Swedish Disinformation research controversy – links

This is a list of links complementing a list of Integrity Initiative links from some 40 countries and some Atlantic Council links that was compiled by us, Activists for peace (In Swedish: Aktivister för fred) on January 5, 2019.

In early December 2018, Tord Björk from Activists for Peace was once more the target of a smear campaign. In a joint effort by Stockholm Free World Forum, an NGO paid by The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise to promote business interest in security affairs and Atlantic Council, the closer cooperation between environmental and peace movement and linkages to the Green Party was presented as a threat in the report Kremlin’s Trojan Horses 3.0. Tord Björk had written in an article in an environmental magazine that the referendum in Crimea in 2014 was a breach of international law but that a majority of the local population including the Ukrainians supports the outcome. The author of the report, Henrik Sundbom, a fellow at Stockholm Free World Forum, claimed that the article showed to much sympathy with the Russian Crimean narrative.

Last year a close cooperation partner to Henrik Sundbom , Martin Kragh, head of the Russia and Eurasian programme at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs and researcher at the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University where he also is Research Director at the Uppsala Forum for Democracy, Peace, and Justice, together with the daily Expressen also started a smear campaign against Tord Björk and Ukrainabulletinen, the newsletter publicized by Activists for peace.

Activists for peace in Make 2019 a year of peace!, January 5, 2019

Below you find an extensive compilation of links in relation to last years scandal.

Note that we have not made any assessment concerning trustworthiness. You have to use your own judgement; preferably by assessing the content rather than the sender. All texts have been included based on that they have some substance and that we have not missed any text.

Most of the links are in Swedish. We are working on translations of the titles so you are welcome back for updates.

Activists for peace has compiled this list in four sections:

  • Some of the main texts and audiofiles of democratic interest
  • Some of the main texts and audiofiles of academic interest
  • Full list with links to articles in chronological order
  • Some further links of interest

Some of the main texts and audiofiles of democratic interest

Kragh, Martin and Åsberg, Sebastian: Russia’s strategy for influence through public diplomacy and active measures: the Swedish case, 1st version January 5, 2017. 

Kragh, Martin and Åsberg, Sebastian: Russia’s strategy for influence through public diplomacy and active measures: the Swedish case, 2nd version Spring 2017.

Svenska Freds och Skiljedomsföreningen: Om desinformation i debatten om värdlandsavtalet med Nato (In English: About disinformation in the debate on the host country agreement with NATO), Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, January 10, 2017.

guardian

Henley, Jon: Russia waging information war against Sweden, study finds – Swedish Institute of International Affairs accuses Russia of using fake news and false, documents to influence opinion, The Guardian, January 11, 2017,

Storöy Elnan, Thea: Svenske medier beskyldes for å spre russisk propaganda. – En grotesk anklage, sier kulturredaktør (In English: Swedish media is accused of spreading Russian propaganda – A grotesque accusation, says culture editor), Aftenposten, January 12, 2017 and revised January 14, 2017.

Nesser, Johannes: Nya anklagelser mot Aftonbladet Kultur, Journalisten, January 13, 2017. 

TT: UI-forskare backar om Svenska Freds (In English: Researcher at Swedish Institute for International Affairs steps back concerning the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society), January 14, 2017. 

Rosenvinge, Therese and Cedersjö, Johan: Propagandabråk och Rysslandsalarmism, Sveriges Radio – Medierna, January 16, 2017.
Interview with Anders Mellbourn, Martin Kragh and others. 

Rågsjö Thorell, Andreas: Larmet om Aftonbladet Kultur sågas – hon kräver att artikeln tas bort, Resumé, January 16, 2017.  

Sachnin, Aleksej: Det är jag som är ”Putins agent” om livet som oppositionell i Ryssland – och om anklagelser från båda sidor, Aftonbladet, January 17, 2017. 

 

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Olsson, Karin: Hemliga namnen i studien om Kremlfjäsk, Expressen Kultur, Expressen, January 18, 2017. 

Nesser, Johannes: Allt du velat veta om Kremlfjäsk men inte orkat ta in, Journalisten, January 20, 2017. 

Björk, Tord: “Vi ville främja dialog över frontlinjen”, Expressen, January 26, 2017. 

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Jordens Vänner: UI-forskare och Expressen svartmålar freds- och miljöaktivister, January 26, 2017.

Jensen, Johannes: Tord Björk: ”De tror på sina egna lögner”, Internationalen, January 18, 2017. 

Activists for peace: The Swedish Institute for International Affairs research scandal. Activists for peace blog, March 5, 2017. 

Activists for Peace: NGOs and research trying to silence peace voices in Sweden, Activists for peace blog, March 5, 2017. 


Some of the main texts and audiofiles of academic interest

The two versions of the desinformation article (see above) and also some other links above.

Five filed complaints directed to Uppsala University, can be obtained from the university.

Two evaluations made on behalf of Uppsala University, can be obtained from the university.

david

Isaksson, David: Svensk kremlologi, Sydsvenskan, January 9, 2017.

Karlsson, Martin (director of Swedish Institute of International Affairs): Med anledning av debatten om artikeln ”Russia’s strategy for influence through public diplomacy,  and active measures: the Swedish case”, Swedish Institute of International Affairs, January 11, 2017.

Lundström, Emma: Desinformationsrapporten som byggde på desinformation, Internationalen, January 11, 2017. 

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Enbom, Jesper and Lindenius: Erik: Desinformation, Mediespanarna #262, Mediespanarna, January 12, 2017. 

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Kälvemark, Torsten: Rapport på villovägar, Tidens tecken, January 12, 2017.

Bröms, Joakim: Lakejer, Bröms blogg, January 12, 2017.

agnes&pierre

Hellström, Agnes and Schori, Pierre: Att kritisera Nato gör oss inte till ryssvänner, Aftonbladet Debatt, January 13, 2017.

Kragh: Martin: Om Svenska Freds och Natofrågan – ett förtydligande (In English: Concerning Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society and the NATO issue – a clarification), Swedish Institute of International Affairs, January 13, 2017. 

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TT: UI-chef tar avstånd från kritiserad studie, MVT, January 13, 2017.  

Enbom, Jesper and Lindenius: Erik: Mer desinformation, Mediespanarna #263, Mediespanarna, January 16, 2017. 

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Hedman, Ulrika: Om vetenskaplighet och förtroende för forskning –  och om mediernas förhållande till vetenskapligheten, Eftertänkt, January 17, 2017.  

Kragh, Martin: “Den Natoskeptiska diskussionen är viktig”, Sydsvenskan, January 17, 2017. 

Kragh, Martin: Om artikeln i Journal of Strategic Studies, ett förtydligande av Martin Kragh, Swedish Institute of International Affairs, January 18, 2017.

Andersson, Tom: Analysen liknar viskningsleken, Aftonbladet, January 19, 2017.

Brandberg, Thomas: Varning för falska nyheter!, Samtiden, January 29, 2017.

Lundström, Emma: Kragh under utredning för oredlighet, Internationalen, January 30, 2017.

Drake, Lars: Anmälan av bristande kvalitét i forskning (UU och UI) Del 1, Synapze, January 30, 2017.

Drake, Lars: Anmälan av bristande kvalitét i forskning Del 2, Synapze, January 30, 2017.

Lundström: Emma: Utredningen av Martin Kragh är ett faktum, Internationalen, February 6, 2017. 

liunt

Bennich-Björkman, Li et.al.: Oriktigt, falskt, grundlöst, UNT Opinion, February 22, 2017. A text in support for the article and the text is signed by Li Bennich-Björkman, Matthew Kott, Claes Levinsson, Sofie Bedford, Sven Eliaeson, Magnus Feldmann, Jessica Giandomenico, Julie Hansen, Michal Smrek, Igor Torbakov from Centrum för Rysslandsstudier, Uppsala universitet. 

