Articles

Russian escalation at the Kerch Strait ended in cannon fire and the capture of three Ukrainian military vessels, leaving at least six Ukrainian sailors wounded. This escalation was a continuation of increasing Russian aggression in the Sea of Azov and around the Kerch Strait, where Ukrainian shipping and maritime activity has been routinely harassed.

On November 25, 2018, two Ukrainian gunboats and an accompanying tug boat were denied entry into the Sea of Azov while attempting transfer from Odesa to Mariupol. The Russian Federation considers the Crimean peninsula its territory since it illegally annexed and occupied the peninsula in 2014. This stance led Russia to grow increasingly aggressive in the Sea of Azov, although it is considered internal waters of both countries following a 2003 agreement.

Read the full analysis on Medium.
Last week, officials of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) claimed that “a group of military specialists from Great Britain” arrived in Bakhmut (formerly Artemovsk) to work with Ukraine’s 72nd Mechanized Brigade. In particular, these British specialists were to assist Ukraine in a chemical attack that would be blamed on Russia and “separatist” forces — a clear allusion the Russian government’s line on the Skripal poisoning. There has been no credible evidence presented by Russia or the “people’s republics” in eastern Ukraine to back this claim.

This claim is the latest installment of a long tradition of announcements from the so-called DNR that Western nations have sent military specialists or advisers to assist the Ukrainian Armed Forces. However, to date, there has not been a single credible, documented case of a Western country’s servicemen participating in the conflict in the Donbas.

Read the full analysis on Medium.
On October 7, a few hours after the polls closed in Brazil and a runoff between the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro and leftist Fernando Haddad was announced, capoeira master Moa do Katende was stabbed to death in a bar.

The murder received extensive attention because it was reported as an example of the increasing electoral violence in the country. The victim was a Worker’s Party (PT) supporter, while the suspect was an alleged Bolsonaro supporter.

Read the full analysis on Medium.
Ahead of Brazil’s presidential election on October 7 vote, false narratives about electronic voting fraud have spiked and deepened mistrust as citizens head to the polls.

The narrative has been amplified by the far-right frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro, who claimed the voting system is rigged in favor of the leftist Worker’s Party (PT).

Read the full analysis on Medium.
Uma análise das 20 notícias sobre corrupção que geraram mais engajamento nas redes sociais este ano mostra que fontes de baixa credibilidade conseguiram atrair mais engajamento do que veículos tradicionais.

Dentre as 20 notícias que atraíram mais interações no Facebook e no Twitter entre fevereiro e agosto deste ano, cinco não eram confiáveis: quatro eram inverídicas e uma foi publicada por um site que fazia parte de uma rede de desinformação. Além disso, uma foi criada por uma publicação de humor. Entre os quatro artigos mais populares, três estavam nestas categorias.

Read the full analysis on FGV.
Ahead of the September 30 nationwide referendum to determine the country’s name, Macedonia remains on high alert for disinformation from at home and abroad. The campaign on all sides of the referendum has included a substantial digital and online component.

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Ahead of Macedonia’s naming referendum on September 30, Nazi imagery and accusations have been inserted into the political dialogue online. Content spread by the mostly anonymous campaign to boycott the referendum falsely claimed the local politicians and foreign officials who support the referendum are also Nazi supporters or fascists.

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A significant number of Brazilians joined the social network Gab.ai after Twitter suspended accounts associated with the far-right in the country.

Users from the country have since become one of the largest groups to access the Gab website, second only to the United States. Gab is well-documented as a fertile environment for the spread of conspiracy theories and hate speech.

Read the full analysis on Medium.
With one week left ahead of the nationwide referendum to determine the name of the country, Macedonia’s information environment is becoming clouded with distorted and polarizing narratives by some Russian media outlets, especially from Sputnik — a state-funded online outlet.

@DFRLab analyzed recent coverage by Sputnik on the Macedonia referendum and found exclusively one-sided, polarizing, or misleading content.

Read the full analysis on Medium.
Ahead of Macedonia’s naming referendum on September 30, the boycott proponents attempted to both use and disparage similar nationalist sentiment in the United States.

A failed referendum would complicate the country’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic community for the foreseeable future. Namely, Greece is adamant the country’s name has to change to lift their veto on Macedonia’s NATO and European Union membership. The agreed name containing the word “North” is a compromise reached between the two countries on June 17, 2018 (so called Prespa Agreement).

Read the full analysis on Medium.