ukraine

Vladimir Putin uses an invisible army of social media propagandists, in addition to conventional media, to support his narrative of an out-of-control Ukraine, to spread fabrications of atrocities by Ukrainian extremists, and to unleash destabilizing rumors on east Ukraine.

Putting his personal seal on the annexation of Crimea, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia arrived in the naval port of Sevastopol on Friday, where he used the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany to assert that Moscow had the right to take over the Black Sea peninsula.

As Ukraine's political divisions play out on the geopolitical stage, the country also faces an unsettling schism among its main churchgoers.  Now Filaret says that Ukraine's growing political crisis is a signal from above that it's time to unite all of the Orthodox faithful into a single church.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the internet as a CIA project. During a speech at a media forum in St. Petersburg, he said Russia would have to "fight for its interests" online. New laws passed in the last few days show just how serious he was.

Last Saturday, May 3, was annual World Press Freedom Day. This year, the state of press freedom is especially grim; journalists face imprisonment, kidnapping, and death for doing their jobs. “Unfortunately, we really don’t have a lot to celebrate,” said Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Washington and Brussels are the heroes of the Ukrainian saga, if you believe the Western media. Russian President Vladimir Putin is cast as the Big Bad Russian Bear, US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are the Democratic A-Team.

Viewed with the sound off, it appears on video to be a tour of a typical construction site in eastern Ukraine. But unmuted, the report by Russian TV host Arkady Mamontov becomes more ominous. As eerie music overlays the din of power drills, the camera zooms in on a tube protruding from a piece of brick wall and then quickly cuts to what appears to be a small shower room.

U.S. lawmakers apparently now believe that the way to counter Russia's information offensive is by supplying propaganda of our own. The code for this is "messaging" -- in other words, the priority should be on "getting America's message out."

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