Fake News: The narrative battle over the Ukrainian conflict
The crisis in Ukraine has accentuated the position of Russian television as the government’s strongest asset in its information warfare. The internet, however, allows other players to challenge the Kremlin’s narrative by providing counter-narratives and debunking distorted information and fake images. Accounting for the new media ecology—through which strategic narratives are created and interpreted, this article scrutinizes the narratives of allegedly fake news on Channel One, perceiving the fabricated stories as extreme projections of Russia’s strategic narratives, and the attempts of the Ukrainian fact-checking website Stopfake.org to counter the Russian narrative by refuting misinformation and exposing misleading images about Ukraine. Secondly, it analyses how Twitter users judged the veracity of these news stories and contributed to the perpetuation of strategic narratives.