Covid-19 ‘infodemic’ management: russia’s key tool for influencing geopolitics
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National Aerospace University “Kharkiv Aviation Institute” Ukraine
University of Waterloo Canada
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1809
Russian propaganda has become a famous tool for influencing geopolitics, significantly impacting the US election. The research aims to analyze the Russian foreign influences in the info space of the USA and Ukraine using infodemic about COVID-19 in social media and affiliated media. As a research method, we used comparative case studies of countries, including qualitative analysis of open sources, reports from analytical companies, journalistic investigations, and governmental documents. The research results showed that Russia has a significant impact on sharing disinformation about COVID-19 in US and Ukraine, aiming to undermine countries authoritys efforts to eliminate pandemic consequences and try to cause a substantial public health crisis. They used similar narratives, such as conspiracy theories, but their strategies differed. In terms of the US, they used the polarisation of society to amplify polar opinions on social media, increasingly dividing society. In Ukraine, many narratives were building around the inability of the authorities to protect the population and offering of Russian vaccine for Ukrainians. The weakening of Ukrainian power and delegitimization of the Ukrainian government, using the infodemics about COVID-19, was strategically significant for Russia to prepare solidly for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, 2022. The rising power of authoritarian regimes in Russia and worldwide strengthens their ability for digital totalitarianism, allowing them to use foreign propaganda to undermine other countries health systems. Democratic governments, which respect the freedom of speech, are especially vulnerable to disinformation challenges. In that case, democracies need strategic changes and new approaches to information warfare. This requires in-depth research and interstate coordination to launch campaigns that will include data sharing and countermeasures to effectively counter Russian propaganda and fight digital totalitarianism.
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