entered Moldovan airspace. Russia’s air strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities led to power outages in Moldova and halted the import of electrical energy from Ukraine, which constitutes nearly 30 percent of Moldova’s power consumption.

Blackmail for access to energy provided another source for Russia to pressure Moldova: starting in October 2022, Russia’s state-owned oil company, Gazprom, progressively reduced gas supplies to the country by nearly 50 percent. This decision was primarily aimed at exerting pressure on Moldova’s pro-European government, which had been grappling with widespread social protests triggered by an increase in gas prices. Russia also used this situation to level baseless accusations against Kyiv, claiming that the decrease in gas flows was due to Ukraine’s purported refusal to permit larger gas volumes through the Sochranivka station in the Rostov region, a claim the Ukrainian gas transit operator denied. Gazprom also accused Ukraine of diverting gas meant for Moldova, but Moldovan authorities refuted that claim too, clarifying that the gas volumes referenced by Gazprom as remaining on Ukrainian territory were actually the savings and reserves of the Republic of Moldova stored in warehouses in Ukraine.

Initially cautious about imposing extensive sanctions on Russia due to its energy dependence, Moldova later joined in the international sanctions effort after it diversified its own energy sources. In response, Russia has repeatedly claimed that Moldova lacks full sovereignty over its decisions and acts at the behest of its “Western curators,” a narrative echoed by Moldova’s pro-Russian politicians. Moscow also depicts Moldova as a NATO testing ground for geopolitical confrontation with Russia, warning that it could face a fate similar to Ukraine. By insinuating that Moldova is a potential conflict zone, Russian propaganda seeks to instill fear and cultivate distrust in the Moldovan government among its citizens, thereby diminishing public support for neighboring Ukraine.

Russian actors frequently introduce the idea of potential military intervention in the breakaway region of Transnistria by Moldova, Ukraine, or NATO, a narrative intending to raise tension and delegitimize the governments of Moldova and Ukraine. Previously, the DFRLab reported on the dissemination of alarmist narratives surrounding Transnistria, sowing discord in Moldova and providing a supposed justification for intervention.

In a continuation of the narrative, before and during the European Political Community summit in Moldova (which involved forty-five heads of state), unverified information circulated on Telegram suggesting that Presidents Sandu and Zelenskyy had agreed on a potential Ukrainian military intervention in Transnistria. According to anonymous sources, the supposed interventions were intended to divert the attention of Russian troops and take control of the ammunition depot in the Transnistrian city of Cobasna. Sandu’s office promptly denied the claim.

Moldova has implemented different measures to safeguard its information space from Russian influence and propaganda, including prohibiting the rebroadcasting of Russian news and political talk shows, blocking over fifty Russian-affiliated news websites, suspending licenses for twelve television channels engaged in disinformation, and expelling the director of Russian state news agency Sputnik in Moldova, Vitali Denisov, due to concerns about national security. On December 15, 2023, the Moldovan Parliament adopted a new National Security Strategy, explicitly naming Russia for the first time as an existential threat to Moldova. It marks a significant milestone as the first official public document in the thirty-two years since Moldova gained independence to categorize Russia formally as an adversary.

Case study: Georgia

Following the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Georgia increased its trade with Russia while simultaneously joining in international financial sanctions against Russia. Throughout that year, Russian products comprised a growing proportion of the oil and gas sector in the country, allowing economic-related narratives to flourish.

As the country prepares for parliamentary elections in the autumn of 2024, the ruling Georgian Dream party has heightened its rhetoric, amplifying anti-Western conspiracy theories about foreign-instigated coup attempts within the country. Following the start of the war, the ruling party intensified its anti-Western rhetoric and attempted to introduce controversial bills intended to crack down on civil society and independent media.

In May 2023, Russia lifted its ban on Georgian airline flights and abolished visa requirements for Georgian citizens. The Georgian government’s decision to resume flights to Russia drew criticism from the EU and Ukraine, as well as resulting in protests in Georgia. That same month, Tbilisi City Hall procured trucks worth more than four million GEL (approximately US$1,100,000) from the sanctioned Russian company Kamaz. On May 24, during the Qatar Economic Conference, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated that the Georgian economy would face collapse if the country were to impose broad economic sanctions on Russia, even though Georgia was already imposing narrower financial sanctions on Russia.

On September 14, 2023, the United States imposed sanctions targeting various sectors of Russia’s economy. The list also included Otar Partskhaladze, a former prosecutor general of Georgia who is part of Georgian oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili’s close inner circle. Partskhaladze was sanctioned alongside Aleksandr Onishchenko, an officer in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). In its sanctions announcement, the US Department of State noted, “Onishchenko and the FSB have leveraged Partskhaladze to influence Georgian society and politics for the benefit of Russia. Partskhaladze has reportedly personally profited from his FSB connection.”

