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Alya Shandra on the Surkov Leaks and Russia’s information war on the West

‘The Surkov Leaks: The Inner Workings of Russia’s Hybrid War in Ukraine’ report will be published on July 16, which is the most detailed analysis yet of the ‘Surkov Leaks’.

‘The Surkov Leaks’ is the set of e-mails from Kremlin officials from 2014 onwards, including Vladislav Surkov, ‘so called President Vladimir Putin’s ‘Rasputin’, involved in the Eastern Ukraine conflict, and in the political and economic management of two self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Luhansk.

The authors provide a detailed review of Russia’s strategy for destabilizing Ukraine. They argue that a core part of the strategy is to encourage separatist unrecognised republics in Eastern Ukraine. One of the e-mails received by Surkov analysed in the report deals with a document that provides a unique information about the Kremlin’s response to the MH17 disaster. In general there are more than 50 tools of Russian influence analysed in the paper.

The study of the ‘Surkov Leaks’ is a big contribution to understanding how Russia is waging Hybrid War in Ukraine. The report is written by Alya Shandra, editor-in-chief of the Euromaidan Press, and Robert Seely, Member of Parliament for the Isle of Wight who is also a member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee. According to the authors themselves: “In analysing these emails, this report aims to contribute to the wider debate about how authoritarian states use freedom to undermine free or partially free societies.”

Alya Shandra was one of the speakers at the conference  ’Behind the Digital Curtain: Civil Society vs State Sponsored Cyber Attacks’ organised by Promote Ukraine. The conference brought together experts in the fields of cyber security, politics and civil society from Ukraine and different European countries, where based on her ’The Surkov Leaks’ report, Alya Shandra shared how Russia uses techniques of disinformation and manipulation during the hybrid war.

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