Vladimir Tabak: Putting “Noodles” on Russian Ears?

At a Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) panel held on June 21, 2022 called Fake News in the Era of Globalization, Russian businessman Vladimir Tabak introduced plans for a new social media fact-checking service called “Noodles” (Лапша) (1).

Vladimir Tabak, CEO of ANO Dialog

The name Noodles is a reference to the familiar Russian expression “to hang noodles on one’s ears”, which can be described as “to fool someone in a skillful manner, and make them naively believe what you’re saying.” (2)

Tabak’s Noodles service will include a website, a chat bot, and media monitoring capabilities. It will partner with various internet platforms in order to support the goals of the October 2021 Memorandum on Countering Misleading Information (aka ‘Memorandum on Combating Fake Fakes’)  (1). The Memorandum was signed by representatives of many Russian state-owned news agencies. It represents an allegedly self-regulatory and voluntary information data standard for Russian media companies to support “systematic” efforts to “develop common rules for verifying and labeling false information, as well as developing best practices for verifying the authenticity of publications.” (3)

Some media reports on the Noodles announcement proclaimed that “the first anti-fake service will be launched in Russia.” (1 ,5)

An announcement of Noodles being the first such service in Russia might be met with some skepticism by Western observers. Researchers of Russian information warfare activities during the 2022 Ukraine War have already reported extensively about the popular Telegram channel War on Fakes, which purports to be a fact checking website, but seems to have been used instead by the Kremlin as a coordinated outlet for the spread of state-sponsored disinformation narratives (4).

Based on the discussions in the SPIEF panel and Tabak’s pro-Kremlin background alone, there is reason to expect that like War on Fakes, that Noodles will be likely to reinforce the ideological position of the state as a first priority in “truth”, rather than enable greater access to factual information by Russian social media users.

Continue reading “Vladimir Tabak: Putting “Noodles” on Russian Ears?”

WarGonzo’s Semen Pegov : Coming in the GRU’s back door

In continued monitoring of Russian propaganda reports that Western militaries are planning “false flags” in the Donbas which mirror prior disinformation narratives about the White Helmets in Syria, I came to learn of the WarGonzo Telegram channel. There is limited information about this news source’s background in English but it seems to parrot similar narratives to the official positions of the Russian Ministry of Defense.

WarGonzo recently claimed: “The White Helmets are rushing to Donetsk. Judging by the intelligence, the British-Turkish alliance is going to work out its “Syrian case” in the Donbas. We all remember staged documentaries and special reports about the “use” of chemical weapons. The British office of the White Helmets is also preparing scenarios for the Donbass regions of Russia. Knowing their cynical experience in the Middle East, one has to expect something adequate from this case. Donbass needs to be on the alert.” [1]

WarGonzo is run by the journalist Semen Pegov (aka Semyon Pegov) and has consistently been one of the most-cited Telegram channels in Russian media in the past few years [2, 3]. 

Semen Pegov: Gonzo Muppet (x Proboscis Monkey if it was too subtle…)

Continue reading “WarGonzo’s Semen Pegov : Coming in the GRU’s back door”

Sergei Shoigu Claims Russia is Victim in Information War

Russian-language media widely reported today on Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu’s interview on the state-funded Zvezda network’s television program Military Acceptance where he claimed that Russia was in “an information war on all fronts”, and had “no right to lose in this war”. [1]

Shoigu’s call to arms makes up a relatively small proportion of the hour-long television episode which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Department of Information and Mass Communications of the Russian Defense Ministry.

The full program is here, and can be viewed with auto-translated English subtitles:

Despite being targeted to a domestic audience and apparently crafted to promote a sense of pride and patriotism in the Russian “information support” services, the Military Acceptance program as a whole (to include Shoigu’s claims of victimhood) can be contextually analyzed within the broader geopolitical context of the aggressive Russian information warfare agenda. Continue reading “Sergei Shoigu Claims Russia is Victim in Information War”

Tsarist-Commies Started Prodigy’s Illuminati Ideology?

If someone was to ask me who my favorite artist was today, I would most likely name the late Prodigy (Albert Johnson) of the 1990s hip hop duo Mobb Deep.  Prodigy died at age 42 in June 2017 reportedly due to complications of his lifelong battle with sickle cell anemia.

