News veracity ratings service NewsGuard is coming to the defense of Ukraine, offering its data free to news media covering Russia’s information war that has preceded what is expected to be a military invasion.
“Even before Russia had begun amassing troops at Ukraine's border, the Kremlin has been waging a digital war — using propaganda outlets to spread disinformation to confuse its adversaries and provide a public justification for possible military conflict,” NewsGuard said in an announcement sent by co-founder Steve Brill.
NewsGuard’s report analyzes Russia’s leading disinformation sites, including “the false narratives they spread, and the Kremlin’s methods for obscuring the sites’ ownership and purpose,” the announcement said, adding that it is providing two formats to set the Russian propaganda campaign straight.
One format provides NewsGuard’s “nutrition label” ratings for the Kremlin’s major state-controlled media outlets targeting international audiences: RT.com, SputnikNews.com and TASS.com:
The second format explains the “misinformation fingerprints” Russian propaganda outlets use explicitly to create “falsehoods as a pretext for war.”
“As the situation in Ukraine began to escalate, Russia's propaganda outlets focused increasingly on false narratives that created pretexts or justifications for war,” NewsGuard said, providing links to its analysis to the three main ones: