Russian information troops, disinformation, and democracy




Hybrid war, information war, information troops, cyber-troops.


This research examines the contemporary landscape relative to information-driven strategies used for global gain by analyzing Russian activities in particular. With Russia functioning as a cause of global democratic disruption, this exploratory project focuses on information-based, computational, and media-related political strategies. The findings provide a way to see patterns over time offering further evidence of ‘hybrid’ warfare identified in recent literature. This work allows readers to connect events in recent years in order to view them together as a strong case of ‘hybrid’ war. These findings also provide scholars, practitioners, and citizens interested in democratic processes around the globe the opportunity to consider the many threats to contemporary political processes, and contributes to ongoing academic conversations about digital political disruptions and warfare. Particularly for readers concerned about political influence via social media and digital security, this study of Russia’s information-related activity as a case of international interference will be of particular interest. 

Author Biographies

Volodymyr Lysenko, Unversity of Arizona

Volodymyr Lysenko is a former research associate at the Center for Digital Society and Data Studies, and holds appointments in multiple departments, including the School of Information, at the University of Arizona.

Catherine Brooks, University of Arizona

Catherine Brooks is the Associate Director and an Associate Professor in the School of Information, as well as the Founding Director of the iSchool’s Center for Digital Society and Data Studies at the University of Arizona.




How to Cite

Lysenko, V., & Brooks, C. (2018). Russian information troops, disinformation, and democracy. First Monday, 23(5).