Lundström, Emma: Magplask när kollegorna försvarar Kragh, Internationalen, February 22, 2017. 

Andersson, Tom: Kraghs artikel håller inte måttet, UNT Opinion, February 23, 2017. 

Enbom, Jesper and Lindenius, Erik: Äntligen några som verkar villiga att svara på våra frågor!, Mediespanarna blog, February 23, 2017.

Bennich-Björkman, Li et.al.: Trakasserier i stället för saklig debatt, UNT Opinion, February 28, 2017. A text in support for the article signed by Li Bennich-Björkman, Matthew Kott, Claes Levinsson, Sofie Bedford, Sven Eliaeson, Magnus Feldmann, Jessica Giandomenico, Julie Hansen, Michal Smrek, Igor Torbakov from Centrum för Rysslandsstudier, Uppsala universitet.  

torunt

Björk, Tord and Wechselmann, Maj: Kragh faller i sin egen fälla, UNT Opinion, February 28, 2017.  

Lundström, Emma: Martin Kragh snubblar på Egor Putilov, Internationalen, 28 February 2017. 

mats

Johansson, Mats: Åsa Linderborgs heder och yttrandefriheten, SvD, February 28, 2017. Written by Mats Johansson, guest editorial and founder of Stockholm Free World Forum In Swedish: FriVärld).

Brattberg, Erik: Sveriges säkerhetspolitiska förhållande med USA i en ny tid, McCain Institute for International Leadership, March 2017. 

Ackfeldt, Anders et al.: Undermålig forskning i svensk myndighetsrapport, Religionsvetenskapliga kommentarer blog, March 2, 2017.
Text signed by Anders Ackfeldt (Lunds Universitet), Jenny Berglund (Södertörns högskola), Frédéric Brusi (Stockholms universitet), Johan Cato (Lunds universitet), Güney Dogan (Göteborgs universitet), Mohammad Fazlhashemi (Uppsala universitet), Mattias Gardell
(Uppsala universitet), 
Jan Hjärpe (Lunds universitet), Torsten Hylén (Högskolan i Dalarna), Andreas Johansson (Linneuniversitetet), Pia Karlsson Minganti (Stockholms universitet), Karin Kittelmann Flensner (Högskolan i väst), Göran Larsson (Göteborgs universitet), Susanne Olsson (Stockholms universitet), Jonas Otterbeck (Lunds universitet), Emin Poljarevic (Uppsala Universitet), Åke Sander (Göteborgs universitet)Simon Sorgenfrei (Södertörns högskola), Simon Stjernholm (Köpenhamns universitet), Leif Stenberg (Centrum för Mellanösternstudier, Lund), Jonas Svensson (Linnéuniversitetet) and Lenita Törning (Birkbeck, University of London)

Enbom, Jesper and Lindenius, Erik: Den ovetenskapliga rapporten, Mediespanarna #271,  March 14, 2017.
The non-scientific report by Kragh and Åsberg is compared with a MSB report which was heavily criticized in the same way as this report by these two researchers at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.

nimmo

Nimmo, Ben: Failures and adaptations: Kremlin propaganda in Finland and Sweden, The Policy Policy Centre, March 21, 2017. 

Drake, Lars: Kraghartikeln: sågad men inte fälld, Synapze, April 9, 2017.

krigsaka

Arvidsson, Claes: Desinformation till husbehov, Kungliga Krigsvetenskapsakademin (In English: The Royal Swedish Academy for War Sciences), April 24, 2017.

Enbom, Jesper and Lindenius, Erik: Akademisk desinformation, Mediespanarna #284, June 6, 2017.

emmavet

Lundström, Emma: Martin Kraghs desinformationsartikel får hård vetenskaplig kritik, Internationalen, June 27, 2017. 


Full list with links to articles in chronological order

Kragh, Martin and Åsberg, Sebastian: Russia’s strategy for influence through public diplomacy and active measures: the Swedish case, Journal of Strategic Studies, Volume 40 – Issue 6, January 5, 2017.
The text is available in two versions and is written by Martin Kragh (Associate Professor at the Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies and head of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs) and Sebastian Åsberg (Russia and Eurasia Programme at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs and MA in War Studies from King’s College London).

The issue of Russia’s relations with western Europe became even more fraught on Saturday, when Sweden’s most respected foreign policy institute accused it of using underhand methods in an “information war”, including fake news, counterfeit documents, and other disinformation, to influence Swedish decision-making.

The report by Martin Kragh, a Russia expert at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, said Russia was using ‘active measures’ in its information war against Sweden, in a bid to steer it away from joining Nato.

Patrik Sawer and Raf Sanchez, The Telegraph, January 7, 2017.

Sawer, Patrick and Sanchez, Raf: Donald Trump says it would be ‘stupid’ for US not to build close ties with Russia, despite election hacking evidenceThe Telegraph, January 7, 2017.
A comment to strengthen wider concern for Russian influence in Western countries: Donald Trump says it would be ‘stupid’ for US not to build close ties with Russia, despite election hacking evidence. 

TT: UI: Ryssland försöker sprida falska nyheter, Folkbladet, January 7, 2017.

Thornéus, Ebba: Ny studie: Rysk spridning av falska nyheter ökar i Sverige, Aftonbladet, January 7, 2017. 

dn

Dagens Nyheter: Ny studie: Rysk spridning av falska nyheter i Sverige ökar, Dagens Nyheter, January 7, 2017.

Note! Many more daily Swedish newspapers published texts on January 7, 2017 about the text written by Kragh and Åsberg. Many used a telegram from TT as source and all of them headlined their text with expressions like “New report: Russian disinformation is increasing in Sweden” or “Swedish Institute of International Affairs: Russia is attempting to spread fake news (in Sweden)“.

Peterson, David: Svensk studie: Ryssland försöker sprida falska nyheter, FNB-Hbl, January 7, 2017. 

Oksanen, Patrik: Desinformation: Här är 26 ryska förfalskningar som spridits i Sverige, Hela Hälsingland, January 7, 2017.

karin1

Olsson, Karin: Vill Aftonbladet låta som Putin-press?, Expressen Kultur, January 8, 2017.

Reckman, Andrew: US warns Europe on Russian election hacking, EU Observer, January 9, 2017. 

Isaksson, David: Svensk kremlologi, Sydsvenskan Kultur, January 5, 2017.

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Aagård, Martin: Häxjakten måste fåett slut, Aftonbladet Kultur, January 9, 2017. 

Borås Tidning Ledare: Ledare: Varför hjälper Lennart Andreasson Putin?, Borås Tidning Editorial, January 9, 2017.

Nordfront: Utrikespolitiska institutet skriver ”vetenskaplig” rapport – Motståndsrörelsen utpekas som ”pro-Kreml”, Nordfront, January 9, 2017.

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Linderborg, Åsa: Försvara det fria ordet  – om Utrikespolitiska institutets rapport, bristande källkritik och informationskriget i Natofrågan, Aftonbladet Kultur, January 10, 2017.

Svenska Freds och Skiljedomsföreningen: Om desinformation i debatten om värdlandsavtalet med NatoSwedish Peace and Arbitration Society, January 10, 2017.

Wissenschaftler und Sicherheitsexperten in Schweden sehen eine gezielte Kampagne Russlands, um die politische Debatte im Land zu beeinflussen.“, 

Claudia von Salzen, Tagesspiegel, January 10, 2017.

von Salzen, Claudia: Studie zu Einflussnahme Russlands in Schweden – Drohungen und gefälschte Briefe. Tagesspiegel, January 10, 2017. 

