Video On Demand

#NAFO and Winning the Information War: Lessons Learned from Ukraine

October 5, 2022 • 12:00 – 1:00 pm EDT

Concerns about the scale and reach of Moscow’s disinformation capabilities have been mounting for years. Yet the war in Ukraine – and the online discourse surrounding that war – arguably demonstrates that the information landscape has shifted, and that new opportunities and methods exist for countering disinformation machines. Not only has the Ukrainian government demonstrated a masterful ability to shape the international narratives surrounding the war, so has the North Atlantic Fella Organization (#NAFO). NAFO (official Twitter account: @Official_NAFO) is an organic, online gaggle of pro-Ukraine supporters that has gained the attention of policymakers and global leaders for their creative use of digital media to take on key sources of Russian disinformation.

This discussion will examine several questions. What does the activity of #NAFO tell us about information warfare today and in the future? What broader lessons can be drawn from the Ukraine experiences? What risks arise from these kinds of information warfare, and how might they be mitigated?  

Kathleen J. McInnis, Senior Fellow, International Security Program and Director, Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative at CSIS will be joined by Seth G. Jones, Senior Vice President, Harold Brown Chair, and Director of the International Security Program at CSIS; Emily Harding, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow in the International Security Program at CSIS; Matt Moores (USMC, ret.), NAFO Co-founder; and Iuliia Mendel, (Virtual from Ukraine), Ukrainian journalist and President Zelenskyy’s former spokesperson. 

If interested, you can purchase Iuliia Mendel’s new book, The Fight of Our Lives: My Time with Zelenskyy, Ukraine's Battle for Democracy, and What It Means for the World here.

This event is made possible by general support to CSIS.

Kathleen Mcinnis
Senior Fellow, International Security Program and Director, Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative
Seth G. Jones
Senior Vice President; Harold Brown Chair; and Director, International Security Program
Emily Harding
Director, Intelligence, National Security, and Technology Program and Deputy Director, International Security Program

Matt Moores  (USMC, Ret)

NAFO Co-founder

 Iuliia Mendel

Ukrainian Journalist and Former Spokesperson for President Zelenskyy