Russia and Disinformation: The Case of Ukraine (Full Report)

Click to download this report.

This CREST report by Dr Cerwyn Moore, is one of four reports on Russia and Disinformation and looks at how Russian state disinformation operates in Ukraine.

How does Russian state disinformation operate in Ukraine? As covered in the CREST report on disinformation and maskirovka, the term disinformation is often used to embrace concepts such as ‘strategic deception’, ‘active measures’, information operations, psychological operations, concealment, and deniability.

Russia and Disinformation: The Case of Ukraine (Full Report) 19-022-01
Click to download this report.

The common factor is the use of various information tools to convey selective, incomplete and/or distorted messages in order to influence targeted audiences.

Disinformation may accompany traditional diplomacy and be aimed at promoting ‘strategic narratives’ which seek to shape the views of target audiences; it may also be aimed at undermining credibility or undermining the confidence of perceived adversaries by disrupting their own narratives and sowing confusion and mistrust.

Case Studies

This report considers Kremlin disinformation deployed in and surrounding Ukraine to highlight the dynamics of disinformation as used against a perceived enemy, in order to understand how Russia applies its operations abroad. In contrast to disinformation techniques used within Russia, the goal of disinformation circulated internationally is less to consolidate support for Putin and his policies than it is to sow distrust and disbelief in an objective truth.

The report analyses two case studies in order to better understand the dynamics of disinformation in and around Ukraine:

  • The annexation of Crimea.
  • The downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

This report is part of a series on disinformation to come out of the Actors and Narratives programme. The other three reports in the Russia and Disinformation series: ‘The Case of the Caucasus’, ‘Maskirovka’, and ‘Institutions and Actors’ can be found at


Read, download and share the full report: Russia and Disinformation: The Case of Ukraine (Full Report)

You can find the Executive Summary here.

The other reports in this series can be found here.

These resources are produced from the Actors and Narratives programme, funded by CREST. To find out more information about this programme, and to see other outputs from the team, visit the Actors and Narratives programme page.

As part of CREST’s commitment to open access research, these resources are available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence. For more details on how you can use our content see here.