Sommelius, Sören: UI och häxjakten på Aftonbladet Kultur, Nya Kultur-Sörens blogg, January 10, 2017.

Jerlerup, Torbjörn: Om Aftonbladet och rysk och ukrainsk disinformation, Den arga sossen! blogg, January 10, 2017.

Fraurud, Anders: Ryssland, Ryssland, Ryssland…, Pepprat rödgrönt blogg, January 10, 2017.

Swedish Institute of International Affairs accuses Russia of using fake news and false, documents to influence opinion.”

John Henley, The Guardian, January 11, 2017.

Henley, John: Russia waging information war against Sweden, study finds, The Guardian, January 11, 2017.

Russians carried out an anti-NATO fake news and disinformation campaign in the past two years, according to a comprehensive study.

Russia’s propaganda machine reportedly extends far beyond its alleged interference in the U.S. elections. It also took “active measures” to exert “covert influence” on public opinion and decision making in Sweden, according to a report the Swedish Institute of International Affairs released last week.”

Willa Frej, Huffington Post, January 11, 2017.

Frej, Willa: Russia Spread Fake News And Disinformation In Sweden, Huffington Post, January 11, 2017.

Karlsson, Martin (director of Swedish Institute of International Affairs): Med anledning av debatten om artikeln ”Russia’s strategy for influence through public diplomacy,  and active measures: the Swedish case”, Swedish Institute of International Affairs, January 11, 2017.

Storöy Elnan, Thea: Svenske medier beskyldes for å spre russisk propaganda. – En grotesk anklage, sier kulturredaktør (In English: Swedish media is accused of spreading Russian propaganda – A grotesque accusation, says culture editor), Aftenposten, January 12, 2017 and revised January 14, 2017.

Lundström, Emma: Desinformationsrapporten som byggde på desinformation, Internationalen, January 11, 2017. 

Enbom, Jesper and Lindenius: Erik: Desinformation, Mediespanarna #262, Mediespanarna, January 12, 2017. 

Kälvemark, Torsten: Rapport på villovägar, Tidens tecken, January 12, 2017.

Bröms, Joakim: Lakejer, Bröms blogg, January 12, 2017.

Hellström, Agnes and Schori, Pierre: Att kritisera Nato gör oss inte till ryssvänner, Aftonbladet Debatt, January 13, 2017.

Kragh: Martin: Om Svenska Freds och Natofrågan – ett förtydligande (In English: Concerning Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society and the NATO issue – a clarification), Swedish Institute of International Affairs, January 13, 2017. 

Drake, Lars: “Analys” av rysk propaganda eller desinformation om desinformation, Synapze, January 13, 2017.

TT: UI-chef tar avstånd från kritiserad studie, MVT, January 13, 2017.  

TT: Hård kritik mot UI-artikel om Ryssland, Expresssen, January 13, 2017.

Journalisten, 2017 Jan 13, Nya anklagelser mot Aftonbladet Kultur, Johannes Nesser
https://www.journalisten.se/nyheter/aftonbladet-anklagas-kremlpropaganda

Mansfield, Kate: Putin accused of undermining Sweden with intelligence campaign to threaten NATO, Express UK, January 13, 2017.
This text contains a video interview with Swedish military who says Russia is a clear instigator of activities of influence in Sweden. Translation to English is available for the interview.

Subramanian, Samanth: Swedish institute accuses Russia of spreading ‘fake news’, The National, January 13, 2017.
Comment from Activists for peace: Swedish institute refers to Swedish Institute for International Affairs.

TT: UI-forskare backar om Svenska Freds (In English: Researcher at Swedish Institute for International Affairs steps back concerning the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society), January 14, 2017. 

AfricaMetro, Russia spreading fake news, counterfeit documents, and other disinformation in Sweden: report, AfrikaMetro, January 14, 2017.

Aliki, Ailas: Det finns bara ett propagandakrig, ETC, January 15, 2017.

Rosenvinge, Therese and Cedersjö, Johan: Propagandabråk och Rysslandsalarmism, Sveriges Radio – Medierna, January 16, 2017.
Interview with Anders Mellbourn, Martin Kragh and others. 

Romelsjö, Anders: Martin Kraghs ”Analys” av rysk propaganda eller desinformation om disinformation, Jinge blog, January 14, 2017.

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Enbom, Jesper and Lindenius: Erik: Mer desinformation, Mediespanarna #263, Mediespanarna, January 16, 2017. 

Linderborg, Åsa: “De här ryktena måste vi döda”, Dagens media, January 16, 2017.

Rågsjö Thorell, Andreas: Larmet om Aftonbladet Kultur sågas – hon kräver att artikeln tas bort, Resumé, January 16, 2017.  

Hedman, Ulrika: Om vetenskaplighet och förtroende för forskning –  och om mediernas förhållande till vetenskapligheten, Eftertänkt, January 17, 2017.

Wilderäng, Lars: Vad Aftonbladet Kultur inte säger om sitt spridande av Kremls lögner, Cornucopia blog, January 17, 2017.

Sachnin, Aleksej: Det är jag som är ”Putins agent” om livet som oppositionell i Ryssland – och om anklagelser från båda sidor, Aftonbladet, January 17, 2017. 

Sachnin, Aleksej/Сахнин, Алексей: Размышления агента, EchoMSK, January 17, 2017.

Björkman, Fredrik: Aftonbladet-skribent i rysk media: Inte långt från repression i Sverige, Sverige Radio, January 23, 2017.

Kragh, Martin: “Den Natoskeptiska diskussionen är viktig”, Sydsvenskan, January 17, 2017. 

Olsson, Karin: Hemliga namnen i studien om Kremlfjäsk, Expressen Kultur, Expressen, January 18, 2017. 

Lundström, Emma: Utrikespolitiska Institutet borde ta ansvar för Kraghs fiasko, Internationalen, January 18, 2017.

Kragh, Martin: Om artikeln i Journal of Strategic Studies, ett förtydligande av Martin Kragh, Swedish Institute of International Affairs, January 18, 2017.

Ring, Britta: McCarthyismen är tillbaka i den svenska offentligheten, Flamman, January 18, 2017.

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Andersson, Tom: Analysen liknar viskningsleken, Aftonbladet, January 19, 2017.

Eakin, Hugh: The Swedish Kings of Cyberwar, The New York Review of Books, January 19, 2017.

Nesser, Johannes: Allt du velat veta om Kremlfjäsk men inte orkat ta in, Journalisten, January 20, 2017. 

Svensson, Anders: Desinformatören Martin Kragh – slut som forskare?, Svensson blog, January 21, 2017.

Björk, Tord: “Vi ville främja dialog över frontlinjen”, Expressen, January 26, 2017. 

Jordens Vänner: UI-forskare och Expressen svartmålar freds- och miljöaktivister, January 26, 2017.

Jensen, Johannes: Tord Björk: ”De tror på sina egna lögner”, Internationalen, January 18, 2017. 

Brandberg, Thomas: Varning för falska nyheter!, Samtiden, January 29, 2017.

Lundström, Emma: Kragh under utredning för oredlighet, Internationalen, January 30, 2017.

Drake, Lars: Anmälan av bristande kvalitét i forskning (UU och UI) Del 1, Synapze, January 30, 2017.

Drake, Lars: Anmälan av bristande kvalitét i forskning Del 2, Synapze, January 30, 2017.

Lundström: Emma: Utredningen av Martin Kragh är ett faktum, Internationalen, February 6, 2017. 

USC Center on Public Diplomacy: Russia’s Active Measures: The Case of Sweden, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, February 7, 2017.

