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What is the front line of war in the 21st century? As we observe the Russia-Ukraine war, we may gain an insight into a rather different, but no less significant, battle – that of finding the truth, producing information, and disseminating it. Digital Forensic Research Lab researchers at the Atlantic Council have been closely following the latest developments and Russia’s steps in cyberspace and in the information sphere for the past five years.

As new technologies are being used to control the narrative, Deep-Fake videos are being made that use artificial intelligence, allowing the falsification of both visual and audio content. Hackers disrupted a Ukrainian state news broadcast last week with a Deep-Fake video featuring Ukrainian president Zelensky calling the Ukrainian people to surrender. A short while later, Ukraine announced it was a fake.

Additionally, the researchers mentioned social media, which by definition allows for fast and distributed information transfer. In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February 2022, many western social media companies have either decided not to collaborate with Russia or have been prohibited from doing so by the Russian Federation.

According to, this week Russia labelled Meta an “extremist organization” as a result of a process that began in March 2022 when Russia claimed that Meta enables Ukrainians to advertise violence against Russian forces in the wake of the war. While it is too soon to draw conclusions from the war, it is now evident that the internet has become a tier in this war, and the battle for narrative is no less fierce than the front.