Our Work In Action: Analysis and Insights

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As part of efforts to wean itself from Russian energy, the European Union has been looking to alternative sources such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), imported from the US, among others. Pro-Russian and disinformation actors downplay the importance of diversifying energy sources and suppliers, spread false claims, and sow fear and chaos in the Slovak information space.
The European Green Deal, a political initiative of the European Commission aiming to reach climate neutrality by 2050, became a target of disinformation in the Czech information space already in early 2021. It became a polarizing issue especially prior to the Czech parliamentary election in October 2021. This year, the debate around the Green Deal acquired a new dimension due to the unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine and the associated issue of energy dependence and diversification. Moreover, with the Czech presidency of the EU Council in July, the Czech debate about the Green Deal is expected to intensify in the upcoming months.

Since they came to power in 2010 and 2012 respectively, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and President Aleksandar Vučić have developed a strong political partnership. Both leaders have been classified as illiberal, populist, and authoritarian by international organizations, such as Freedom House and V-Dem Institute. These characteristics can partially explain their inclination to cooperate, especially in the context of criticism coming from the European Union.

Russia employed information and psychological operations (INFO- and PSYOPS) against Ukraine and the West for over a decade now. Key components that grew in significance over the years are the use of cyberspace (especially social media and quasi- and fringe media outlets), employment of conspiracy theories and engaging the whole administrative and state media apparatus in the dissemination of selected messages, falsehoods, disinformation and narratives.

Over the last five years, Hungarian-Ukrainian bilateral relations have been experiencing the deepest systemic crisis since the establishment of diplomatic in the early 1990s. This crisis is built on a series of disputes that have remained unresolved, without decisions, for decades, with constructive dialogue under the aegis of dry neighborly diplomacy being recently replaced with constant tensions around very sensitive topics such as minority rights, Hungarian separatism, interference into internal affairs, double play in Russia’s favor, etc.