Bennich-Björkman, Li et.al.: Oriktigt, falskt, grundlöst, UNT Opinion, February 22, 2017. A text in support for the article and the text is signed by Li Bennich-Björkman, Matthew Kott, Claes Levinsson, Sofie Bedford, Sven Eliaeson, Magnus Feldmann, Jessica Giandomenico, Julie Hansen, Michal Smrek, Igor Torbakov from Centrum för Rysslandsstudier, Uppsala universitet. 

Lundström, Emma: Magplask när kollegorna försvarar Kragh, Internationalen, February 22, 2017. 

Andersson, Tom: Kraghs artikel håller inte måttet, UNT Opinion, February 23, 2017. 

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Enbom, Jesper and Lindenius, Erik: Äntligen några som verkar villiga att svara på våra frågor!, Mediespanarna blog, February 23, 2017.

Kniivilä, Kalle: Vad stod det i Martin Kraghs rapport?, Kalle Kniivilä’s blog, February 26, 2017.

Fraurud, Anders: En debatt som fortsatt…i Uppsala – och lästips till den, Pepprat rödgrönt, February 27, 2017.

Bennich-Björkman, Li et.al.: Trakasserier i stället för saklig debatt, UNT Opinion, February 28, 2017. A text in support for the article signed by Li Bennich-Björkman, Matthew Kott, Claes Levinsson, Sofie Bedford, Sven Eliaeson, Magnus Feldmann, Jessica Giandomenico, Julie Hansen, Michal Smrek, Igor Torbakov from Centrum för Rysslandsstudier, Uppsala universitet.  

Björk, Tord and Wechselmann, Maj: Kragh faller i sin egen fälla, UNT Opinion, February 28, 2017.  

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Lundström, Emma: Martin Kragh snubblar på Egor Putilov, Internationalen, 28 February 2017. 

Johansson, Mats: Åsa Linderborgs heder och yttrandefriheten, SvD, February 28, 2017. Written by Mats Johansson, guest editorial and founder of Stockholm Free World Forum In Swedish: FriVärld).

Ackfeldt, Anders et al.: Undermålig forskning i svensk myndighetsrapport, Religionsvetenskapliga kommentarer blog, March 2, 2017.
Text signed by Anders Ackfeldt (Lunds Universitet), Jenny Berglund (Södertörns högskola), Frédéric Brusi (Stockholms universitet), Johan Cato (Lunds universitet), Güney Dogan (Göteborgs universitet), Mohammad Fazlhashemi (Uppsala universitet), Mattias Gardell
(Uppsala universitet), 
Jan Hjärpe (Lunds universitet), Torsten Hylén (Högskolan i Dalarna), Andreas Johansson (Linneuniversitetet), Pia Karlsson Minganti (Stockholms universitet), Karin Kittelmann Flensner (Högskolan i väst), Göran Larsson (Göteborgs universitet), Susanne Olsson (Stockholms universitet), Jonas Otterbeck (Lunds universitet), Emin Poljarevic (Uppsala Universitet), Åke Sander (Göteborgs universitet)Simon Sorgenfrei (Södertörns högskola), Simon Stjernholm (Köpenhamns universitet), Leif Stenberg (Centrum för Mellanösternstudier, Lund), Jonas Svensson (Linnéuniversitetet) and Lenita Törning (Birkbeck, University of London)

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Activists for peace: The Swedish Institute for International Affairs research scandal, Activists for peace blog: March 5, 2017. 

Activists for peace: NGOs and research trying to silence peace voices in Sweden, Activists for peace blog, March 5, 2017.

Activists for peace: To all peace loving people in Europe and the world – Time to join hands for peace in Ukraine, Activists for Peace blog, March 7, 2017. 

Yates, Bill: The Swedish Trump fans who secretly record journalists, BBC, March 7, 2017.

Rademaker, Michel and Sweijs, Tim: Hoe beschermen wij ons tegen Russische desinformatie?, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies Report, March 13, 2017. 

Enbom, Jesper and Lindenius, Erik: Den ovetenskapliga rapporten, Mediespanarna #271,  March 14, 2017.
The non-scientific report by Kragh and Åsberg is compared with a MSB report which was heavily criticized in the same way as this report by these two researchers at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.

Nimmo, Ben: Failures and adaptations: Kremlin propaganda in Finland and Sweden, The Policy Policy Centre, March 21, 2017. 

Hoffman, Francis G.: Statement before the House Armed Services Committee on The Evolution of Hybrid Warfare and Key Challenges, United States House of Representatives, March 22, 2017.
Francis G. Hoffman is Ph.D. affiliated to the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University,

Brattberg, Erik: Sveriges säkerhetspolitiska förhållande med USA i en ny tid, McCain Institute for International Leadership, March 2017. 

Lundström, Emma: Skamlösa borgare leker med elden, Internationalen, April 4, 2017.

Drake, Lars: Kraghartikeln: sågad men inte fälld, Synapze, April 9, 2017.

Arvidsson, Claes: Desinformation till husbehov, Kungliga Krigsvetenskapsakademin (In English: The Royal Swedish Academy for War Sciences), April 24, 2017.

Enbom, Jesper and Lindenius, Erik: Akademisk desinformation, Mediespanarna #284, June 6, 2017.

Oksanen, Patrik: Oksanen: AB Kultur + RT = sant, Allehanda Editorial, June 15, 2017.

Lindros, Ingemo: Banden stärks mellan svenska högerextremister och Putins maskineri, YLE, June 19, 2017.

Lundström, Emma: Martin Kraghs desinformationsartikel får hård vetenskaplig kritik, Internationalen, June 27, 2017. 

ecfr

Galeotti, Mark: Controlling Chaos: How Russia manages its political war in Europe, European Council on Foreign Relations, September 1, 2017.

euvalues2017

Since 2014, Russia has moved towards a preference for active measures towards Sweden. Forgeries in Swedish information space have been amongst various tools Russia has used there, for example false evidence of misbehavior or incompetence of the West or the Swedish politicians and decision makers. The level of detail suggests that the originators of the documents have access to comprehensive intelligence on Swedish society. As we have seen in different parts of Europe, Sweden also has its farright and far-left populist movements and projects with connections to Russia, for example the Nordic Resistance, a fascist organization which has cooperated with Rodina party and the Russian Imperial Movement, or the interlocutor of a pro-Kremlin left narrative, tabloid called Aftonbladet.

Krejčí, Markéta: European values, Kremlin Watch Report, October 14, 2017.

Krejčí, Markéta: Kremlin Watch Reader 2017, European values, Kremlin Watch Report, October 14, 2017.

Some further links of interest

Melin, Kristina: A New Russian Idea? – Neo-Eurasianist Ideas in the Russian Presidential Addresses to the Federal Assembly 2014 – 2016, Paper for a Bachelor Degree by Kristina Melin, Department of Government, Uppsala University, March 2017. Direct link to download the text in PDF-format.

Lewandowsky, Stephan; et al: Beyond Misinformation: Understanding and coping with the post-truth era, Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition Number 6, Issue 4, pp. 353-369.
Paper written by Stephan Lewandowsky, University of Bristol and University of Western Australia, Ullrich K. H. Ecker, University of Western Australia and John Cook, George Mason University. Direct link to download the text in PDF-format.

connections

DanykYuriy et al.: Hybrid War: High-tech, Information and Cyber Conflicts, Connections QJ 16, no. 2 (2017), pp 5-24.
Paper written by Danyk, Yuriy; Tamara Maliarchuk; Chad Briggs published in Connections which is “a quarterly academic journal covering security, defense, armed forces, conflict, intelligence, history, war, and related issues”. Connections was established in 2002 by the Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes. Direct link to download the text in PDF-format.

