Four years ago, Emilia Seikkanen was a U.S. citizen looking for work in Germany. After a long search, Ruptly GmbH, a German-registered video production company based in the center of Berlin, offered her a job as a “client supervisor.” Seikkanen accepted the job, however, while Ruptly was “considered a serious German media start-up with quality service and a global business idea,” it was also a branch of RT, the Russian state-funded media outlet (formerly Russia Today). During her time working in the organization, Seikkanen saw first-hand the inner workings of Kremlin propaganda and disinformation operations in Europe.
Earlier this year, Jessikka Aro, a prominent Finnish journalist, reported Seikkanen’s experiences inside Ruptly. In her recent article, Aro, herself having been the target of harsh disinformation and trolling campaigns, tells Seikkanen’s story and uncovers the Kremlin’s deeply troubling mechanisms for election meddling and promoting extremism throughout Europe.
Jessikka Aro and Emilia Seikkanen discuss their personal experiences as victims of Russian disinformation and propaganda.
Jessikka Aro, Investigative Reporter, Yle Kioski
Emilia Seikkanen, Head of Content and Communication, Claned
Geysha González, Senior Director for Programs and Strategy, Center for European Policy Analysis