A Russian-based information operation used fake accounts, forged documents, and dozens of online platforms to spread stories that attacked Western interests and unity. Its size and complexity indicated that it was conducted by a persistent, sophisticated, and well-resourced actor, possibly an intelligence operation.
The operation shows online platforms’ ongoing vulnerability to disinformation campaigns. Far more than on Facebook, which exposed it, or Twitter, the operation maintained fake accounts on platforms such Medium and Reddit, and online forums from Australia to Austria and from Spain to San Francisco. Its level of ambition was very high, but its impact was almost always low.