Unpacking Pro-Russian Narratives in Southeast Asia


About the Webinar

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has generated intense public debates in Southeast Asian countries which highlight the existence of pro-Russian sentiments and narratives. While the Western media tend to attribute pro-Russian views to Moscow’s disinformation campaigns, the phenomenon cannot be ascribed to the Kremlin’s propaganda alone. Within Southeast Asia, while online disinformation exists, there is a confluence of factors that amplify the appeal of pro-Russian narratives, including underlying anti-Western, anti-American, anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian sentiments. There are also other country-specific domestic socio-political factors that feed into pro-Russian narratives, especially low threat perceptions of Russia and the latent reservoir of goodwill towards Russia in countries that have long-standing and generally positive relations with Moscow. This webinar will explore the roots of pro-Russian sentiments and narratives in selected Southeast Asian countries, with an emphasis on how the Russia-Ukraine war has become a flashpoint for long-simmering domestic political sentiments.

About the Speakers

Munira Mustaffa is the founder and executive director of Chasseur Group. She is also a non-resident fellow at the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, a Washington, D.C.-based independent policy think tank, and a fellow at Verve Research, an independent research collective focusing on the interaction between militaries and societies. She has been working in security since 2013, across the corporate, public, and military sectors. Her work on militancy, extremism, and information warfare has been published by the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, NATO’s Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, and the Global Network on Extremism and Technology.

Aries Arugay is Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute where he manages the Philippine Studies Program. He is also Professor of Political Science at the University of the Philippines in Diliman and Editor-in-Chief of Asian Politics & Policy, a Scopus-indexed journal published by Wiley-Blackwell. His research interests are comparative democratisation, civil-military relations, electoral politics, and foreign policy.

Lee Sue-Ann is Senior Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute where she directs the Media, Technology and Society Programme which focuses on how media technologies and platforms have been utilised to shape political perceptions, narratives and behaviour. She is also Co-coordinator of the Indonesia Studies Programme and an editor of the ISEAS commentaries portal Fulcrum. Her research interests include the rise of China and its strategic implications, technology as the emerging key arena for big-power competition, the politics of Islamisation and the continued salience of identity politics as a divisive factor in political discourse.

Hoang Thi Ha is Fellow and Co-coordinator of the Regional Strategic and Political Studies Programme at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. Before the current position, she was Lead Researcher (Political-Security) at the ASEAN Studies Centre of ISEAS and Head of the Political Cooperation Division at the ASEAN Secretariat. Her research interests include major powers in Southeast Asia, the South China Sea disputes, regional security architecture and ASEAN’s institutional building.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.


Apr 22 2022


10:00 am - 11:30 am