Biological mis(dis)-information in the Internet as a possible Kremlin warfare

Background: Although much emphasis is placed on the foreign intelligence driven disinformation and other associated phenomena, there is almost no attempt to reveal its impact on biological denialism. The article discusses the use of narrations via ICT in biological denialism terms against Europe, particularly Poland, and provides examples of such narratives such as the "Ukrainian biolabs", animal breeders protests, infectious disease among refugees and food insecurity. Means of possible influence of foreign intelligence on European public health and agricultural (mainly animal) production (i.e. by dis(mis)-information in social media) in context of agro/bio-terrorism are attempted. Our goal is to raise awareness among One Health specialists and security managers about empirical symptoms of the Kremlin in fueling the Polish (European) Internet. Methods: The study employs both qualitative (12 months) and quantitative (5 months) methods to assess digital traditional and social media after 24.02.2022. 1) We assessed qualitatively media releases in Russian about biological weapons and compared them with official documents released by Russia for the Biological Weapon Convention (BWC) meetings. 2) We performed quantitative analysis of the Polish infosphere between 24.02-01.08.2022 to measure the effectiveness of external Russian propaganda on causing anxiety and fear in Polish society the context of biological weapons and food insecurity 3) Additionally we attempted qualitatively material from 01.02.2022-31.01.2023 to understand the potential use of misinformation in the context of biological weapons, food insecurity, infectious diseases among Ukrainian refugees and agroterrorism as a form of propaganda. 4) The study also applies calibrated Grunow & Finke and Agricultural Index epidemiological assessment tools (per analogy of viral information) to animal breeders' protests in the Netherlands and their supporters in Poland. Results: Due to the lifecycles and content of narration in One Health we can observe adaptive behavior of Russian Intelligence: 0) “Prewar” on refugees diseases; 1) “Fresh” war with the highest interest in all biological concerns with high degree of fear of bioweapon and hunger; 2) “Normalization” phase with the discussion about refugees diseases; 3) “Pre Odessa treaty” phase with intensification of food related issue; 4) “Post Odessa treaty” phase with decrease of all biological narration; 5) “Infection season" phase with returning infections topic and the last 6) farmer protests and food/feed biological quality. Conclusion: In our opinion, the strategic goals of Russian INFOOPS (information operations) were not achieved (i.e. as we see less and less impact on Polish infosphere after failure of BWC consultation and failure of hunger threats). The "Biolab'' disinformation campaign is purely a product of propaganda offices or PR agencies and was without any kind of attention to biological integrity. However, fueling polarization and fear in food insecurity, animal breeders' protest and refugees' health may be interpreted in PSYOPS (psychological operations) dimension, so operational goals of Russian intelligence were satisfied as popularity and social consequences of biological denialism raised in 2022 and continue in 2023 (for instance in context of grains).
Jarynowski Andrzej, Krzowski Łukasz, & Maksymowicz Stanisław. (2023). Biological mis(dis)-information in the Internet as a possible Kremlin warfare. IBI.
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