 

 

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Integrity Initiative links from around 40 countries and some Atlantic Council links – Part 4 of 4: Atlantic Council Kremlin’s Trojan Horses projects

This is part 4 of 4 of Integrity Initiative links from around 40 countries and some Atlantic Council links. The list is compiled by Activists for peace on January 5, 2019. You can find reading tips and an overview of all the parts in this blogpost.

Content – Part 4 of 4: Atlantic Council Kremlin’s Trojan Horses projects

  • Atlantic Council Kremlin’s Trojan Horses and other projects, selected comments.

AtlanticCouncil15November2018KremlinsTrojanHorses.png

Alina Ployakova et al, (15 November 2016), The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses: Russian Influence in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom
https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/publications/reports/kremlin-trojan-horses

Alina Polyakova et al, (16 November 2016), The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses: Russian Influence in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Dr. Marlene Laruelle, Mr. Neil Barnett, and Dr. Alina Polyakova, who were joined by Dr. Andreas Umland, Dr. Mitchell Orenstein, Dr. Péter Krekó, and Mr. Josh Rogin, launched their report The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses: Russian Influence in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, a new report from the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu’s Eurasia Center. Unlike in Central Eastern Europe, Moscow’s tactics in the West are purposely subtler and difficult to trace. This report documents how the Russian government cultivates relationships with ideologically friendly political parties, individuals, and civic groups to build an army of Trojan Horses across European polities. This network of political allies, named in the report, serves the Kremlin’s foreign policy agenda that seeks to infiltrate politics, influence policy, and inculcate an alternative, pro-Russian view of the international order.
http://www.atlanticcouncilpodcasts.org/?p=262

fightingforthetruth19november2018

Pietro Lanza, (18 November 2016), The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses/ΟΙ ΔΟΥΡΕΙΟΙ ΙΠΠΟΙ ΤΟΥ ΚΡΕΜΛΙΝΟΥ/Троянські коні Кремля
https://fightingfortruthblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/the-kremlins-trojan-horses

StopFake21November2016.png

(21November 2016), The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses
https://www.stopfake.org/en/the-kremlin-s-trojan-horses/

Mats Johansson (25 November 2016), SvD, I veckans medieflöde: Kremls trojanska hästar i EU
https://www.svd.se/i-veckans-medieflode-kremls-trojanska-hastar-i-eu

György Lázár, (16 December 2016), Orbán’s Hungary – The Kremlin’s Trojan Horse
http://hungarianfreepress.com/2016/12/11/orbans-hungary-the-kremlins-trojan-horse/

Priyanka Boghani, (23 December 2016), On Kremlin’s Trojan Horses, How Russia Looks To Gain Through Political Interference
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/how-russia-looks-to-gain-through-political-interference

Redazioni TPI, (11 January 2017), Come la Russia di Putin è in grado di influenzare la politica in Europa
https://www.tpi.it/2017/01/11/influenza-russia-putin-hacker-politica-europa

Ron Synovitz, (16 January 2017), Europe Bracing Against Risk Of Russian ‘Influence Operations’
https://www.rferl.org/a/europe-russian-influence-operations/28236212.html

The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses in Slovakia: Focus on business
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Olexia_Basarab/publication/314724137_THE_KREMLIN%27S_TROJAN_HORSES_IN_SLOVAKIA_FOCUS_ON_BUSINESS/links/58c508d145851538eb8761a3/THE-KREMLINS-TROJAN-HORSES-IN-SLOVAKIA-FOCUS-ON-BUSINESS.pdf

Ryssland – Läs om cyberhoten från Ryssland | itsäkerhet.com
https://www.xn--itskerhet-x2a.com/ryssland/

Jeff, (22 February 2017), No evidence for massive Russian involvement in EU referendum, say politicians who benefitted from it.
http://www.newscrasher.com/2017/02/22/no-evidence-for-massive-russian-involvement-in-eu-referendum-say-politicians-who-benefited-from-it

(After 30 March 2017), FSB – Active Measures – aktivniye meropriyatiya
https://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/world/russia/fsb-active-measures.htm

Rowena Mason, (16 February 2017), Arron Banks threatens to sue thinktank over ‘pro-Russian actor’ claim
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/16/arron-banks-threatens-to-sue-thinktank-over-pro-russian-actor-claim

Redaktion, (24 May 2017) Hinweise des Tages “In einem Interview mit der Deutschen Welle distanzierte sich Meister von der Überschrift und der Tabelle, die dann auf sein Bitten hin nachträglich entfernt wurde.“
https://www.nachdenkseiten.de/?p=38425

kremlin trojan 2

Alina Polyakova et al, (14 November 2017), The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses 2.0: Russian Influence in Greece, Italy, and Spain
https://issuu.com/atlanticcouncil/docs/the_20kremlin_27s_20trojan_20horses

alinasouth

Alina Polyakova, (17 November 2017), The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses 2.0
https://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/op-ed/alina-polyakova-kremlins-trojan-horses-2-0.html

Philip Chrysopoulos, (20 November 2017), Atlantic Council Report: Russia Uses Greece as a Trojan Horse
https://greece.greekreporter.com/2017/11/20/atlantic-council-report-russia-uses-greece-as-a-trojan-horse/

David Alandete, (20 November 2017), NATO intelligence reports show spike in disinformation about Catalonia – Podemos a Trojan Horse for the Kremlin?
https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/11/20/inenglish/1511166287_468181.html

Simon Lunn, (8 January 2018), What to watch in 2018: a view from ELN senior associate fellows
https://www.europeanleadershipnetwork.org/commentary/2018-watchlist

Alina Polyakov and Spencer P. Boyden, The future of political warfare: Russia, the west, and the coming age of global digital competition
https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/fp_20180316_future_political_warfare.pdf

Jonathan Vanian, (17 May 2018), Facebook Partners With the Atlantic Council to Fight Election Propaganda
http://fortune.com/2018/05/17/facebook-atlantic-council-election-propaghanda/

FriVarldHenrikSundbom.png

(10 September 2018), Henrik Sundbom skriver rapporten The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses 3.0: Sweden Election
https://frivarld.se/nyheter/henrik-sundbom-skriver-rapporten-the-kremlins-trojan-horses-3-0-sweden-election/

Stansfield Smith, (23 November 2018), Russiagate McCarthyism Led to Internet Censorship of the Anti-War and Social Justice Movement
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/11/23/russiagate-mccarthyism-led-to-internet-censorship-of-the-anti-war-and-social-justice-movement/

Alberto Martinelli, /December 2018) When Populism meets Nationalism,
https://www.ispionline.it/sites/default/files/pubblicazioni/ispi_report_populism_meets_nationalism_-_martinelli_2018.pdf

almostnotrolling.dk

Alina Polyakova et al. (3 December 2018), The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses 3.0: Russian Influence in Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden
https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/publications/reports/the-kremlins-trojan-horses-3-0

Paul Robinson, (4 December 2018),  The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses
https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/the-kremlins-trojan-horses/#more-4488

John Chuckman, (7 December 2018), The Atlantic Council is often cited in these days of Russophobia as an authority – but it is only like all other American and American-inspired think tanks
http://chuckmanotherchoiceofwords.blogspot.com/2018/12/john-chuckman-comment-atlantic-council.html

Estelle Menard, (9 December 2018) Italie. Géopolitique du Mouvement cinq étoiles : entre normalité et radicalité
https://www.diploweb.com/Geopolitique-du-Mouvement-cinq-etoiles-entre-normalite-et-radicalite.html

globalpolitics9december2018

Anders Romelsjö, (9 December 2018), Mäktigaste Nato-siten Atlantic Council uppmärksammar mig och min blogg. Smickrande?, Global Politics
https://www.globalpolitics.se/maktigaste-nato-siten-atlantic-council-uppmarksammar-mig-och-min-blogg-smickrande

