I recently noted that the Russian language website New Inform in January 2017 had published a very negative article about my research on Russian influence operations, shortly after the appereance of my article on the topic in Journal of Strategic Studies (with Sebastian Åsberg). This is not odd in itself - several well-known sites such as RT, Sputnik and RIA-Novosti were also attacking me at the time.
The peculiar thing about the piece in New Inform, which in its orientation is obviously patriotic and anti-Western, is that is refers to a long quote by the Kremlin's well-known spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. The relevant section reads as follows (my translation), beginning with the claim that my article "is far-fetched and has nothing to do with the actual state of affairs."
"... But it would be very strange to expect from Mr. Kragh an opinion different from this point of view. His accusations against our state have no specifics, there are no facts - only hasty conclusions based on his own arguments and observations. Thus, the way it is done in the report, it is possible to blacken, generally speaking, any country or political institution. We can only guess what it was for..."
I cannot say that I was initially very happy to see this criticism of my research by President Vladimir Putin's veteran right-hand man for media affairs, Peskov - he generally speaks only on behalf of his employer. However, the citation appears only on the website New Inform, and was shared only once, by the occult website "Third World War". The Peskov citation does not appear anywhere else, on any other media platform.
I haven't checked this with the Kremlin administration, but is seems safe to assume that Peskov has in fact not denounced me. It is rather the so called fake news, or perhaps fake, fake news. Now, why on earth anyone would bother to write such an elaborate hoax, that is a good question. As noted by the journalist Peter Pomerantsev, in his excellent book on Russian media, "nothing is true and anything is possible..."