What the war in Ukraine tells us about the propaganda battles of the 21st Century




TIME: 13:00 – 14:00, Thursday 12th November 2015

VENUE: Floor 26, Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP


Peter Pomerantsev

Marina Pesenti

To attend please RSVP to: researchassistant7@henryjacksonsociety.org


The information age has fast become the disinformation age. In the 20th century, the battle was against censorship and for free expression. In the 21st century, the battle is against the abuse of freedom of information – and the sources of some of that information. In the past, propaganda outlets were tightly controlled, and the ability to spread it similarly constrained. Today, the end of centralised control over propaganda means new opportunities and new dangers, not least online. Nowhere is this more visible than Ukraine. From Moscow’s use of media to create a war, to Kyiv’s response to the information was unleashed against it, Ukraine teaches us a number of lessons about the propaganda battles of the 21st century.

This event will hear Peter Pomerantsev and Marina Pesenti give their thoughts on the information war in Ukraine. Peter will answer questions such as: how does one win over audiences when there is no longer a single media or message? And, how does one motivate and organise armed forces in a fractured media environment? While Marina will explore how effective Ukraine’s state propaganda has been in countering disinformation, as well as considering Ukraine’s independent and oligarch-controlled media in the context of information war.

The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to an event with Pomerantsev and Pesenti that will be chaired by Dr Andrew Foxall, Director of the Russia Studies Centre at The Henry Jackson Society. Please RSVP to researchassistant7@henryjacksonsociety.org.

Peter Pomerantsev is a Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute, London, where he heads a program investigating 21st century propaganda. He writes widely on this subject for publications including the FT, Foreign Policy, London Review of Books, Politico, New Yorker, WSJ and many others. His book on Russian propaganda, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, has been longlisted for the Samuel Johnson and Guardian First Book Awards, short listed for the Pushkin House Prize, and is being translated into over ten languages.

Peter is frequently asked to speak at policy seminars at NATO, German Foreign Office, the EU and US State Department, as well as numerous pubic events. He has testified to the US Congress and Senate on questions regarding propaganda. He has helped write in-depth policy recommendations on counter-propaganda for both national governments and NGOs.

Previous to Legatum he was a television producer in the UK and Russia, working on award-winning documentaries and factual formats for Discovery, BBC, Channel 4 and TNT.

In the early 2000s he worked as a consultant on EU development projects in the former USSR.

Marina Pesenti has a long career in media and communications. For many years she has worked for the BBC World Service where she presented programs for the Ukrainian Service and produced award-willing documentaries for the World Service. She later worked in public relations and event management, including as director of the Ukrainian Investment Summit in London. Since spring 2015, she has been taking part in the research on Ukraine’s response to the information war at Legatum Institute as a freelance contributor. In September 2015, she was appointed Director of the Ukrainian Institute in London.


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