The Western Alliance in the Face of the Russian (Dis)information Machine: Where Does Canada Stand?

  • Sergey Sukhankin

Abstract

The Ukrainian crisis has witnessed intensification of information confrontation between Russia and the West. Canada - being an integral part of Western alliance and staunchly opposing to Russian actions on the Ukrainian Southeast – attracted Kremlin`s ire expressed in intensification of Russia`s information assault against it. The decision of Ottawa to deploy military forces in the Baltic Sea region and some legislative gestures were construed in Moscow as openly anti-Russian behaviour and a perfect example of Russophobia. This paper seeks to investigate the structure, key operative principles and distinctive features of Russia`s propaganda machine, and how these are used by the Russian side in its information campaign against Western alliance and Canada, in particular. The research demonstrates sophistication and elaborateness of Russia`s disinformation techniques: borrowing certain traits from the pre-1991 period, Russia managed to surpass its historical predecessor. This owed to the advent of new technologies and elimination of the ideological surcharge and previous dogmatism. On the basis of this research it could be argued that in spite of fierce disinformation assault that countries of the Western alliance have had to deal with after 2014, Russia`s resources are finite and Kremlin`s actions vary on a country-to-country basis. It thus could be stated that Russia`s capabilities against Canada in terms of information-phycological warfare are limited. This, however, does not mean that the peril is nonexistent. If (and, apparently, when) interests of Canada and Russia clash in the Arctic region, Moscow might be willing activate other means (the “cyber” pillar) of information confrontation, which have been tested in other theaters of Russia`s activities.

Published
2019-09-09
Section
Research Papers