How does Russia’s fake news benefit them?

  • An article I saw on BBC News this morning was showing a clip where Theresa May accused Russia of creating fake news and photoshopped images during the United Kingdom general election last year. How would this benefit them (Russia) in any way?

    Related news article.

    The question sounds like a rhetrorical one. Was it intended as such? I mean, clearly the "fake news" here is Theresa May's accusation itself, deliberately timed with another obvious fake about Russian involvement in Catalonian matters.

    @AnT That wasn't the intention. How does the question sound rhetorical to you, exactly?

    "How would this benefit them (Russia) in any way?" Very simple. Influencing other nations during election campaigns so that a party is elected that is more favorable towards the own nation is always favorable. That is, unless it all comes out. Is that not enough potential benefit for you?

  • Federico

    Federico Correct answer

    4 years ago

    The fact that an entity is not directly running in an election does not mean in any way that it might not see as favourable, and thus prefer, an outcome over the other.

    Particularly it is mostly understood that a divided EU (starting with Brexit) is beneficial to the interests of Moscow:

    1. Crisis in the EU is a blessing for Moscow: Without the U.K. — one of the most vocal supporters of the EU’s sanctions regime against Russia — Russian officials say pressure on the Kremlin will be reduced, leading to significant foreign policy benefits.
    2. A weaker Europe is a weaker NATO: The disintegration of the EU could translate into a weakening of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, long regarded by Russia as a political and military threat.

    This means that they might have seen the Brexit side as favourable to them, and thus decided to support it, overtly or less so.

    As a more general principle: A country dealing with internal problems won't have the bandwidth to address external problems. If you can keep them busy arguing in the house, they won't pay as much attention to what you're doing in the garden.

    @RogerLipscombe better yet, they won't notice you breaking in the front door and swiping all their furniture while they are all busy arguing in the dining room.

    @RogerLipscombe, Russia themselves is a counterexample, though. Having internal problems does not necessarily mean that government won't try to address external problems. Sometimes latter even help solve former.

    @rus9384 the more things change, the more they stay the same: "What this country needs is a short, victorious war to stem the tide of revolution." V.K. Plehve, Russian Minister of the Interior to General A.N. Kuropatkin, Minister of War, 1903 C.E., on the eve of the Russo-Japanese War

    But if that's so, why is (pro-Brexit) Theresa May calling them out? (Other than to distract from the dissension in her own party and Parliament over her hard-line Brexit position?)

    @Tiercelet Theresa May is not pro-Brexit, but she is doing the job assigned by the vote.

    Britain has an extremely off side position in Europe having basically owned half the world some hundred years ago. Assuming each other European country would have the same balls to follow example and act on such self confidence, that they would be better off "independent" is just crazy talk.

    "As a more general principle: A country dealing with internal problems won't have the bandwidth to address external problems." This seems far-fetched, since many states, especially (but not limited to) autocratic ones, escalate external problems to avoid discussion over internal problems. Moreover, the anti-russian hardliners in many east european countries are also anti-EU, so Russia would strengthen its own enemies.

    @RogerLipscombe Especially if what you are doing in the garden is invading Ukraine and Georgia and (soon?) Estonia.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM