War Via TikTok: Russia’s New Tool for Propaganda Machine

Armies of trolls and bots stir up anti-Ukrainian sentiment.

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FILE - Russia's President Vladimir Putin appears on a television screen at the stock market in Frankfurt, Germany, Feb. 25, 2022. Russia is revving up its sophisticated propaganda machine as its military advances in neighboring Ukraine. Analysts who monitor propaganda and disinformation say they've seen a sharp increase in online activity linked to the Russian state in recent weeks. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)
Image via AP Photo/Michael Probst

This article was republished here with permission from The Associated Press, however it is no longer available to read on Snopes.com.

The Russian TikTok video has it all: a cat, puppies and a pulsing background beat. It’s cute, watchable and hardly seems the stuff of state propaganda. In 2014, Russia flooded the internet with fake accounts pushing disinformation about its takeover of Crimea. Eight years later, experts say Russia is mounting a far more sophisticated effort as it invades Ukraine. Armies of trolls and bots stir up anti-Ukrainian sentiment. State-controlled media outlets look to divide Western…

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