The purpose of the Integrity Initiative and what it does – We are all in an ongoing war according to Chris Donnelly, founder and director of The Institute for Statecraft and former NATO advisor

This text is written by Activists for Peace, Sweden.

The purpose of the Integrity Initiative and what it does
We are all in an ongoing war according to Chris Donnelly, founder and director of The Institute for Statecraft and former NATO advisor.

Are the British doing what they claim Russia alone is doing; Pushing their agenda onto other countries through semi-secret influence operations? Members of the British parliament have questioned the way the state funded Integrity Initiative have used tweets and operated secretly to organize smear campaigns. Leaked documents, confirmed as coming from the computers belonging to the initiative, have so far caused a debate in more than 25 countries. Is this project, under the disguise of stopping Russian disinformation, carrying out a constant low intensity warfare as well as fast smear campaigns in many European countries against anyone that divert from the British Foreign policy agenda?

Finally, the leader of the project steps forward. In a video on Youtube, Chris Donnelly – former NATO advisor and director at Institute for Statecraft which is the parent organization behind the semi-secret Integrity Initiative – tells the public about the purpose of the project. He says the aim is to be able to ”track, expose and tackle” new problems influencing governments all over Europe with the help of 2 million pounds a year from the British government.

According to Donnelly, Institute for Statecraft looks into the issue of ”malign influence and disinformation” in order to ”educate and inform policymakers and decision makers” so they can ”expose and tackle” the problem which present in all European countries and all over the world.  Donnelly makes the following statement concerning how Integrity Initiative is doing this:

”We have across Europe a network, we call them clusters, of people who understand the issue and have agreed voluntarily to bound themselves to keep together in order to tackle the issue in their own country and to share information between each country on the problems and how to tackle them and how to improve their own governmental capacity how to deal with them.”

Chris Donnelly on the initiatives, 23 December 2018

The reason for having an NGO such as Institute for Statecraft to protect democracy against malign influence that can come from anywhere is according to Donnelly changes since the 20th century. Then the main threat was a world war between states. In this century, he claims that there is a new kind of conflict where everything can be used as a weapon in the conflicts between states; information, energy supply, cyber-attacks, corruption and financial investments. Donnelly claims that information is the issue that unites all these conflict issues and gives them a third dimension.

Governments are not able to address these challenges to democracy, says Donnelly. They cannot protect themselves or our societies against this malign influence; “that’s why institutes like Institute for Statecraft, Non-governmental organisations run by specialists without governmental direction are so important because they can generate, from the grass roots, a movement of people. They can educate people more effectively. They can respond more rapidly to the kind of informational, disinformational threat we now are facing.”

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Paul Robinson, a professor at the University of Ottawa specialised in military history and military ethics writing on Russian and Soviet history, sees rather a lack of integrity than protection of it in the Institute for Statecraft’s projects. He writes:

“Furthermore, as the leaked documents purport to show, the initiative engages in exactly the sort of ‘meddling’ in foreign affairs of which its members accuse Russia. In one instance, project members disliked the Spanish government’s choice for the post of director of Spain’s Department of Homeland Security. The Spanish ‘cluster’ set about lobbying against the candidate on social media, and eventually the Spanish government appointed somebody else. One can well imagine what the reaction would be if it turned out that a network of influential people who secretly belonged to a group funded by the Russian government had successfully lobbied to prevent the appointment of an official in Spain because Russia objected to him or her.”

Paul Robinson on the initiatives, 25 November 2018

Paul Robinson concludes: “Projects like the Integrity Initiative help strengthen the impression of secret conspiracies and double standards. Far from solving the problem, therefore, they accentuate it.”

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Donnelly has earlier expressed that: ”War is change. If war is change, change is war.” This kind of false equivalency brings the Orwellian new speak “War is Peace” to mind and if War is Peace, Peace is War. The challenge for Donnelly and his initiatives is to educate people that the peace they are living in is war. All activists for peace are enemy combatants in a war against their war on peace. Donnelly is losing the peace, but hopes to win this war.

In Donnelly’s world everything is subordinated their war on peace. Every aspect of our lives; social interactions, cultural activities, religious affiliation, trade links, political activism, professional activity and so on requires servitude to this war.

Activists for Peace, Sweden

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Demands for de-escalation of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine

This statement was initiated by Activists for peace (In Swedish: Aktivister för fred) and Prague Spring 2 – Network against right-wing extremism and populism. 

If you want to sign it, leave a message or send an e-mail to aktivisterforfred(snabel-a)gmail.com Write your organisation/your name, title and town or what you want to sign with. 

KertjIncidenten25Nov2018Screen shot: Movie recording from the Kerch incident.
Via the Russian Ministry of Defense’s TV channel Zvezda (The Star).


Demands for de-escalation of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine

Since the beginning of this year, tensions have been rising in the Azov Sea region between Russia and Ukraine, culminating in the Kerch Strait incident on Nov. 25, 2018. This incident has been used by the Ukrainian government as a pretext for declaring martial law in regions spanning along the Black Sea coast and borders with Russia and Transnistria and also asking for Nato-intervention in the Azov Sea. At the same time, actions of Russian authorities creating difficulties for marine traffic to and from the Ukrainian ports on the Azov Sea contribute to deterioration of the economic and the general situation in Ukraine. These developments take place in the context of continuing Ukrainian economic pressure on Crimea, ranging from water blockade (leading to serious environmental problems) via cutting electricity supply to travel restrictions and capturing boats after they left Crimean ports. There is also an ongoing war in Donbass and hardening securitarian and repressive policies in Russia and Ukraine.

Escalation of the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine can be exceptionally dangerous. So can the militaristic-authoritarian efforts of the Ukrainian government within Ukraine, especially in its southern and eastern regions where there is significant opposition to the confrontational policies of the current ruling establishment.

We demand that:

  1. Both sides (Russia and Ukraine) should without delay hold dialogues and take concrete steps in order to de-escalate and reduce tensions following the incident in the Kerch strait. A peaceful solution is of priority for everyone. In a situation towards war, all minor points of contention should be dropped by both sides.
  2. Both sides should immediately release all confiscated or detained vessels and their crew; those captured on Nov. 25 as well as before that. All threats of detention in Ukrainian ports and actual confiscation in relation to the Azov Sea, the Kerch Strait, Crimea and their close areas should stop. No charges should be put forward in relation to these areas. Ukraine should, for instance, drop the charges against the captain of the Russian flagged fishing vessel ”Nord”, Vladimir Gorbenko. Russia should, for instance, cancel the criminal case that is being opened against the sailors captured on Nov. 25.
  3. Existing sanctions against Russia should not be extended and new sanctions should not be introduced by neither Ukraine nor the international community.
  4. Kerch strait should be open for traffic following existing agreements and rules for international shipping. Protracted inspections of ships should be ended. Uncalled-for inspections should be avoided and passage through the Kerch Strait should be done without unnecessary delays, not to harm economic activities in and around the Azov Sea.
  5. The extra travel restrictions imposed by the Ukrainian authorities on Russian and other non-Ukrainian citizens should be abolished. This applies to both in and out of Ukraine, over the contact line in the east and to and from Crimea.
  6. Steps for de-escalation in the wider area involved in the conflict should be made, including the repeal of the martial law in Ukraine, the resumption of the Minsk agreements’ implementation process in Donbass, and the release of political prisoners and prisoners of war by all sides of the conflict.

Prague Spring 2 – Network against right-wing extremism and populism
in co-operation with Activists for peace.