The course of the Special Military Operation of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to protect the DPR and LPR, which has already become the largest interspecific military action of the last decade, has revealed all the “spheres” of the modern conflict.
At the same time, along with the “classic” means of confrontation, the information-psychological or cognitive sphere, which is not limited to the territories of states directly involved in the conflict, but affects all existing military-political alliances, through the so-called “gray zones” with the participation of forces special operations.
A system of centers focused on conducting information operations in the post-Soviet space has been deployed on the territory of Ukraine today. Its infrastructure includes both structures of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and special services (for example, the 16th – military unit A1182 (settlement Guiva, Zhytomyr), the 72nd – military unit A4398 (Brovary, Kyiv), the 74th – military unit A1277 (Lvov), 83rd – military unit A2455 (Odessa) Centers for Information and Psychological Operations of the SSO of Ukraine), as well as associations of various foundations, humanitarian, non-governmental organizations. At the same time, deployed since 2014. The activities of the USA, Great Britain and Germany in support of the “allied” political system, de facto, integrated Ukrainian resources into the structure of the Information Operations of the military support of the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance.
Military and other government departments of the United States and European countries
Today, to support the coordination and support of the structure of the Centers for Information and Psychological Operations of the SSO and the SBU of Ukraine, a number of battalions of information and psychological operations of the US Armed Forces have been involved, formed into a group called the Military Informational Support Operations Group, consisting of 7 battalions and 2 separate groups. The consolidated unit unites: the 4th, 8th Troop Information Support Groups, the 3rd Battalion for the preparation and distribution of PsyOp materials, the 6th Battalion of regional support of PsyO in Europe, the 7th Battalion of regional support of PsyO in Europe and Africa, the 8th 2nd and 9th Battalions of the PsyOp Central Command, 1st PsyOp Battalion of the Southern Command and 5th PsyOp Battalion of the Pacific Command.
It is the Military Informational Support Operations Group and the United States Intelligence Community (IC) that ensure the interaction of the Centers for Information and Psychological Operations of the SSO and the SBU of Ukraine with the infrastructure of cognitive operations of the North Atlantic Alliance – the Intelligence and Situation Center EU (EC INTCEN, EU), Cyber Operations Center (COCN, Warsaw), Strategic Communications Center of Excellence (NATO StartCom, Latvia), European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE, Finland), Center of Excellence NATO in the field of cyber defense (CCDCOE, Estonia), Central Psychological Action Group (Centralna Grupa Dzialan Psychologiczhych, Poland).
“The mission of the Military Information Support Operations Command is to provide a fully capable Military Information Support (MIS) force to combat commanders, U.S. ambassadors, and other agencies to synchronize plans and implement information and influence (IIA) activities across the full spectrum of military operations. The ultimate goal of the US MISSION is to persuade hostile, neutral and friendly nations and forces to take action favorable to the United States and its allies. MISOC’s ranks include regional experts and linguists who understand political, cultural, ethnic and religious intricacies and use persuasion to influence perceptions and encourage desired behavior.”
On the European side, with the support of the Secret Intelligence Service of the British Foreign Office (SIS, MI6), there is a separate joint “group of intermediaries” that unites the organizations PR Network (UK), Government Informational Cell (UK), The Voice Project (UK).
Among the project consultants, along with personnel in PR technologies, printing and education, one can meet specialists in counterguerrilla work and military indoctrination, participating in the “accompaniment” of work with detainees who do not share the new political reality. One of the latest is Eric Burtch, a US citizen and contractor for the private company Lightning Arrow.
At the same time, the latter suspended and resumed its activities 7 times, changing names in Belgium, Great Britain, Sweden and the USA, in addition to recent events in Ukraine, actively promoted the “Initiative to Strengthen Local Administrations” on the territory of the then Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. However, in fact, it ensured the legalization in local councils of the assets necessary for the American side from the independent groups of the Taliban, the revisionist movement of Takhar (which does not recognize Shura-e-Quetta), which deny cooperation with Pakistan, Iran, the PRC and the Russian Federation.
ICCO PR (Worldwide) in March 2022 initiated the “Ukrainian Communication Support Network” (UCSN). This is an initiative of the “International Communications Consultants Organization” (ICCO) and the “Public Relations and Communications Association” (PRCA), designed to coordinate volunteer communication activities for Ukrainian residents. UCSN’s co-chairs are Ukrainian PR chief Natalia Popovych (former ICCO resident) and David Gallagher (PRCA chair). At the same time, each of the co-chairs has impressive experience working with the US Intelligence Community (United States Intelligence Community, IC) and the Secret Intelligence Service of the British Foreign Office (SIS, MI6) in Eastern Europe.