Later that fall, Georgia’s State Security Service (SSSG) claimed, as reported by independent Georgian media outlet Civil.ge, that groups inside and outside of Georgia were “plotting to orchestrate destabilization and civil unrest in the country” with an aim of “forcible overthrow of the government” and “a scenario similar to the ‘Euromaidan’ protests held in Ukraine in 2014.” In a follow-up statement, the SSSG accused USAID of funding a program that brought Serbian trainers to Georgia in order to train local activists in violent tactics to overthrow the country’s government. Later, Russian and Azerbaijani pro-government outlets exploited these accusations to further spread conspiracies blaming the United States for arranging revolutions abroad.

Case study: Armenia

Russia’s relationship with Armenia has deteriorated in recent years, with the loss of Nagorno-Karabakh to neighboring Azerbaijan in late 2023 eventually marking a new low point.

After Armenia’s 2020 war with Azerbaijan, Russia brokered a cease-fire and stationed around 2,000 peacekeepers along the contact lines in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor (which remained the only overland link between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh after the war) for a designated period of five years with an option to extend. With the cease-fire agreement in force, the prospect of declining Russian influence in Armenia seemed low, as it came to depend on Russia.

Azerbaijan’s invasion of Armenian territory in September 2022, however, showcased that Russia and the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) were not fulfilling their obligations. As Russia continued its war against Ukraine, it stopped supplying weapons to Armenia, and Armenia in turn repeatedly refused to participate in CSTO drills, both of which led to a further deterioration of the relationship.

Russian propaganda, meanwhile, unrelentingly blamed the Armenian government for the souring relations. On September 8, 2023, Moscow summoned the Armenian Ambassador to Russia and warned him over what it saw as a series of “unfriendly moves,” including Armenia’s joint military exercises with the United States, a humanitarian visit to Ukraine by the wife of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, and Armenia’s plans at the time to ratify the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute. Russia also expressed dissatisfaction with Armenia’s detention of a pro-Russian Sputnik columnist and a blogger.

However, on September 19, 2023, under the watch of Russian peacekeepers, Azerbaijan initiated an offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh following a ten-month blockade, ultimately gaining complete control of the disputed territory and committing ethnic cleansing against Armenians.

This event sparked protests in Armenia, which Russia also fueled. In September 2023, the DFRLab analyzed Kremlin narratives and propaganda aimed at deflecting responsibility from its part in the crisis and efforts to portray Pashinyan as the responsible party for the sour relationship with Russia and the war with Azerbaijan. One of those narratives, spread mostly in Russian media and Telegram posts, aimed to portray Pashinyan as a traitor. At the peak of civil turmoil in Armenia, pro-Kremlin Telegram channels exacerbated public anger by disseminating false information and encouraging the overthrow of the government.

Russian propaganda also regularly targeted Armenia with anti-Zelenskyy narratives to boost the pro-Russian claim that both Zelenskyy and Pashinyan are Western puppets. This tactic aimed to exploit Armenian sentiment using Nagorno-Karabakh, drawing unfavorable comparisons between Armenian and Ukrainian leaders to undermine Ukraine. They alleged that Pashinyan had chosen to strengthen his connections with the West at the expense of Armenia’s relationship with Russia.

On October 3, 2023, despite repeated warnings from Russia, Armenia ratified the Rome Statute, which obliges the country to follow ICC rulings and warrants, including an obligation to arrest Putin should he arrive on Armenian soil. Later that month on October 25,  in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Prime Minister Pashinyan said that he no longer saw any benefits in maintaining Russian military bases in Armenia. The interview came two days after Armenia signed a defense cooperation agreement with France that includes arms sales.

Later that same month, Russian state Channel One aired a program portraying Pashinyan as a Western puppet with mental health issues. The segment, dubbed “Nikol Pashinyan: a harbinger of disaster,” made unfavorable comparisons between Pashinyan, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, and Zelenskyy, reinforcing the narrative that all three are Western puppets. The next day, Armenia delivered a note of protest to the Russian ambassador to Armenia.

Despite worsening political ties, Armenia’s economic ties with Russia deepened, with exports tripling in 2022. Since the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Russia has significantly reinforced its influence on Armenia’s economy. The country’s finance minister, Vahe Hovhannisyan, highlighted that most of the exports to Russia are reexports. Thus, Armenia covers some of the needs of the Russian market that arose as a result of Ukraine-reinvasion related sanctions, by exporting goods from other countries through  Armenia.

