False Mirrors: The Weaponization of Social Media in Russia’s Operation to Annex Crimea
In his timely study, Andrii Demartino investigates the multitude of techniques how social media can be used to advance an aggressive foreign policy, as exemplified by the Russian Federation’s operation to annex Crimea in 2014. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Demartino traces the implementation of a series of Russian measures to create channels and organisations manipulating public opinion in the Ukrainian segment of the internet and on platforms such as Facebook, VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, LiveJournal, and Twitter.
Addressing the pertinent question of how much the operation to annex Crimea was either improvised or planned, he draws attention to Russia’s ad-hoc actions in the sphere of social media in 2014. Based on an in-depth analysis of the methods of Russia’s influence operations, the book proposes a number of counterstrategies to prevent such “active measures.” These propositions can serve to improve Ukraine’s national information policy as well as help to develop adequate security concepts of other states.