Ukraine: The Disinformation War May 31, 2022

from File on 4· ·

Russia’s response to accusations of war crimes in Ukraine has been to blame the Ukrainians of bombing their own side. Some people here in the UK have been sharing this version of the war on social media. Driven by a conviction that Western governments are responsible for many of the world’s ills, these academics, journalists and celebrities have shared misinformation in their attempts to raise questions about the official narrative of the war. Their detractors say they are useful to Vladimir Putin. They claim there’s a McCarthyist witch hunt against them. All wars are fought as much in the information …



Russia’s response to accusations of war crimes in Ukraine has been to blame the Ukrainians of bombing their own side. Some people here in the UK have been sharing this version of the war on social media. Driven by a conviction that Western governments are responsible for many of the world’s ills, these academics, journalists and celebrities have shared misinformation in their attempts to raise questions about the official narrative of the war. Their detractors say they are useful to Vladimir Putin. They claim there’s a McCarthyist witch hunt against them. All wars are fought as much in the information space as on the battle field and Chloe Hadjimatheou looks at where the new red lines are being drawn in an age of disinformation. This programme is subject to clarifications. It referred to Dr Justin Schlosberg's tweets about Bucha questioning why a massacre in the city wasn't mentioned until four days after Russian troops had left. File on 4 said: 'Dr Schlosberg highlighted this in his tweet. How could the Mayor have failed to refer to such an atrocity - surely something's up?' In fact this was the presenter's summary of Dr Schlosberg's sentiments, not a direct quote. We also agree that we should have included Dr Schlosberg's explanation that he tweeted because it wasn't clear what was going on in Bucha, that it was right to apply due caution until the UN had done an authoritative investigation and the idea that he was pushing a particular Kremlin narrative is absurd. The programme also referenced a parliamentary question from Robert Halfon, MP, and some listeners might have concluded that Dr Schlosberg was one of the academics he specifically named for “spreading misinformation” as he put it. We wish to make it clear that he was not. More details here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/helpandfeedback/corrections_clarifications/