Kateryna Zarembo, Leonid Litra, Sergiy Solodkyy, Сніжана Дяченко, Тетяна Левонюк, (10 December 2018), Atrophy of Trophies. How Can Ukraine Take Advantage of the Vulnerabilities of Russian Policies in the EU?
http://neweurope.org.ua/en/analytics/atrofiya-trofeyiv-yak-ukrayina-mozhe-skorystatys-vrazlyvymy-storonamy-rosijskoyi-polityky-u-yes/

Torbjörn Sassersson, (9 December 2018), Atlantic Council ser Kremltroll i NewsVoice
https://newsvoice.se/2018/12/atlantic-council-newsvoice/

Pål Steigan, (10 December 2018), Atlantic Council advarer mot steigan.no
https://steigan.no/2018/12/atlantic-council-advarer-mot-steigan-no

Terje Alnes, (11 December 2018), TV2-journalist bak grove politiske anklager
https://steigan.no/2018/12/tv2-journalist-bak-grove-politiske-anklager

Przez Michal Krupa, (13 December 2018), Konie trojanskie kremla
https://kresy.pl/publicystyka/konie-trojanskie-kremla/

Moon of Alabama, /13 December 2018), British Spies Infiltrated Bernie Sanders’ Campaign? (in comment by Bloomingdale)
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/12/british-spies-planted-a-mole-into-the-bernie-sanders-campaign.html

Hans Wåhlberg, (16th December 2018), NATOS:s trojanska hästar
https://hanslillagrona.blogspot.com/2018/12/natoss-trojanska-hastar.html

karihumor

Kari Angelique Jaquesson, (17 December 2018), Ikke le, da får Putin viljen sin! (reference to both II and AC)
https://steigan.no/2018/12/ikke-le-da-far-putin-viljen-sin/

Matt Orfalea, (17 December 2018), Who is the Atlantic Council? (5 Frightening Facts)
https://medium.com/@0rf/who-is-the-atlantic-council-c927911e8e91

AslakStoraker19December2018.png

Aslak Storaker, (19 December 2018), Atlantic Councils liste over femtekolonister og Beredskapslovene av 1950
https://radikalportal.no/2018/12/19/atlantic-councils-liste-over-femtekolonister-og-beredskapslovene-av-1950/

Conversations with Slava, (20 December 2018), The Integrity Initiative in Context, Alan MacLeod of the Glasgow Media Group and FAIR talks about The Integrity Initiative and the wider context.
https://soundcloud.com/conversationswithslava/the-integrity-initiative-in-context

kkpartierna

Jo Røed Skårderud, (20 December 2018), «Kremls trojanske hester»
https://www.klassekampen.no/article/20181220/ARTICLE/181229996

Jo Røed Skårderud, (21 December 2018), Kåre Willoch avviser rapport-stempling av Frp, SV og Rødt som «pro-russiske»: Vil bli kvitt sanksjoner
https://www.klassekampen.no/article/20181221/ARTICLE/181229993

Carl Meurling, (21st December 2018), Sveriges Rysslandspolitik styrs utifrån | Skånska Dagbladet
https://www.skd.se/2018/12/21/sveriges-rysslandspolitik-styrs-utifran

Stian Nicolajsen and Kjetil Magne Sørenes, (22 December 2018), Avviser svakhet for Putin
https://www.klassekampen.no/article/20181222/ARTICLE/181229988

Pål Steigan, (22 December 2018), Penner til salgs. Norske påvirkningsagenter.
https://steigan.no/2018/12/penner-til-salgs-norske-pavirkningsagenter

Steigan28December2018.png

Pål Steigan, (28 December 2018), Total medietaushet om kjempeskandale
https://steigan.no/2018/12/total-medietaushet-om-kjempeskandale/

Pål Steigan, (31 December 2019), Årskavalkade 2018(2): Om å trekke medienes trollsplinter ut av øynene
https://steigan.no/2018/12/arskavalkade-20182-om-a-trekke-medienes-trollsplinter-ut-av-oynene/

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Mikhaela Alcasabas, (3 January 2019), Atlantic Council Partners with Facebook to Censor Social Media
https://www.projectcensored.org/atlantic-council-partners-with-facebook-to-censor-social-media/

Activists for peace, (5 January 2018), Make 2019 a year of peace!
https://activistsforpeace.wordpress.com/2019/01/05/make-2019-a-year-of-peace/

Activists for peace, (5 January 2018), Integrity Initiative and the connection to Sweden and Atlantic Council
https://activistsforpeace.wordpress.com/2019/01/05/integrity-initiative-and-the-connection-to-sweden-and-atlantic-council/

Activists for peace, (5 January 2018), Swedish responses to Integrity Initiative and Atlantic Council
https://activistsforpeace.wordpress.com/2019/01/05/swedish-responses-to-integrity-initiative-and-atlantic-council/

Vox (partido político)
https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vox_(partido_pol%C3%ADtico)

Swedish responses to Integrity Initiative and Atlantic Council

So far there have been four responses to Integrity Initiative and a new Atlantic Council report in Sweden. They are published by very diverging media. The first is a letter to the editor published in a regional daily Skånska Dagbladet aligned with the Center party, the second in the weekly Internationalen supporting the opposition against Assad in Syria, the third in the blog Hans lilla gröna, run by a Green party member and the fourth Global Politics with pro-Syrian anti-imperialist Anders Romelsjö as editor. In spite of their differences they all bring up empirical material and political background rather than speculating or summarizing the leaks. There is also no direct linkage between the four media platforms making it seemingly weak – or the opposite if each one can find allies and avoid disputes with each other on this specific point.

The authors also use the specific political position Sweden has as a non-member of NATO. This makes statements as NATO’s Trojan Horses having a stronger resonance than in countries that are formally members. They are also all personally addressing experience making it easier to understand that what happens is daily life experiences for people, not something going on in computers far away. Integrity Initiative and Atlantic Council are part of governmental efforts together with private actors influencing our daily lives targeting messages and people they do not agree with openly and in secret. This makes the public debate biased and can also threaten people not to express their opinion.

I and several known and unknown Swedes were named as Kremlin’s Agents

Meurlling21December2018.png

Carl Meurling writes in Skånska Dagbladet Opinion December 21, 2018.

Carl Meurling, an investor in Russia, writes December 21, 2018 in Skånska Dagbladet Opinion, a regional daily in the Southern province Scania:

Two years ago my life changed. The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) then issued a report were I and several known and unknown Swedes were labeled Kremlin Agents… Since then, I have tried to understand why we were outed. My conclusion is that the Swedish foreign administration has partly been privatized by foreign special interests. It is unacceptable and a security risk for Sweden.

Carl Meurling, December 21, 2018

Meurling also brings to light that according to the data leaks about the Integrity Initiative the person to be responsible for the Swedish part of the project would be UI’s Russia expert. He concludes: ”Thus, a tax-financed part of Sweden’s foreign administration has an employee who at the same time works for the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs to influence Swedish politics via an anonymous front organization!

intis krag

Emma Lundström writes in the weekly Internationalen December 21, 2018.

Nordic clusters are led by no less than Martin Kragh.

The journalist Emma Lundström writes December 21, 2018 more bluntly in the weekly Internationalen: ”Integrity Initiative’s Nordic clusters are led by no less than Martin Kragh… The fact that a Swedish academician serves as coordinator for the Nordic section of Integrity Initiative is quite startling. That it is Martin Kragh may not be equally surprising to those who have followed his actions for some time. He has the habit of blackening political opponents.

NATO’s Trojan Horses

HansLillaGrona16December2018.png

Hans Wåhlberg writes on his blog December 16, 2018.