Armenia heavily relies on Russia for energy; it imported 87.7 percent of its gas in 2022 from Russia. This dependency is essential due to the favorable pricing and its limited self-sufficiency, at 20 percent to 30 percent. Given the lack of alternatives to Russian gas and Armenia’s inability to cover its energy needs locally or through imports from other countries, Russian gas supply and its pricing remain a tool for blackmail. For example, two months after Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Armenia agreed to pay for Russian gas in rubles. Armenia was also identified as a potential transshipment point for restricted items to Russia or Belarus, which led to two Armenian companies being sanctioned in 2023.

Case study: Azerbaijan

Two days prior to the February 2022 invasion, Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a new agreement in Moscow, which Aliyev described as elevating the relationship to a new level, that of an alliance. The following day, a pro-government media outlet published a report arguing Russia was not imposing its will on Azerbaijan, despite the timing of the document; on the contrary, the outlet claimed, it instead showed more mutual commitments by Russia and decreased Russian influence in the country.

Following the start of the war, Azerbaijan started to import Russian gas, despite a broader international push to make Russia a pariah in the world of international finance and trade. By 2023, Russia was Azerbaijan’s third biggest trade partner.

But other tensions soon came into play. Azerbaijan has a long-standing, hard-line position regarding breakaway republics based on the principle of territorial integrity; yet when Russia officially recognized the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent republics, Azerbaijan remained silent. Meanwhile, just a month before the new alliance agreement between Russia and Azerbaijan in 2022, President Aliyev visited Ukraine in January and signed a joint declaration with Ukraine stating the commitment of both nations to supporting their sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Since February 2022, Azerbaijan has officially sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine totaling more than US$30 million, in the form of infrastructure, energy, and reconstruction support. Throughout 2023, Russian sources spread claims that Azerbaijan secretly sent military aid to Ukraine; in response, an Azerbaijani pro-government website blamed Armenian and Russian outlets for spreading lies. In December 2023, pro-government media agency Trend published an article debunking the military aid allegations based on a statement from the Media Development Agency (MEDIA), a government agency created by presidential decree that is also being weaponized to clamp down on independent media.

Kremlin-aligned narratives increased significantly after September 2023, when Azerbaijan took full control of Nagorno-Karabakh. That month, Azerbaijan launched a military attack on the region, an internationally recognized part of Azerbaijan populated by ethnic Armenians following the war in the 1990s that resulted in the displacement of over half a million Azerbaijanis. Following one day of fighting in September 2023, Azerbaijan claimed full control over the region; over 100,000 ethnic Karabakh Armenians fled the territory, and the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic ceased to exist.

A month later, after Azerbaijan’s attack, a defense cooperation agreement was signed between Armenia and France, and in November, France announced selling military weapons to Armenia. When the actual agreement was announced, Azerbaijani pro-government internet television channel Baku TV broadcasted a program with the headline “Ukraine scenario in Caucasus: What is the West forcing Armenia to do?”—suggesting that the real reason behind Western support to Armenia is to challenge Russia. Other news websites pushed similar narratives with headlines such as “Paris wants to turn Armenia into Ukraine” or “the US’s plan to turn Armenia into the ‘Ukraine of the Caucasus.’ ”

Moreover, Azerbaijani news outlets pushed similar reports based on interviews with Russian political experts. These claims in Azerbaijani media coincide with the same period that the Armenian government started to distance itself from Russia.

Karabakh-related reports by Russian sources were sometimes criticized by pro-government media outlets, however. In 2022, Azerbaijan blocked access to Russian state-owned RIA Novosti due to its interview with Artak Beglaryan, the minister of state of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. According to local fact-checking organization Fakt Yoxla, in May, June, and July of 2023, Azerbaijani media outlets published multiple reports accusing Russia or Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh of allegedly helping the region’s Armenian forces to deploy illegal arms or to create provocations. Just a month later, in August 2022, four Sputnik Azerbaijan workers in Azerbaijan resigned after refusing to publish information from the Russian Defense Ministry about Karabakh, explaining that the request from management was to cover violations of the cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh in a way that was “contrary to Azerbaijan’s position.” It was only in October 2022, after state-run Russian First Channel called Nagorno-Karabakh an “independent state,” that Azerbaijani state-owned television channel AZTV first referred to Russia’s war in Ukraine as “Russia’s invasion.”

Azerbaijani state media also used Kremlin narratives domestically to undermine civil society groups within the country. In conjunction with government-aligned media outlets, it exploited Georgia’s accusations that USAID is trying to overthrow the government in Georgia. The DFRLab found that at least fourteen reports were published about USAID with additional narratives accusing the US agency of financing anti-government activities in Azerbaijan. A comparison of the narratives revealed that multiple Azerbaijani outlets used similar or identical text regarding Georgia’s accusation against USAID.

The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) has operationalized the study of disinformation by exposing falsehoods and fake news, documenting human rights abuses, and building digital resilience worldwide.

Image: Ukrainians and Poles gather in Warsaw on February 24 to commemorate two years since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Piotr Lapinski/NurPhoto