110418 Op Iris Report..pdf

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account when assessing the text. This is especially so with the Russian name “Skripal”, which is
often translated literally to the English word “violin”.

Where relevant, footnotes have been added identifying the source of the information or, where this
has not been practical, a list of appendices has been added at the end and referenced within the

1. To establish the flow across social media of the messaging and establish key influencers, friendly
and anti, to Her Majesty’s Government (HMG).

2. To undertake live monitoring of established identifiers and influencers.

3. To establish how news of the poisoning was and is being perceived across the UK, USA, France,
Germany and Russia.

4. To seek to provide early warning of identified threat to HMG or the UK.

5. To report on any additional intelligence that may be useful to the investigation.


Some UK mainstream media reporting of the Skripal incident did little to support the UK cause
through unsubstantiated accusations against Russia. This was a catalyst for Russian media
and pro Kremlin trolls to commence their respective disinformation campaigns. The BBC and
tabloid press were particularly targeted in the early stages as being sensationalist in their
reporting and spreading pro UK propaganda.

UK based social media comments were initially targeted toward Russia being the culprit, but
certain elements of the British population were already accusing UK media of being part of
an anti-Russian propaganda machine.

UK based pro Kremlin trolls were quick to pick up on parallels being made with the Litvinenko
poisoning, countering this with an attack on UK media’s attempts at evidence fabrication.
Due to their vast network of followers and influencers, allegations of Russophobia by the UK
was able to spread quickly throughout the social media network.