The Green Blogger Hans Wåhlberg goes much further in a blog post from December 16, 2018. To him it is important to point at how different actors work closely together in cohort due to their privileged resources and access to media. He starts by looking into the report “The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses 3.0” with a chapter about Sweden entitled: “Sweden – Fertile Soil for Influence OPS?” published December 3, 2018. The chapter is written by one Henrik Sundbom, who is a “fellow” at the Swedish think tank Stockholm Free World Forum (In Swedish: FriVärld), who has close cooperation and exchange with the Atlantic Council.

The report does not only focus upon the normal suspects but also puts much emphasis on the Green party. Wåhlberg also quotes the report: “Support for the Kremlin is stronger in the independent green movement, which overlaps more with the Swedish peace movement than with the Green Party itself“.

After examining several details Wåhlberg describes the content as ”pure conspiracy theory or guilt by association, perhaps on the verge of libel in the case of names mentioned” and ends with: ”Atlantic Council says it wants to reveal to the world, and make it aware of Russian troll farms and Russian disinformation (fake news). They do this by producing their own fake news. The whole thing might be comical or in any case not worth noting if it were not for the power this think tank possesses.  He finds it appropriate to name such an organization a Trojan Horse of NATO.

Who are they? Wåhlberg asks himself when looking into the Integrity Initiative program ”according to which they will form clusters of “friendly journalists” and key influencers in different European countries to fight against Russian propaganda and false news.

He asks if ”possibly the above mentioned Sundbom is one of them?” in the Swedish cluster. Then he also asks if Martin Kragh, who in his article the previous year, raised much of what Sundbom speculates in the Atlantic Council report, also belongs to the cluster. ”Kragh’s article certainly failed as scientific work and drew strong criticism from both newspapers and colleagues, but it has not prevented Sundbom from spinning on the same material. Sundbom and Kragh have also worked together earlier and this year, among other things, published a report for The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (“Resilience Against Influence Operations in the Eastern Partnership Countries“).”

Wåhlberg concludes:

“There can be no other explanation than that it is part of a long-term campaign to discredit the peace movement with the aim of later turning the still NATO-negative Swedish public opinion. One way is then to describe NATO resistance only as a result of Kremlin’s propaganda or as something that is driven solely by the Kremlin’s agents.

Kragh admittedly recognized when he was pressured by Aftonbladet “the basic democratic right to have one’s own opinion on Swedish security policy”. But despite this, the campaign against the peace movement continues from new writers who appear in new forms. The nasty thing is that it also takes place in partially hidden forms where institutions with ties to the United States and NATO collect information about the opinions of individuals and produce material where they are discredited.

Hans Wåhlberg, December 16, 2018

Thanks God they are rightly criticizing me.

GlobalPolitics9December2018.png

Anders Romelsjö writes on the Global Politics blog December 9, 2018.

The antiimperialist blogger Anders Romelsjö:

Atlantic Council is closely associated with individuals and agencies in the deep state of the United States, having good relations with the White House. It aims to strengthen the alliance between the United States and Europe, and is an important pillar of NATO. It has been involved in all US political and military war adventures over the past 50 years and has been working for decades to cover for CIA sponsored subversive operations, killings and political manipulations in all corners of the world. It is, of course, sponsored by powerful forces such as arms manufacturers, oil companies and other major business interests, as well as receiving funding from more than 25 US-friendly governments around the world.

Now Atlantic Council has drawn attention to me and the blog! Thanks God they are rightly criticizing me. Praise would have made me quit, and consider jumping into a lake.

Anders Romelsjö, December 9, 2018

Anders Romelsjö also posted two articles on Integrity Initiative.

December 2, 2018 he wrote that Martin Kragh was ”a cluster coordinator” for Nordic Studies in the Integrity Initiative including reposting a longer critical analysis on Kragh’s article on Russian disinformation in Sweden.

December 3, 2018 he writes about Swedish names in the Integrity Initiative material based on an article published on the blog Moon of Alabama.

Activists for peace


Links:

Integrity Initiative and the connection to Sweden and Atlantic Council

donnelly-statcraft

Activists for peace have noticed that the large debate concerning the semisecret Institute for Statecraft‘s Integrity Initiative’s state-funded anti-Russian disinformation project have caused attention in Sweden in a different manner compared to the reactions in other countries. One of the reasons is that commenting on Integrity Initiative coincided with a similar debate on a new Atlantic Council report called Kremlin’s Trojan Horses 3.0 which contains a chapter about Sweden. A member of the Green party and blogger have pointed at the close connection in content as well as institutional and personal links between the author of the Swedish chapter in the Atlantic Council report and the alleged Nordic/Swedish cluster leader for Integrity Initiative.

kremlins trojan 3

The Anonymous leak of documents, confirmed by Integrity Initiative as coming from their computers, has initiated a large debate in 24 countries so far. There is, without counting Russian sources, a lot more than 100 unique articles and other digital material commenting the leak. The debate has primarily been concerned with interpreting the leaked material and how the official Integrity Initiative twitter account has been used for tweets primarily accusing the Labour party for being a Kremlin tool.

The Swedish comments although few, differ profoundly from comments in other countries. One main reason is that the way Integrity Initiative prescribes how journalists and researchers are supposed to work together was already last year exposed in a scandal in Sweden. Then Martin Kragh, the head of Russian studies at Uppsala University – the largest academic institution of its kind in Sweden –  as well the head of the Russian and Eurasian program at Swedish Institute for International Affairs (UI), published an article in the Journal of Strategic studies together with Sebastian Ågren, also at UI with a MA in War Studies from King’s College London, UK.

The article ”Russia’s strategy for influence through public diplomacy and active measures: the Swedish case” drew strong criticism in the peace and environmental movement and among academicians and journalists. In total, the article is down loaded 36 000 times and has been mentioned in 100 primarily Swedish articles and radio programs.

In our next article, you can read more about the Swedish comments published in both a Center Party newspaper and a left wing weekly on Integrity Initiative, by an anti-imperialist blogger on Atlantic Council and by a Green blogger connecting Integrity Initiative and Atlantic Council.

The Swedish Institute for International Affairs research scandal

Note: This text is part of the longer text NGOs and state-funded research trying to silence peace voices in Sweden.

Could it be worse? Yes, it could. On the January, 5 2017, two researchers at the Swedish Institute for International Affairs, one of them also at the Uppsala University, published an article in an international journal of strategic studies.

kraghasbergsartikeljan2017.png

Article published in The Journal of Strategic Studies January, 5 2017:
“Russia’s strategy for influence though public diplomacy and active measures: the Swedish case”.
Authors: Martin Kragh and Sebastian Åsberg.

The article accuses several Swedish organizations and individuals to be carriers or ”interlocutors” of a Russian narrative and thus they are to be viewed as a threat to the security in Sweden. Some of the persons are anonymized while others are presented with their real names in the article. The reason for anonymizing is expressed as these individuals not being public figures. The interlocutors are defined as being peace organisations, conspiracy theorists and environmentalists as well as right wing extremists and left wing extremists. The authors also accuse mainstream media, the cultural pages of Aftonbladet, the biggest daily newspaper in Sweden. The article is widely spread internationally by newspapers such as The GuardianNew York TimesHuffington PostTagesspiegel etc. All, with the exception of the conservative Aftenposten in Norway, represent the study without criticism.

In Sweden, the paper received harsh criticism and soon the authors had to state that they were going to correct the text and take back their accusations against four Green MPs, the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society and the cultural section of Aftonbladet. Academics claimed that the paper has such great methodological, empirical and theoretical flaws that it could not be called scientific. The Swedish Institute for International Affairs claimed, in defence, that it was not an official position of the institute although it was financed by the institute since the authors work there. In the international press, the paper was and still is presented as a study published by the institute and this applies also to articles based on the interviews with the authors.

