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Policy of Russia on Misinformation - Dictionary of Arguments

Krastev I 128
Misinformation/Policy of Russia/Krastev: American offcials could not understand why Putin was claiming that 'It is "citizens' defence groups," not Russian forces, who have seized infrastructure and militaryfacilities in Crimea(1), - or why Putin denied that Russia had anything to do with
hacking the emails of the Democratic Party. What sense did it make to say such things when images of Russian Special Forces capturing the public buildings in Crimea were all over the TV and the internet and when the FBI has identified the intelligence offcer who did the hacking? Putin's lies seemed absurd in the age of involuntary transparency.
Krastev: So why were Russian offcials lying so blatantly when they knew perfectly well that their lies would be exposed a few hours after they were uttered? Putin's barefaced mendacity ran counter to a basic assumption of realpolitik, namely that 'lying is only effective when the potential victim thinks that the liar is probably telling the truth' and that 'nobody wants to be called a liar, even if it is for a good cause.(1)
Solution/Krastev: Every counter-attack provoked by Putin's blatantly mendacious behaviour was, from his perspective,
Krastev I 129
a way to remind the world and especially America how often the West had lied to Russia in the past. The goal was less to achieve a strategic advantage than to change the mental state and self-image of the Main Enemy, that is, to make Americans painfully remember what they had so conveniently forgotten.
Policy of the USA: James Jesus Angleton, chief of CIA Counterintelligence from 1 9 54 to 1975,
would be less scandalized by Putin's behaviour than his successors in charge of America's intelligence agencies today. (...) [he believed that] „the essensce of disinformation ist provocation, not lying.“(2)


1. John J. Mearsheimer, Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics (Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 29, 20.
2. Edward Jay Epstein, Deception: The Invisible War between the KGB and the CIA (Simon and Schuster, 1989), p. 17.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Policy of Russia
Krastev I
Ivan Krastev
Stephen Holmes
The Light that Failed: A Reckoning London 2019


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-08-03
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