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Russia’s Involvement in the Spread of Disinformation During the Coronavirus Crisis

April 14, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT

In late March, a report from the European Union stated that Pro-Kremlin media has been purposely spreading disinformation about COVID-19 with the aim of disrupting western health care during the pandemic. Although Russia has denied the allegations, this is not the first time Russian media has been accused of this tactic.

Please join us for a Hot Topics Call on April 14 at 10:00 am (ET) with Dr. Evelyn Farkas, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, and Sarah Pagung, Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations’ Robert Bosch Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia, who will discuss Russia’s involvement of the spread of disinformation during the coronavirus crisis. (See their bios below)

To register for the call, please click here

Dr. Evelyn N. Farkas served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia from 2012 to 2015 where she was responsible for U.S. policy toward Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. She began her tenure working with the fragile democracies of Eastern Europe to bolster the rule of law and following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, she helped develop a strategy for President Obama to defend Ukrainian democracy against Russian attacks. She served previously as Senior Advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe/Commander, U.S. European Command, and as Special Advisor for the Secretary of Defense for the NATO Summit. Prior to that, she was a Senior Fellow at the American Security Project. In 2008-2009, she served as Executive Director of the congressionally-mandated bipartisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.

From April 2001 to April 2008, she served as a Professional Staff Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, conducting policy and budget oversight of the Department of Defense policy office and military commands including the U.S. Pacific Command, Special Operations Command, Southern Command, Northern Command, and U.S. Forces Korea. Prior to assuming that position, for four years she was a professor of international relations at the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University. She served in Bosnia as a Human Rights Officer for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1996, and as an Election Supervisor in 1997. In 2009, she was an election observer in Afghanistan.

Dr. Farkas earned her Bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College and her Master’s and Ph.D. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Trustee of Franklin & Marshall College, and until recently, a Resident Senior Fellow at The German Marshall Fund and a National Security Contributor for NBC/MSNBC. She speaks fluent Hungarian and German and has studied five other languages, including Spanish and Hindi. Dr. Farkas is currently a candidate to represent New York’s 17th Congressional District in The U.S. House of Representatives.

Sarah Pagung is a Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations’ Robert Bosch Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia. Her research focuses on Russian foreign and information policies and on Moldova. Until December 2018, she was a Program Officer at the Robert Bosch Center, and managed the Discussion Group on Russian and the Eastern Partnership and the joint project “A New Western Ostpolitik” with the Johns Hopkins University. From 2013 to 2015 she worked at the Carl Friedrich Goerdeler-Kolleg.

Ms. Pagung is currently completing her doctorate on the impact of Russian propaganda and information policy in Germany at the Freie Universität Berlin, where she studied political science. She is also an adjunct teacher at the Freie Universität Berlin and serves as a seminar facilitator for various formats relating to European foreign policy and Eastern Europe. In 2012–13 she was active on behalf of the European Voluntary Service’s German-Russian exchange program in Saint Petersburg, working in youth and adult education.


April 14, 2020
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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