But Prodigy is actually an interesting figure in the landscape of Russia and conspiracy theories too. He is the man who brought a paranoid belief in the Illuminati to hip hop.

Prodigy of Mobb Deep

Continue reading “Tsarist-Commies Started Prodigy’s Illuminati Ideology?”

German Sterligov’s Facial Annalistic Set of the 16th Century

Currently, I am interested in the ‘Facial Annalistic Set of the 16th Century‘ (aka ‘The Illustrated Chronicle of Ivan the Terrible ,’Obverse Chronicle‘, ‘Tsar Book’, ‘Facial Chronicle‘, ‘Litsevoy letopisny svod’,Лицевой летописный свод‘, etc.) because of its contemporary depictions of torture and execution from the reign of Ivan IV, who commissioned the work.

While the historical accuracy of the events depicted in the books may be debated, we can infer that this is how the Tsar purposefully intended his legacy to be remembered in line with his efforts to revise the history of his own era.

Killing of political rival Andrei Shuisky on orders of Ivan IV as depicted in Facial Annalistic Set (see page numbered 212).

The existence of these images may dispute the arguments of Russian nationalists who claim a conspiracy by Western rivals to create a “black legend” related to information warfare surrounding Ivan IV.

Such images of death and destruction only make up a small fraction of the miniatures in the Facial Annalistic Set. However, their existence does support the idea that Ivan IV wished himself to be perceived in a fearsome way and didn’t hide that he had people brutally punished in order to enforce his rule.

It was hard to find good quality images online from the chronicles to support this research. After some digging, I’ve found some excellent digital copies of the Facial Annalistic Set which were commissioned by the Russian nationalist businessman, conspiracy theorist, and political aspirant German Sterligov; who became one of the first millionaires (if not the first) in post-Soviet Russia after starting the stock exchange Alisa.

(The files are posted here, after the break and a bit of interesting biography on Sterligov.) Continue reading “German Sterligov’s Facial Annalistic Set of the 16th Century”

Haikus for Gabby Petito

Gabby Petito
petechial hemorrhage
Brian choked a bitch

it’s often her man
he was afraid she’d leave him
now, none can have her

no surprises here
watch all the Forensics Files
check the statistics

if he chokes you once
more than five times as likely
he kills you later

men are violent
no gender equality
with domination

intimate partner
sex proprietariness
see “uxoricide”

Laundrie’s killer genes
kid is bald at twenty three
good strangling arms though

male pattern baldness
evolutionary psych-
pattern murdering

choking is control
he may just control your death
bitch run for your life!

Meme-ry Wars and Ivan IV

An exhibition called “The First Tsar. Moscow. Grozny” opened at the Zaryadye Park in Moscow and will run through October 31, 2021. This is the first of ongoing exhibits slated for the museum-like attraction which is referred to as the “Podklet” (Подклет) ‘project’ [1].

Site of the Podklet project, the “Old English Court”

Podklet refers to the stone basement which is present at the museum site and where the rotating exhibits will be housed. Notably the Zaryadye Park location is on the site of the so-called Old English Court where Ivan IV granted a residence to English merchant-diplomats which “became the first official representation of a foreign power in Moscow.” [2]

According to Elena Voitsekhovskaya, head of the scientific and educational projects department of Zaryadye Park: “the Podklet project will become a kind of a catalog of personal informal studies of various historical phenomena, their factology and trace in the mass consciousness. And the premises of the white-stone basement are an intellectual attraction, a cabinet of rarities placed in a multimedia field.”  [2]

Zaryadye Park was the first new park in Moscow in 50 years. It opened in 2017 in a ceremony inaugurated by Vladimir Putin [3]. Coinciding with a national security mandate to protect the Russian historical memory, the announcement of the exhibition at Zaryadye also appears amidst a flurry of other semi-official rehabilitations and popularizations of Ivan IV which seem to have been pushed by ideologists close to Putin’s inner circle [4]. Continue reading “Meme-ry Wars and Ivan IV”

Princess Diana Conspiracy Theories: Russian Active Measures?

Conspiracy theories about the death of Diana, Princess of Wales do not appear to have been previously considered in an ‘information warfare’ context which is attributable to Russia. However, my recent research has uncovered a highly probable scenario of Russian co-optation and development of these conspiracy narratives as part of a strategic information campaign targeting the United Kingdom. Of course, these connections to Russian strategic information are opaque, and laundered through fronts and third parties; but the connections are top-level and obvious.

