Russia’s disinformation campaign in Africa making quickest victories in history of propaganda — report

Russia’s disinformation campaign in Africa making quickest victories in history of propaganda — report

Russia is making “tremendous” gains in its disinformation propaganda in Africa, according to a new report by Dan Whitman, fellow at the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute, who, in a recent interview, described Moscow’s disinformation campaign as the “most rapid propaganda successes in the history of propaganda.”


In his report recently published by the US-based Foreign Policy Research Institute, Whitman details how the recent advances of Russian disinformation in Africa have resulted in some of the quickest victories in the history of propaganda. Moscow’s propaganda successes stem from the fact that the Wagner Group-Kremlin narratives work to Russia’s material advantage, and to Africa’s strong disadvantage, but also because Moscow’s lies are mainly unopposed by any country, Western or otherwise. Further complicating any attempt at countering Russian disinformation are the blurred lines distinguishing between coordinated Kremlin propaganda and aggressive military actions abroad, Whitman says.


The damage done by disinformation may have longer-lasting and more pernicious effects than ephemeral military mischief, Whitman warns. Building on centuries of practice, Russia has worked the disinformation system well enough to outflank Western governments’ efforts to counter them. Russia has long been a world leader in active measures stretching from the Cold War to antecedents as far back as Tsarist times. Russian adventures in Africa build on a solid foundation of interference in countries we keep closer track of, like the United Kingdom and Brexit, the US 2016 elections, and efforts at fragmenting Western Europe. Western responses have been feeble at best, Whitman notes.


Understandably, Western governments are skittish toward employing underhanded tactics to counter Russian lies. An alternative to inaction, he calls on Western governments to combine their resources with the work of non-governmental organizations in Africa and elsewhere.

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