Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has completely lost the information war in Ukraine and the West, Director of UK’s GCHQ signals intelligence agency Jeremy Fleming said in an article, published by The Economist on Aug. 18.
“So far, Putin has comprehensively lost the information war in Ukraine and in the West,” said Fleming.
“Although that is cause for celebration, we should not underestimate how Russian disinformation is playing out elsewhere in the world.”
Fleming points out that many of the most populous countries refused to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Public opinion in those places matters and it is influenced already by the information coming out of Russia,” the official noted.
“This is a new front to the war in Ukraine and its effects will endure at least as long as the conflict does.”
Fleming also said that Russian cyberwarfare efforts were largely ineffective – just as its initial invasion on the ground was.
“The country’s use of offensive cyber tools has been irresponsible and indiscriminate,” he said.
“In part, this is because Ukraine has proved itself to be an extremely effective cyber defender… As we have witnessed heroic defense by Ukraine’s military, online we have arguably seen the most effective defensive cyber activity in history.”
Russian attempts to use cyber warfare to disseminate misinformation were inept and undermined by publicly-shared Western intelligence.
“Russian military attempts to destroy the digital infrastructure of Ukraine and to sow discord using cyber capabilities have been met with staunch, professional and effective Ukrainian cyber defense,” Fleming concluded.