While this report will suppose that land mines play a role in the motive for disinformation attacks on Diana and her legacy, it asserts that those attacks have come from Russian strategic information interests, rather from any UK or ‘Western interest’.

As tempting as it is to wonder if Russian wetwork may be at play in this story, it is out of the scope of this report which will focus only on provable or highly likely Russian strategic conspiracy narratives and will not seek to dispute any official forensic findings of the accident investigation.

Last photo taken of Diana on the day of her death (August 31, 1997)

Continue reading “Princess Diana Conspiracy Theories: Russian Active Measures?”

Who’s Your Daddy Maria Katasonova?

I was poking around in the apocalyptic milieu of Eurasianist and Orthodox nationalist conspiracy theory, and came across an interesting name: Maria Vladimirovna Katasonova. She’s been profiled as a Russian nationalist and former Duma candidate who is associated with Kremlin propaganda efforts in the French elections of 2017 and on the Ukrainian war front [1].

Photo collage entitled “A fool at the site of Nemtsov’s murder” from Katasonova’s social media. A Russian commenter says: “I would still understand if it was a joke of someone outside, but she herself posts this shit on her page, that’s the thing ..

Frequently invoking the image of a destroying Orthodox angel in her social media posts, Katasonova was described in 2015 as “low budget purveyor of fear” and “a disciple of [Alexander] Dugin and aide to presidential advisory-board member Yevgeny Fyodorov… Like her dark father who had called for genocide against the Ukrainian “cretins”, Katasonova, dressed like a white angel of death, said Russia would “destroy the whole world” if they lost the war in East Ukraine.” [2]

[nods to Solid Snake and Sviridov]

In this case, Katasonova’s “dark father” referenced in the bio is Alexander Dugin, who wrote: “We should clean up Ukraine from the idiots,”…“The genocide of these cretins is due and inevitable… I can’t believe these are Ukrainians. Ukrainians are wonderful Slavonic people. And this is a race of bastards that emerged from the sewer manholes.” [3]

While the comment here about a ‘dark father’ is rhetorical in relation to philosophical leanings (as Katasonova is not Dugin’s daughter), she operated at times in a network close to Alexander Dugin’s biological daughter (Daria Dugina aka Darya Platonova) and the political operative Andrey Kovalenko [4].  She’s also appeared in media stories close to the daughter of Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov (Elisaveta Peskova)[5].

Given that she seems influential and close to the daughters of other top ‘propagandists’ it stands to wonder, who might be her real father? The answer doesn’t seem clear, but the question is intriguing. Continue reading “Who’s Your Daddy Maria Katasonova?”

Foundations of Geopolitics by Alexander Dugin – English Translation

Due to it being difficult to find an English translation of Alexander Dugin’s 1997 book “Foundations of Geopolitics” for sale in America, I ran a Russian copy through the same online translation portal which I’d used for Alexander Verkhovsky’s book on “Political Orthodoxy“.

Note, that this the “25th anniversary edition” which has a cover reflecting back on 25 years of the works of men in Russian geopolitics.  Otherwise, it is the same as the 1997 edition in content.

Александр Дугин – Основы геополитики – Геополитическое будущее России – 25-летие издания – Обложка книги (Alexander Dugin – Foundations of Geopolitics – The Geopolitical Future of Russia – 25th Anniversary Edition – Book Cover)

The book has been described as mandatory reading for Russian military officers (and equally critiqued for a bad computer-translated English version which I hoped might be remedied with a more recent run through Google Translate). (A good, short analysis of the work by John Dunlop is posted here.)

Similarly to posting Verkhovsky’s book in English, my goal in posting Dugin is to promote greater understanding of the culture of Russian nationalism (especially Orthodox nationalism), and how that nationalism apparently informs the strategic culture of Russia. Followingly, it supports my thesis that the disinformation and ‘information warfare’ produced by that strategic culture is characterized by nationalistic features.  (See published works 1, 2, 3, and recent cited post 4)

I can tell the translation is far from perfect, but if you’re looking to add it to your library, it will work with search indexing and appears to be basically readable. You can cross reference the appended Russian original from p. 453 of the PDF with any broken portion of the translation, since the page numbers are consistent between the documents.