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Category: History

Information war against Russia



globalization and society

Arkady ROMENKOV

INFORMATION WAR AGAINST RUSSIA

In this article it will be a question of August events of the last year which were remembered to citizens of Russia as fierce information opposition between Russia and the countries of the West.

In this article last year’s August events were described. The author stresses the fact that Russian citizens remembered them as the cruel informational opposition of Russia to the Western countries.

information war, conflict, events, attack; information war, conflict, events, attack.

The best of the best — to subdue the necessary army, without battling — Sun Tzu said. It is good to beat the opponent in the battlefield, the best of the best — to make so that the thought of a possibility of war did not even come to its mind is even better — to fight off him desire to be at war. For achievement of this last purpose information wars are also waged.

Whether Russia is ready to resist to the information attack proceeding from the developed countries? It is the best of all to give the answer to this question, having analyzed the events which were taking place in the past 2008 which, in my opinion, it is safely possible to call year of "information pressure". War between South Ossetia and Georgia became one of the main and most sad events of 2008.

Experience of the modern local conflicts learns that any "usual" war has to be preceded by powerful information war. To make sure of it, we will give several examples. Events in South Ossetia commented on many western media. So, the British TV channel Sky News showed in news release on August 8 the video topic about firing of villages of South Ossetia and the capital of the republic — Tskhinvali the Georgian artillery on the night of August 8, and next day accompanied it with the message that "Russia fires the territory of South Ossetia which is a part of Georgia".

Long time the western television channels did not host reports directly from Tskhinvali, however almost all reported about catastrophic destructions of the city at first under fire of the Georgian artillery, then under fire of artillery rossiyskoy1. All representatives of the western media were based in Tbilisi and reported about destructions in the Georgian cities of Gori and Poti. In Tskhinvali there were only Russian TV channels and one Ukrainian. And only subsequently Tskhinvali was visited more than 100 foreign zhurnalistov2.

The Russian information channel "Vesti" cites words of the European Parliament deputy Giuglietto Chiesa that the Italian mass media "report that Georgia was subjected to the attack from South Ossetia that Russia wages war against Georgia for the purpose of occupation of this country. It is a continuous lie" 3. Also other facts of falsification from the Italian television were fixed.

Vladimir Putin said on August 11 that the western media and politicians cynically try to present an aggressor as the victim: "Of course, not the cynicism of policy — policy how often speak surprises, itself it is cynical — the cynicism scale, ability surprises

Arkady Vyacheslavovich ROMENKOV is the graduate student of department of philosophy and political science of the Saratov state social and economic university

1 http://news.bbc.co.Uk/2/hi/europe/7551595.stm
2 http://www.rian.ru/society/200808l6/150421576.html
3 http://skavkaz.rfn.ru/rnews.html? id=146165tid=3123

to give white for black, black for white, ability to dexterously expose aggressors as the victim of aggression and to confer responsibility for consequences on the victims... Current Georgian politicians who wiped out suddenly ten Ossetian villages and tanks pressed the children and old men alive burning people in houses — these figures should be taken on protection".

On August 14 the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on the international affairs Konstantin Kosachyov said that the western media, in particular the American TV channel CNN, "ugly" covered events in South Ossetia: "almost day of CNN, the Air Force and other channels did not show and now do not show Tskhinvali". According to him, at some point on CNN and the Air Force to a letter even the heading of news coincided — "Georgia battles". And against the background of they are pictures of the destroyed houses — not very well whom they collapsed, it is unimportant that Georgians shot at Tskhinvali, Kosachyov added. "All this very conveniently lays down in that theory which was still professed by the West in relation to "free democratic Georgia" and in relation to "aggressive Russia" which tries to suppress this Georgia somehow" — said Kosachyov1.

On August 12 the former president of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev said that after attack of the Georgian side on Tskhinvali the charges to Russia of "aggression "against small defenseless Georgia" look not only hypocritical, but also brutal". According to Gorbachev, in the western press did not receive due illumination of a consequence humanitarian katastrofy2. On August 15 Gorbachev justified the help to Russia of South Ossetia, having said: "Russia worked, responding to aggression from the Georgian side. It was impossible to disregard such defeat and extermination of people". Gorbachev noted narrow-mindedness and bias of the western media according to events again, having expressed about it the sozhaleniye3.

On August 21 the human rights activist, the director of the Moscow bureau of human rights Alexander Brod noted bias of foreign media and human rights organizations according to events. "Vche-

1 http://russian.people.com.cn/31519/6476748.html
2 http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/12/gorbachev/
3 http://newsru.com/russia/15aug2008/gorbachev.html

ra there was very indicative call from Riga. People who read on information films about our meeting in Public chamber called from the Russian newspaper. For them was just opening how terrible was a slaughter in South Ossetia. Probably, the idea of the event of the colleague was formed on the basis of materials of CNN and foreign news agencies where Russia was absolutely unfairly drawn by an aggressor". According to him, some human rights organizations seek to hold back the died residents of South Ossetia or to underestimate figures. As Brod told, "foreign colleagues or did not find time to arrive to the republic, or made information out of thin air" 4.

