From Washington to the war in Ukraine, the dimension of disinformation - Conference


Institute of Communication and Public Policy

Date: 31 March 2022 / 18:00 - 20:00

The conference "From Washington to the war in Ukraine, the dimensions of disinformation" organized by Università della Svizzera italiana, ASIS and START InSight will be held in room A21 Red Building of the West Campus of Lugano, on Thursday, March 31, 2022 from 18.00 to 20.00.



  1. Jean-Patrick Villeneuve
    Professore e Direttore dell’Istituto di comunicazione e politiche pubbliche, USI (in presenza)
  2. Luca Tenzi
    Security Strategist e Responsabile di ASIS Svizzera Italiana (in presenza)


  • Andrea Molle (in collegamento)
    Docente di Scienze Politiche, Chapman University e ricercatore, START InSight

The strategic use of disinformation; from the American elections to the war in Ukraine 
We present a brief introduction to the strategic use of disinformation, with particular attention to fake news and memetic warfare. Disinformation warfare is used by state and non-state actors to create polarization, instigate social conflicts, and prompt support in case of conflict. The case studies mentioned in the presentation will range from the 2016 US presidential election to the current conflict in Ukraine and will also include the events leading up to the Capitol Hill riot in Washington DC.


  • Philipp Di Salvo (in collegamento)
    Ricercatore presso l'Istituto di Media e Giornalismo, USI e Visiting Fellow al Department of Media and Communications della London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Hacks and leaks: cyber strategy for the information conflict

The intervention will touch upon the overall role of hackers and strategic leaking, cyberattacks and hacktivism. Ukraine is not (yet) a cyberwar, but the conflict is offering interesting insights about the use of cyber strategies by different actors, especially when it comes to hacks & leaks and the role of journalists/media. 



  • Claudio Bertolotti 
    Analista strategico e Direttore di START InSight 

Foreign fighters in the Ukrainian conflict   
The war in Ukraine mobilizes foreign fighters on both sides, which raises questions ranging from the legitimacy of their participation in military operations abroad, to the nature of the war, to the risk posed by individuals with links to violent extremist groups. The discussion explores the current situation and future prospects. 



  • Chiara Sulmoni (in presenza)
    giornalista, analista START InSight

The new horizons of radicalization and extremism 
In recent years, political instability, crises and the pandemic have led to a growth in social polarization and violent extremism of different sorts. The speech will touch upon this overall context, which also features in the annual Report on Terrorism and Radicalisation in Europe (#ReaCT2022) and which now includes the appeal exercised by the war in Ukraine -and its narrative- on militants.   



General conclusion


Public debate with the public


You can join the conference via Zoom: