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Main Diplomacy — In Bulgaria, the amount of Russian propaganda in online media has increased by more than threefold

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In Bulgaria, the amount of Russian propaganda in online media has increased by more than threefold

10 Aug, 2023
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In Bulgaria, the amount of Russian propaganda in online media has increased by more than threefold

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In the second quarter of 2023, Russian propaganda in Bulgaria's internet media has grown by more than threefold compared to the same period last year. This information is reported by "European Truth," citing Radio Free Europe.

The publication states that these conclusions stem from the second information bulletin of the Foundation for Humanitarian and Social Research - Sofia (FHSI), which examines propaganda on the internet. The number of fake news websites has also increased, disseminating false information about Russia's war against Ukraine and key domestic events in Bulgaria, such as the formation of the cabinet of ministers led by Nikolay Denkov.

"Spokespeople of Russian propaganda in Bulgaria continue to act actively, and according to the report, they seek to adapt ready narratives from Moscow to the changing reality in the country," the material states.

A significant portion of disinformation comes from so-called "mushroom sites" (rapidly growing, short-lived sites spreading fake news, controlled by what FHSI calls the "fake news reprint machine").

The Foundation claims that this "machine" was created in 2022 and is closely associated with the information agency Blitz.

According to the report's authors, the "machine" includes over 370 anonymous quasi-news websites with almost identical design and content. During the studied period, they reprinted an average of 3 to 9 articles of pro-Russian content per day (up to 3500 propagandist reprints on peak days).

In total, during the period from June 1 to June 30, 2023, 105,741 propagandist articles were identified. For comparison, in the first five months of the previous year, this figure was about 36,000.

The main theme spread by "mushroom sites" is that Russia is winning the war in Ukraine, and Russian President Putin continues to enjoy widespread public support. Both statements do not correspond to reality but are presented as facts in propagandist publications.

In addition to fake websites, the report authors also draw attention to the activities of so-called "live speakers," whose task is to "radiate not so much the essence as the interpretations of events."

The Foundation names Martin Karbovsky and Petr Volgin as spokespeople for Russian propaganda. It also identifies some politicians as disseminators of false information. They mention that they actively monitor the media appearances of President Rumen Radev, the leader of the "Rebirth" party Kostadin Kostadinov, as well as the leader of the BSP Cornelia Ninova.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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