26 August the Russian TV host Vladimir Posner, commenting on air of Echo of Moscow radio station on coverage of events in South Ossetia western TV channels, said: "Dreadful feelings. Dreadful on all azimuths. But the most dreadful, it is difficult for me to speak, but the most dreadful American, of course. Simply full lies. There it was not said at all that something was in Tskhinvali. That is the ordinary American has such impression that Russia intruded in Georgia. Why intruded, here because Russians such. Such Russia. Putin's Russia. Medvedev it from their point of view, again as he moves, this is the diligent pupil of Putin. About what is South Ossetia what is Abkhazia, well the slightest, zero. That is, and me so it was offensive because I remember what American television what there were people was. As all this moved. Now it is just some horror" 5.
27 August professor of University of Barcelona Francisco Veyga said that in the Spanish press the numerous mounted photos of Georgians — the victims of the conflict were published. According to him, "at the same time on pages of the Spanish media any photo of the victims among the population of the capital of South Ossetia of Tskhinvali caused by barbaric bombings of the Georgian army" 6 did not get.
4 http://www.polit.ru/dossie/2008/08/21/brod.html
5http://www. echo.msk.ru/programs/personalno/ 536359-echo/
6http://www.rian.ru/politics/20080827/150729741.html

On September 8 journalists of Russia Today TV channel accused CNN of forgery and rough falsification. According to them, the American TV channel, showing frames of destructions of the Ossetian Tskhinvali, said that it is about the Georgian Gori. One of journalists told concerning coverage of events by the western media: "The war of Georgia in South Ossetia struck a catastrophic blow to their reputation. For the first time they suppressed events in the military conflict, and at times as set an example with CNN, were engaged also in falsification" 1. Similar messages appeared and earlier.

the facts Given above are only a small certificate that Russia resisted in information war to actually whole world. Though the Russian military campaign in the North Caucasus can be considered victorious, but Russia, in my opinion, unambiguously lost information war which against us was developed by the USA. In the opinion of almost all states of the world Russia looks the aggressor who attacked weak Georgia.

In what the reason of information defeat? In unwillingness of the leadership of Russia to create abroad the powerful information service capable to resist to the information attacks? Someone claims that it not so, we have information services which regularly and in due time extended informatsiyuo the Georgian-South Ossetia conflict, but world media did not take it or distorted, executing the political order. Certainly, most large western media are strictly engaged and ground under a certain political propaganda, however at the time in the USSR the media were much more controlled and tsenzurirovanny, but it did not prevent the USA to carry out promotion of the values in the territory of the Union. It did not prevent to strengthen opinion in consciousness of residents of the USSR that the western way of life is much better Soviet.

In my opinion, a question only in professionalism of information services. Simply in the USA there are professionals who much better than ours can work with media and are able to distribute information necessary to them. Our information services are completely lost if there is no opportunity to bribe journalists,

1 http://rian.ru/osetia_news/20080908/151078965.html

to buy media entirely or to give the order "from above" on placement of the necessary material. And this despite the fact that they are normal actions in difficult political situations. However now the situation is worse, than it seems. Therefore Russia needs to formulate and give the adequate information answer, first of all in the nearest future — in the European and former Soviet Union. The past after "five-day August war" in the Caucasus time showed that still Russian political elite tries to draw the corresponding conclusions after information aggression of the USA, Great Britain and some other countries against Russia. There took place several public actions with participation of the leading Russian experts on whom the course of information war against Russia was analyzed (on September 17, 2008. The public chamber organized a round table "Information aggression against Russia: opposition methods", on October 2, 2008 the Just Russia party held the international conference "Information Wars in the Modern World").

The main problem which was obvious during the discussions is obvious underestimation of a role of information confrontation by modern Russian political elite in the conditions of strengthening of the global economic and geopolitical competition in the world. After coercion of Georgia and its transatlantic patrons to the world the geopolitical and geoeconomic role of Russia in the world will be defined in many respects by whether she will be able to create the effective system of information confrontation. Time demands simultaneous creation of the powerful information and analytical and outreach structures intended for realization of information models of settlement of the conflicts.

If to return to a question whether Russia is ready to resist to information pressure, then on the basis of the above facts the definite answer that without ability to operate information processes the modern state as powerlessly as not having army arises. In a sense the information service is also important and necessary as army.

Valerie Lloyd
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