US and Poland to fight together against Russian disinformation

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The U.S. and Poland signed an agreement this week to strengthen their cooperation against “foreign information manipulation.”

“This MOU [memorandum of understanding] signifies our joint commitment to safeguarding the global information environment from this pernicious threat,” said the U.S. State Department’s Global Engagement Center, an agency responsible for exposing and countering foreign propaganda and disinformation.

As part of the agreement, the two countries launched a joint project in Warsaw called the Ukraine Communications Group (UCG) whose mission is “to support Ukraine against Russia’s aggression in the information space.”

The group will bring together representatives from 12 countries including Canada, France, Germany, Finland, Italy, and Ukraine. They will work in person to “coordinate communications, promote accurate information about the Russian invasion, amplify Ukraine's voice, and expose Kremlin information manipulation,” the State Department said.

— Mikko Koivumaa (@MikkoKoivumaa) June 10, 2024

According to the statement, the U.S. and its allies have worked to expose Kremlin disinformation since before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the UCG is an extension of these efforts. The organizers didn’t elaborate on how exactly the group would work and how it plans to achieve its goals.

Polish media reported the group will try to spread truthful information about Russian aggression, particularly targeting countries in the Global South.

Ukraine welcomed the initiative and said it would participate in the activities of the group. Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called it “a strong signal of a common determination to continue supporting Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.” 

Several European countries, including members of the newly founded UCG, have previously signed security agreements with Ukraine, pledging to provide financial, humanitarian, and military support to Kyiv, as well as helping it with Russia’s cyber and information warfare. As of yet, none of the agreements have been implemented in practice.

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