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US and Poland to combat Russian disinformation about war in Ukraine

US and Poland to combat Russian disinformation about war in Ukraine In Poland, the Ukrainian Communication Group to Combat Russian Fakes is starting its work (photo: Getty Images)

The US and Poland are launching an international operation aimed at helping Ukraine counter Russian disinformation, according to the Associated Press.

On Monday, June 10, the opening ceremony of the new Ukrainian Communication Group took place at the US Embassy in Warsaw. It will start its work on Tuesday and will include representatives from 12 countries, including Canada, France, Germany, Finland, Italy, several other NATO countries, and Ukraine itself.

Mission employees will work in premises provided by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. One of their tasks will be to identify and debunk Russian disinformation campaigns aimed at undermining support for Ukraine worldwide.

"he challenge in information warfare is not only to know what the Russians are doing, it’s to also figure out what are the best ways to combat it,," said James Rubin, senior US diplomat responsible for countering disinformation.

He said that the initiative belongs to the US, but it was enthusiastically supported by Poland, whose government is very concerned about the damage that disinformation can do to democracy. Polish officials increasingly state that the country is also a target of sabotage and other subversive actions by Russian intelligence services.

"The group is to confront the deceptive narratives about Russian aggression against Ukraine and to work for an honest representation of reality in the global information environment. This is a strong signal of our shared determination to continue supporting Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion," the Polish government said in a statement.

Rubin, who heads the US State Department’s Global Engagement Center, said Warsaw was a logical location for the center given the many officials who pass through the Polish capital going in and out of Ukraine during the war.

The Global Engagement Center works to highlight disinformation by what it considers hostile states. Rubin said it has already had some success in debunking Russian disinformation campaigns targeting Latin American and Africa before they could have their intended effect.

Russian fakes about Ukraine

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Kremlin has been actively waging a war against Ukraine on the information front, regularly disseminating fake information through the media and social media. This way, Russia imposes false perceptions of the events of the war in Ukraine on people and politicians in Western countries and tries to disrupt military aid.

In particular, on the evening of June 10, the President of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, announced that the Russian army had allegedly captured the border village of Ryzhivka in the Sumy region. However, Ukraine has refuted this information and called it fake.

According to the Institute for the Study of War, Russia is concealing losses in the Kharkiv direction using fake voiceovers in videos of soldiers.