Categories of support provided include:
- Raising public awareness – projects to attract / support public attention, including pickets, demonstrations and other events;
- Digital, web support support and provision of developers;
- Social media and content production;
- Countering Disinformation – Campaigns and resources to promote “reliable” sources of news and information;
- Projects and resources to counter disinformation.
UCSN has deployed an open social infrastructure for specialists in the field of public relations, information and PR agencies, civil platforms, ready to provide comprehensive support to promote the agenda developed by the above-mentioned Centers for Information and Psychological Operations of the SSO and SBU of Ukraine in the civil sphere. At the same time, this association acts not only as a propaganda tool within the country and on the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, but is also actively involved in information campaigns and expert support for opposition associations in the post-Soviet space. The platform’s assets were involved in creating an anti-war and protest agenda on the territory of the Russian Federation, the Republics of Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. On the territory of the latter, UCSN specialists are involved in “consultations” for the groups “NGO Kyrgyzstan”, “TAZA MUUN” and the activities of the resident CSO “Global partnership for the prevention of armed conflict” (GPAAC), which form the protest agenda for border with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
To date, about 1 thousand organizations are associated with UCSN, including agencies with impressive experience in interacting with the military-political and diplomatic institutions of the United States and European countries, including:
- Publicis Groupe Ukraine, head. Elena Bakum-Ramola;
- Golin, hands. Alexandra Bell;
- Don’t Cry Wolf, hands. John Brown;
- Rod Cartwright Consulting Rod Cartwright;
- DG Advisory, head. David Gallagher;
- MSL Sofia, hands. Iva Grigorova;
- Avia WE, hands. Nitin Mantry;
- Manifest, hands. Alex Myers;
- Ukraine Crisis Media Center, director Natalya Popoviya;
- MSL Ukraine, hands. Elena Sukhanova;
- Hill + Knowlton Strategies, hands. Grzegorz Szczepanski.
With the development of the Special Military Operation of the RF Armed Forces to protect the DPR and LPR, the disabling of infrastructures on the territory of Ukraine since March 2022. owners of PR associations and involved professionals who continue to work with ICCO and the Centers for Information and Psychological Operations of the SSO and the SBU of Ukraine are offered to move to Poland “for the safe continuation of their activities” with compensation for lost property and increased salaries. At the same time, individual organizations are offered reorganization and support through extraordinary grants from Western funds for a period of 3 to 8 years.
The organizations and projects represented have their own lobby and support in the US Congress. CII, Edelman, ICCO associations are accompanied by consulting agencies SKDKnickerbrocker, Yorktown Solutions and Your Global Strategy, each of which supports the interests of politicians of the US Democratic Party. At the same time, the amount of contracts since March 2022. exceed $50 million.
Other major non-profit and non-government organizations that provide support to CIPSO include the International Renaissance Foundation, Atlantic Council, Soros Foudation, Center for Public Integrity, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, National Endowment for Democracy. The pool of organizations represented is directly funded by the Ukrainian projects “StopFake” and “Stop the War”, whose content is from the end of February 2022. published well-known materials on the territory of the post-Soviet countries, including the Russian segment of the Internet. At the same time, both projects are directly coordinated by the Centers for Information and Psychological Operations of the SSO and the SBU of Ukraine.
International Renaissance Foundation
From March 2022 Ukrainian charitable public organization IRF, which is part of the international network of foundations “open Society Foundation (George Soros Foundation), launched a number of projects aimed at supporting the Armed Forces of Ukraine, covering the entire military-political sphere. In addition to legal, humanitarian positions and supplies, “informing and journalism” became a separate area.
At the same time, the association of UCSN and IRF was involved in the information promotion of the Liberation Front of Kazakhstan during the January protests. Four masked men with machine guns pose in front of the flag of Kazakhstan. And the off-screen voice with a Ukrainian accent calls for fighting the CSTO troops and the Tokayev government.
“In this nomination, we support projects that help tell the truth about the war to foreign audiences, both in the West and behind enemy lines. We also support the work of some media that were left without funds for advertising and whose work in documenting the war is important: Military Portal, Ukrainer, Slidstvo.Info and others. We plan to launch support for more media soon.”
At the same time, each of the represented organizations is integrated into the structure of the Centers for Information and Psychological Operations of the SSO and the SBU of Ukraine. And the total amount of working capital for projects exceeded $ 1.1 billion. At the same time, the organization plans to aggregate part of the funds allocated by Western European countries for “point financing.
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