As the US Government tries to hide its role in the spread of political propaganda both foreign and domestic, the Russian Government embraces their activities outright. In a story that has gone largely underrepresented this past week, members of the Russian Government announced the formation of a new military branch – an “informational warfare” unit.
In an address to Russia’s Parliament last week, Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu publicly acknowledged the existence of this unit for the first time. Though specific details about the agency were left out and Shoygu did not acknowledge any of their current operations, other members of Russia’s Government suggested that the unit is meant to “fight back against Western propaganda.”
To that very point, Shoygu explained how a new wave of Russian “propaganda needs to be clever, smart and efficient” as the country moves forward in the digital world. Following the conclusion of his speech, retired General Vladimir Shamanov, the head of Defense Affairs Committee in the lower house of parliament, expanded upon Shoygu’s remarks adding that the informational warfare unit will also be tasked with protecting Russia’s “national defense interests” – including combating malicious cyber actors and launching offensive cyber campaigns of their own.
What does Western Propaganda mean exactly?
Despite the popular claim of “Russian aggression” made famous by American media, when you look at the actions of the US military side by side with the actions of the Russian military, if Russia is ‘aggressive’ what does that make the US?
Here are some quick examples:
- In 2016 Russia spent a record 50 billion dollars on their military. Not including NATO and United Nations expenditure, the USA spent over 500 billion dollars on their military. Moreover, whereas the US increased military expenditure in 2017, Russia decreased theirs.
- Russia has 1 aircraft carrier, the USA has dozens.
- Following the breakup of the USSR in the 90’s Russia cancelled their air-force program, while the USA’s air-force encircled Russia’s borders carrying active nuclear bombs up until 2014.
- Russia has 2 international military bases outside their border, the USA has over 900 international military bases.
- The USA has given Poland, Romania and several other countries missile defense systems and stationed thousands of troops in these countries directly along Russia’s borders. Whereas Russia has only moved troops and missile defense systems inside their own country/borders.
- The US has routinely patrolled Russia’s coastline with spy ships and planes for decades on end, from the Pacific to the Baltic. Russia made news moving a singular spy ship off the coast of Connecticut for the first time just last week.
- The US started 3 different Wars since 1988, militarily invaded 3 countries since 2001 and have bombed 7 different nations since 2008. Russia has started 1 War in Ukraine and have bombed 3 countries over the same time period.
The insanity of the claim of “Russian Aggression” compared to “American Aggression” really could go on like that for a while, but here the President of Russia speaking for himself on the matter:
Directly linked to the War on information in modern society is the growth of Cyber Warfare in our digital age. Despite an absence of definitive proof, here in America it has become commonly accepted that the Russian Government hacked the US election along with several key figures inside the American Democrat Party in 2016. What has gone largely under reported though is the fact that Russia has been repeatedly hacked itself over the same time period, and has suffered from an increasingly large number of cyber attacks ever since Trump won the nomination.
Read more, the private emails of Putin’s top aid were hacked and dumped online, revealing the true intentions of Russia’s military in Ukraine: https://legacymedi4.com/2016/10/28/ukrainian-hacker-leaks-2337-emails-from-inside-the-kremlin-vladislav-surkov-one-of-putins-top-advisors/
Getting back to the news of the day, while specifics were not laid out, it is clear that increasing Russia’s cyber security and turning technology into a weapon have become a top priority. While there is limited evidence suggesting that Russia operated fake news and/or propagandist websites directly here in the United States, recent reports out of Germany appear to have caught them ‘red-handed.’
Add to this a recent string of hacks into Ukrainian infrastructure and power companies, along with Russia’s alleged influence over the US elections and it quickly becoming apparent the true size and scope of Russia’s newest military wing. The fact that Russia is not even trying to hide their efforts anymore and now openly admits to disseminating propaganda on the world stage is what is incredibly interesting about all of this. Some might call this arrogance, but then again Russia appears to have been very successful in their mission(s) – perhaps they are just trying to rub it in now?
Regardless, Russia is not the only country on the Cyber War front-line and less than a week after Russia announced the formation of their newest ‘informational Warfare’ unit, US Cyber Command came out with a press release of their own – addressing operational changes/goals to be implemented over the course of the next decade.
You can read US Cyber Commands official release here: https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1094167/rogers-discusses-near-future-of-us-cyber-command