The controversy about the article continued when Martin Kragh announced in Medierna, a special public service radio program scrutinizing media, that a scoop based on the paper and its background material soon was going to be published in a big daily newspaper in Sweden. Already in the article he had claimed that a meeting in Crimea had been a key nexus between Kremlin, European fascists and Swedish pro-Russian groups. Now the full story winames was going to be presented to the public about this Crimean meeting including contributors to the Aftonbladet cultural section present mingling with separatists and fascists.

hemliganamnenistudienomkremlfjask.png

Article published in Expressen Kultur January, 19 2017:
“The secret names in the study of Kremlin fawning”.
Author: Karin Olsson.

The main scoop announced by Kragh did not hold water. This became clear at an early stage when Karin Olsson who had the task of writing the scoop started to check the story. Olsson is the head of the cultural section and deputy publisher of Expressen, the main competitor to Aftonbladet. Olsson could be seen as a good choice for writing the scoop. In the first publication directly after the article had been published in an international scientific magazine, Olsson dehumanized those accused of spreading the Russian narrative calling them “värddjur”, animals being hosts to parasites. This dehumanizing way is typical for the most aggressive propaganda against opposition to Swedish-Ukrainian policy and rapprochement to NATO.

The claim in the original article by Kragh was that a ”Swedish environmentalist” was present at a twofold meeting on the same day on Crimea, who in the first part mingled and exchanged experience with leftists, and in the second part with European right wing extremists.

The “Swedish environmentalist” was Tord Björk; a veteran environmentalist since the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm 1972, holding positions as board member or coordinator of committees at national level of Friends of the Earth Sweden since decades and active in the social forum Prague Spring 2 Network against right wing extremism and populism (PS2). The name was stated already in the references of the paper. This makes the claim, that the authors were making the names of the accused interlocutors of a Russian narrative, anonymous if they were not public figures, questionable for at least two reasons. First, it only requires looking at the reference link closely to find who was behind the ”anonymised” name. The name was only a few seconds away already in the paper published online. Second, Tord Björk has worked for several decades with environmental public activities and must thus be regarded as a public figure.

The accusations also proved to be false by the references in the paper itself. One can question if the authors even had looked carefully enough at them. In the references, the time for the two meetings were stated as being almost two months apart. This makes the authors’ claim about mingling between European fascists and Swedish environmentalist physically impossible.

Another source was then supposed to prove that Sachnin had been at this Crimean meeting. Sachnin, who has been contributing to the cultural section of Aftonbladet did not attend the meeting on Crimea. Sachnin’s role as a “false political refugee” and “Putin’s agent” could not be proven. The idea to make a scoop showing how the cultural section of Aftonbladet directly was a Kremlin tool did not work out as this neither could be proven. The whole scoop fell apart.

But, Olsson did the best she could to hide the mistake by the authors of the allegedly scientific article. She concealed the false story in the paper by presenting a new version so that the mistake would not be exposed. The European fascist meeting was erased. So was the later claim by Kragh that contributors to the Aftonbladet cultural section had been present on Crimea. The media made somehow magically the fake claims to be erased from public memory. When asked by journalists, Kragh afterwards claimed that he was sick during the interview when he announced the upcoming story about the contributors.

Instead a new story about the Crimean meeting was presented as a journalistic sensation. The “secret” names behind ”Kremlfjäsket” (In English: Kremlin fawning) were revealed by Expressen. Key evidence of the link between Russian disinformation in Sweden and the Kremlin was now presented in a lightweight version, still with a Crimean meeting as centrepiece.

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Article published in Internationalen July, 24 2014:
“Ukraine: Dancing on the edge of the abyss”.
Author: Tord Björk.

The problem is that the facts were known since the meeting took place during the summer of 2014. An article written by Tord Björk – Ukraine: Dancing on the edge of the abyss – about the meeting on Crimea was published in Internationalen soon after the meeting took place. The report was from the first of the two separate meetings held on Crimea during the summer of 2014. The opposition from all over Ukraine could meet there, a meeting not practically possible to organise anywhere else. The article presents the presence of a wide range of groups including left wing organizations such as Borotba and left wing groups from Europe and Canada, as well as representatives of the militias of DPR and LPR. The problem with right wing extremism in the new republics was also openly addressed.

Two members of the social forum network PS2 were present at this meeting on Crimea. One of them was Tord Björk. The presence of PS2 was, besides solidarity concerns, part of an effort to develop dialogue between civil societies across the front lines in the Ukrainian conflict and this included both pro-Maidan and anti-Maidan groups. It was a sustained effort that in 2015 enabled a seminar at the World Social Forum in Tunis with participants from both Kiev and Donetsk.

According to the researchers at the Swedish Institute for International Affairs a main component of the Russian narrative is that the new government is stated as a “fascist junta”. The common international statement at the meeting on Crimea does not use this term. Instead it claims that there is a right wing neoliberal government with some right wing extremist ministers in Ukraine. This is correct at the time and no one disagrees with this claim. But instead of presenting these facts about the meeting and referring to the article by the accused ”Swedish environmentalist”, both the so called scientific article and the tabloid scoop in Expressen chose to hide this source. The fact that “separatists from Eastern Ukraine” were present at the meeting is instead presented as a fact to expose as a sensation although this, together with the problem that right-wing extremists are also part of the resistance against the Ukrainian military, is already addressed openly.

By unnecessarily making the name anonymous of accused ”interlocutors” of Russian disinformation, the research paper was helping a tabloid paper make a scoop under the headline of secret names being revealed helping the Kremlin. The media has sensationally “exposed” a fifth column in Sweden with the help of the unnecessary anonymity chosen by the authors at the Swedish Institute for International Affairs. It was done to maximize the effect of the sensation in the report they seem to have planned to help from the very start.

There were only two problems. First, the journalist Olsson needed to check the facts since a newspaper cannot publish wrong accusation against individuals. Thus, contrary to the methods used by Kragh, journalistic methods such as asking people and checking the sources showed that the research included fake facts. It was proven that the background material did not show what the authors from the Swedish Institute for International Affairs in advance claimed to be the most sensational revelations. Since this was to be exposed in the coming scoop, the sensation imploded.

Secondly, while researchers can claim that they chose to put off publishing sensational material for two and a half years, journalists cannot do so. The sensation was not the news since the criticism against the Crimean meeting as well as the report from it were openly presented already close in time to when the meeting took place. Applying journalistic rules to the tabloid ”scoop”, serious journalists would have addressed the issue already then, during the summer 2014. The only way Expressen could present the material as a scoop was to put normal journalistic news rules aside and instead use the fact that the researchers made some of the names anonymous. In this way, they could pretend that a scoop was made.

Kragh, the main author of the research article, claimed while he announced the upcoming scoop in the media that there was a group of journalists, researchers, and others – in that order – that had shared background material and followed the accused interlocutors during a long period. The accusations have in other words been known to the journalists during a long time. Only Olsson however, has stepped forward as part of the group, with which Kragh has collaborated. Their access to key institutions in Sweden is shown already by the fact that the key actors include resources from the most well-funded foreign policy institute in Sweden, the prestigious Uppsala University and a large national tabloid newspaper.

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The head of the unit for psychological defense at the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency tells one of the authors that it’s “A very good report!”.

The fact that the initial paper received uncritical welcoming response from the media in Sweden as well as on Twitter from people such as the head of the unit for psychological defense at the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency shows that there is substantial power behind the group of people that for many years have been collecting background material about the accused “interlocutors” of a “Russian narrative”.