Australia has typically registered only faintly on Russia’s global radar. As Vladimir Putin quipped in 2007, ‘I know where Australia is but never think about it’. But times have changed. Australia’s robust support for Ukraine’s struggle to thwart Putin’s neo-imperialist invasion of February 2022; its membership of the QUAD; and its leading role in AUKUS has undoubtedly enhanced Australia’s relative salience in the Kremlin’s world view.
As the ripple effects of Russia’s conduct are felt in Australia’s own region, it stands to reason that those Russian agencies charged with mobilising support for Putin among Russian diasporas, and eroding public and political support for Ukraine, have redoubled their efforts. Apart from Russian embassies and consulates, among these agencies ‘The Russian World Foundation’ – Russkij mir – plays a leading role.
This conference examines Russian attempts to boost narratives favouring its policy preferences. In particular it examines Russia’s diaspora mobilisation efforts, and seeks to identify what types of information warfare strategies are being deployed by Putin’s regime – both in Australia, and in its broader Indo-Pacific region.
PROGRAM - details
Session 1: Russky Mir and its origins
Russky Mir is not only a political ideology built on Russia’s imperialist-colonialist heritage, but an apparatus that informs and influences operations of every branch of the modern Russian government, internal and external policy. Here we would like to discuss the premise, origins and implications of this ideology, as well as its presence in Australian communities.
Session 2: Networks of Russky Mir and their Implications for Australian Society and Democratic Processes
ICCC (International Coordinating Council of Compatriots ВКСоРС), Moscow Orthodox Patriarchy patronage and propaganda by the Russian Ministry of International Affairs are examples of how the Russian State uses soft power to influence public opinion in countries, such as Australia. In a case-study, Svoboda Alliance AU&NZ would like to present their findings and analysis of Russky Mir networks that have formed within Australian communities and their impact.
Session 3 Counter Influence of Russky Mir in Australia: Methods and Sources
Hubs of counteraction to Russky Mir networks within Russian-Australian communities have existed in Australia since before the mass invasion into Ukraine on the 24th of February 2022. We will examine pro-democratic Russian networks in Australia and their initiatives in countering Russky Mir influence in Russian-speaking communities.
Dr Raisa Afikeva, Honourary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia.
Dr Elena Govor, ANU Lecturer in the ANU School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics.
Evgeniya Manakova, President of Svoboda Alliance VIC.
Galina Seredina, Research and Innovation Manager, Macquarie University, Secretary Svoboda Alliance NSW.
Dr Ilya Fomin, Macquarie University, President of Svoboda Alliance NSW.
Ivan Pavlenko, Member of Svoboda Alliance.
Taisiya Payne, Russian activist, Member of Svoboda Alliance.