Democracy & Tech Initiative

The DFRLab’s Democracy & Tech Initiative creates policy practices that align global stakeholders toward tech and governance that reinforces, rather than undermines, open societies. This initiative builds on the DFRLab’s leadership in the OSINT field, empowering global communities to promote transparency and accountability.




May 24, 2022

Putin’s Mariupol Massacre is one of the 21st century’s worst war crimes

By Paul Niland

The Russian destruction of Mariupol ranks among the gravest crimes against humanity of the twenty-first century and sends a clear message to the international community that can be no compromise peace with Putin.

Conflict Democratic Transitions


May 24, 2022

The Putin puzzle: Why is the Russian dictator so obsessed with Ukraine?

By Bohdan Vitvitsky

Vladimir Putin has sought to justify his invasion of Ukraine by claiming the country has no right to exist but in reality modern Ukraine enjoys a level of democratic legitimacy that far exceeds his own authoritarian regime.

Civil Society Conflict


May 21, 2022

Appeasement is the worst possible policy for both Ukraine and Russia

By Dennis Soltys

Western advocates of appeasement in Ukraine such as French President Emmanuel Macron fail to appreciate the deep-rooted imperial ambitions underpinning Vladimir Putin's campign to extinguish Ukrainian independence.

Conflict Democratic Transitions
Banner image: Incendiary weapons explode above the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine. (Source: @faceofwar/archive)

New Atlanticist

May 20, 2022

Russian War Report: Russian forces use incendiary munitions in Mariupol

By Digital Forensic Research Lab

New photo and video evidence suggests that the Russian military continues to use incendiary and cluster munitions against Ukrainian forces.

Disinformation Eastern Europe

New Atlanticist

May 19, 2022

Russian aggression brings EU and US together on trade and tech in France. What comes next?

By Atlantic Council experts

Our experts break down the US-EU Trade and Technology Council meeting and what it means for the future of transatlantic tech and trade policy.

Digital Policy Economic Sanctions

China-MENA Podcast

May 19, 2022

Chinese Multilateralism in MENA

By Atlantic Council

Dawn Murphy joins us to discuss China's approach to drawing Middle East and North African countries into Chinese-led cooperative forums for political support and influence.

China Economy & Business

Event Recap

May 18, 2022

Viva la space: Why the commercial small satellite revolution matters for the US government

By Madison Littlepage

A panel of space experts and practitioners discuss with Forward Defense how the US government can leverage commercial small satellite technology to secure the space domain.

Defense Industry Defense Technologies

In the News

May 17, 2022

Trotti in the National Interest on drones

By Atlantic Council

Christian Trotti recommends that the US military heavily invests in drone technology.

Defense Technologies Drones

Reality Check

May 17, 2022

Reality Check #12 — Russia, the West, and the rest: The hard choices the US must make to reinforce its global leadership

By Ferial Saeed

Washington needs to make hard choices now to blunt the global consequences of the war in Ukraine and the sanctions regime while delivering a decisive strategic setback to Russian President Vladimir Putin necessary to reinforce US global leadership. 

China Conflict


May 17, 2022

Vladimir Putin is running out of options to avoid defeat in Ukraine

By Taras Kuzio

Vladimir Putin expected a quick victory in Ukraine but now finds himself facing a catastrophic defeat that will shatter Russia's pretensions to military superpower status while threatening Putin's own authoritarian regime.

Conflict Crisis Management