Societal resilience in the disinformation age

Kino Regina, Helsinki Central Library Oodi, Töölönlahdenkatu 4, Helsinki · 26.10.2023 14:00 - 16:00

The increasing complexity of the information ecosystem makes disinformation a security challenge. Especially social media channels offer malign actors unprecedented opportunities for information operations. How to protect democratic and open societies from the harmful effects of targeted disinformation campaigns is a question that requires a policy response both on the level of individual states and international organizations such as the EU and NATO.

This seminar will address three sets of questions: EU and NATO’s approaches to disinformation and how Finland’s NATO accession is likely to impact the information environment for the country; how media literacy can improve overall societal resilience and how young people are specifically targeted by disinformation; and finally, Russia’s strategies of using disinformation as a tool to influence target countries. 


Maksym Yakovlyev, Head of Department of International Relations, Director of School for Policy Analysis, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
Johanna Vehkoo, Journalist 
Tomass Pildegovičs, Senior Expert, NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence
Yara Tag-Eldeen, Analyst, Psychological Defence Agency of Sweden

Minna Ålander, Research Fellow, FIIA

Register for the event here.


This event is organized under Raising Awareness on Disinformation: Achieving Resilience project (RADAR), which aims to raise citizens’ awareness on disinformation and to create an accessible public platform for debate on the issue. It provides expert insights into protection from disinformation and instigates interactions between citizens and experts. RADAR has a special focus on youth. It aims to contribute to the empowerment of their voices, their engagement in European civil society and improved critical thinking and media literacy. The project is coordinated by TEPSA – Trans European Policy Studies Association and funded by the European Commission. FIIA’s segment focuses on disinformation and information operations by foreign actors.


Maksym Yakovlyev

Head of Department of International Relations, Director of School for Policy Analysis, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

Dr. Maksym Yakovlyev is Head of Department of International Relations and Director of School for Policy Analysis at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, member of the Public Council at Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, TSI non-residential fellow, CEU, Department of International Relations. His research interests are post-soviet space, Russia's foreign politics and domestic policies on natinalities, security studies, post-colonialism in Europe, conspiracism, language, concepts and politics, social science research methods. This year he published his book on conspiracy theories and conspirologists, with a special focus on Russia.

Johanna Vehkoo


Johanna Vehkoo is an award-winning journalist and non-fiction author who specialises in all kinds of misinformation and fakery on the Internet. She has just finished serving as Professor of Practice in Journalism at the University of Tampere. Vehkoo has written five books and is a founder of the online magazine Long Play. She has completed fellowships at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University, and at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

Tomass Pildegovičs

Senior Expert, NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence

Tomass Pildegovičs is a Senior Expert at the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence. He has also been named a 2023 Warsaw Security Forum - New Security Leader and a NATO 2030 Global Fellow. In his previous role, he served as a Policy Advisor in the European Parliament, advising MEP Sandra Kalniete on issues related to foreign interference in democratic processes, hybrid threats, and EU-Russia relations.

Tomass Pildegovičs is currently a PhD candidate in Politics and International Relations at the University of Cambridge, where he also completed his MPhil in Politics and International Relations with Distinction. He also holds a BA in International Relations with First Class Honours from the Department of War Studies, King’s College London.

Yara Tag-Eldeen

Analyst, Psychological Defence Agency of Sweden

Yara Tag-Eldeen works as an analyst at the Swedish Psychological Defence Agency with a special focus on civil society and youth with the aim to help strengthen youths resilience and increase their knowledge in issues regarding disinformation and foreign malign information influence.
Swedish Psychological Defence Agency safeguards open and democratic society and the free formation of opinion through identifying, analyzing and countering foreign malign information influence, disinformation, and other misleading information directed at Sweden or at Swedish interests. One of the tasks that the Agency has been assigned by the Swedish government is to contribute to strengthen the populations resilience within psychological defence.


Minna Ålander

Research Fellow, FIIA

Minna Ålander’s research focuses on German foreign and security policy in the European Union and Strategic Competition research programme. She is also part of a research project led by Matti Pesu analysing Finland’s evolving role in Euro-Atlantic security, with a particular focus on Finnish security and defence policy, security in Northern Europe and Nordic defence cooperation. Previously, Ålander worked at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. She holds a joint Master’s degree in International Relations from the Free University of Berlin, the Humboldt University of Berlin and the University of Potsdam. Since August 2023, Ålander is a Non-resident Fellow with the Transatlantic Defense and Security Program at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA).