Putin's Invasion of Ukraine and the Propaganda that Threatens Europe, Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, First Session, November 3, 2015   [open pdf - 1MB]

This is a testimony compilation from the November 3, 2015 hearing "Putin's Invasion of Ukraine and the Propaganda that Threatens Europe" hearing held before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. From the testimony of Benjamin G. Ziff: "We have all heard popular Kremlin refrains asserting there are no Russian soldiers in Ukraine; that Ukraine is on the verge of collapse; or Americans, and not corrupt leaders, are the cause of domestic discontent overseas. While many of these claims can easily be refuted, their around-the clock dissemination attempts to sow doubt, confusion, and suspicion and question even the most basic truths. The Kremlin sponsors these efforts with a sophisticated $1.4 billion-a-year propaganda apparatus at home and abroad, which claims to reach 600 million people across 130 countries in 30 languages. The Russian government also funds think tanks and outside organizations in its neighboring states to help achieve its goals of promoting the Kremlin's false narratives; portraying the West as a threat; and undermining trust in independent media as well as Western institutions and values. In the face of the Kremlin's attack on the truth, the free flow of reliable, credible information is the best defense. This is why the State Department has focused its efforts on supporting independent media; improving access to high quality, objective information; exposing false narratives; and building the capacity of civil society. After all, truth should be discovered, not dictated. Strong independent journalism is a key element in any democracy and will eventually prevail over disinformation and propaganda." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Benjamin G. Ziff, Leon Aron, Peter Pomerantsev, Maksymilian Czuperski, and Heather A. Conley.

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