Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Germanic & Slavic Languages & Literatures
Laura Olson Osterman
The use of reflexive control (RC) and disinformation in the Russian conduct of kinetic and non-kinetic warfare is evident in conflicts from the Second Chechen War to Russian meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential election. The original Soviet theory of RC has been refined and expanded into new dimensions of warfare including the concepts of information warfare and cyberwarfare, thus becoming a major weapon of the Russian military in its influence campaigns against the West. The technique of feeding disinformation or selecting the information an opponent receives in order to influence his voluntary decisions has been exploited by Russia under Putin in conflicts and in his foreign policy. The skillful use of disinformation has in most cases shaped public discourse, manipulated international understanding of events, and essentially achieved Reflexive Control over Russia’s opponents.
King, Francis, "Reflexive Control and Disinformation in Putin's Wars" (2018). Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 27.