Conspiracy 101​

A course on conspiracy theories and disinformation

What do the nature of the origin of anti-Semitism, anti-vaccinationism and fake news have in common? What are the origins and impact of anti-Ukrainian narratives before and during the Russian full-scale war against Ukraine? How have theories on the origins of COVID-19 pandemic led to radicalisation of societies? What are the psychological reasons for conspiracy belief and how can one improve critical thinking and media literacy skills? 

In this section, we have gathered the materials that accompanied the Citizen+ online course “Conspiracy 101” dedicated to conspiracy theories and disinformation. In the text publications, podcast episodes and videos, researchers and journalists discuss specific cultural and political features, freedom of expression and critical thinking in Ukrainian, German and Russian society.


Humans want to control all situations in their lives and they want to be sure that someone controls everything. They don’t want to believe that accidents are random as it is psychologically hard for us to understand chaos. Our brain looks for reasons – and when we do not find answers, we imagine all pictures as complete. This is how conspiratorial concepts appear. In social and personal crises, conspiracy theories that have existed for centuries take over people’s heads again and again.

Listen how to deal with conspiracy theories and learn about the most popular ones in our podcast, in which historians, political scientists, philosophers, journalists and psychologists discuss with each other.


Conspiracy 101

Why do people tend to believe in conspiracy theories and propaganda?

In today’s realities of uncertainty and lack of stability, people are constantly confronted with various conspiracy explanations for events. But why does one believe conspiracy theories?
Conspiracy 101

Conspiracy theories and propaganda

Conspiracy theories and their place in contemporary propaganda and the media. An interview with Ilya Yablokov
Conspiracy 101

A brief history of conspiracy theories: from antiquity to the present times

Shadow government, reptilians, Illuminati, Elders of Zion – a brief video of the origins of the most popular conspiracy theories.


Conspiracy 101

“The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”

Are the Russian authorities involved in the spread of an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory?
Conspiracy 101

Covid-19 restrictions vs. basic human rights?

Did Covid-19 pandemic challenge democratic society and what conspiracy theories have to do with it?
Conspiracy 101

Is Ukraine ruled by the West?

Conspiracy theories are actively used in propaganda since the beginning of the military aggression of Russia in Ukraine. How it affects civil society?

Online course

Conspiracy 101 is a free online course on conspiracy theories and disinformation. Lectures, podcasts and illustrated texts cover origins and impact of anti-Ukrainian narratives before and during the Russian full-scale war against Ukraine, conspiracy theories around the COVID-19 pandemic and the historical origins of antisemitic conspiracy theories. Also, we look at psychological reasons for conspiracy belief. Researchers and journalists discuss specific cultural and political features, freedom of expression and critical thinking in Ukrainian, German and Russian society.


News and events


Oleksandra Gorchynska​

Oleksandra Gorchynska is a journalist working with well-known Ukrainian media. She covers social issues in her articles.

Petro Oleshchuk​

Petro Oleshchuk is a political scientist from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

Kateryna Bragina​

Kateryna Bragina is a graduate student in psychology at Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University. She studies hubristic motivation and emotional intelligence of the elderly.

Mykhailo Koltsov​

Mykhailo Koltsov is a philosopher and expert in cyber security, data analysis and fact-checking.

Artur Koldomasov​

Artur Koldomasov is an expert on US politics and international information at the ADASTRA analytical center.

Yuriy Amir Radchenko

Yuriy Amir Radchenko is a PhD candidate of historical sciences, director of the Center for the Study of Interethnic Relations of Eastern Europe, Kharkiv.

Vyacheslav Likhachev​

Vyacheslav Likhachev is a public figure, historian and political scientist in the fields of ethnopolitical conflictology, nationalism, the history of anti-Semitism and revival of Jewish communities in the post-Soviet space.

Olga Lazorko​

Olga Lazorko is a doctor of psychology, head of the Department of General and Social Psychology and Sociology at Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University.

Oleksandr Simonenko

Oleksandr Symonenko is a Ukrainian archaeologist, a specialist in the history and archeology of the Sarmatians, a doctor of historical sciences, a leading researcher of the Early Iron Age Archeology Department of the Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

Ilya Yablokov

Ilya Yablokov, PhD, is a Lecturer of Journalism and Digital Media at the Department of Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield


The project is funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany in the framework of the Eastern Partnership program.

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