A new report focuses on Information Laundering practices from Kremlin and pro-Kremlin actors targeting the German media ecosystem. We analyse how domestic and foreign actors interact to enable the spread of pro-Kremlin influence in Germany, or to disseminate a particular image about Germany to foreign groups of audiences while laundering German news stories. This way, the Kremlin can strategically mislead audiences without incurring extensive political and military costs.
This research confirmed that Information Laundering processes take place in Germany, with national and foreign actors enabling the spread of the Kremlin’s influence in the domestic media environment. Information laundering occurs either when domestic actors either launder foreign or international news events and translate them into German language, thereby deliberately or accidentally spreading the Kremlin’s influence in the German media environment or when foreign actors launder domestic German news events to shape perspectives about Germany for an international or foreign audience.
In total, 13 domestic outlets were identified as taking part in the process.
Information laundering research aims to contribute to the study of the Kremlin’s information influence activities by mapping and assessing the hostile information environment of a particular country, taking a holistic approach to the life cycle of information influence campaigns. By exposing how these processes occur and who participates in them, EU institutions and national governments, as well as civil society and journalists, can build resilience against information influence activities, improving understanding of the vulnerabilities of specific domestic media environments, and uncovering repeated patterns and connections between actors, media outlets, and influence techniques.