Sowing Chaos: Russia's Disinformation Wars

Sowing Chaos: Russia's Disinformation Wars

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union used the media to undermine foreign powers. Now, Russia is at it again. And while the goals are the same, the methods have changed. 

Revelations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election were a shock to Americans. But it wasn't quite as surprising to people in former Soviet states and the EU.

For years they've been exposed to Russian disinformation and slanted state media; before that Soviet propaganda filtered into the mainstream. We don't know how effective Russian information warfare was in swaying the US election. But we do know these tactics have roots going back decades and will most likely be used for years to come.

This hour, we’ll hear stories of Russian disinformation and attempts to sow chaos in Europe and the United States. 

We’ll learn how Russia uses its state-run media to give a platform to conspiracy theorists and how it invites viewers to doubt the accuracy of other news outlets.

And we’ll look at the evolution of internet trolling from individuals to large troll farms.

And — finally — what can be done to counter all this?

This episode features interviews with: 

William Courtney - Former US Ambassador to Kazakhstan and Georgia

Michael McFaul - Former US Ambassador to Russia & political science professor at Stanford University

Peter Pomerantsev - Author of Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia 

Kimberly Martin - Director of the Russia-US relations program at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University & political science professor at Barnard College

Jeffrey Gedmin - Senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and former president of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty

Andrew Radin - Political scientist at the RAND Corporation