“Ukraine: Perception Shapes Victory and Defeat”, Bernard Siman (Egmont, Belgium)

Shaping perceptions makes up the core of the cognitive domain. It is about managing and influencing “how to think” rather than “what to think”. Perception manipulation is a key area of Russian mis/disinformation and hybrid operations, to shape perceptions of what constitutes victory or defeat, the causes of war, sanctions, and so on. In addition, it aims to cause as many cracks as possible in European societies, exploiting the openness of democracies. We need to “get our skates on”, not only in countering disinformation, but also in proactively shaping perceptions.

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