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Disinformation Review: Russian fear-mongering continues

The allied/coalition presence in Iraq and Afghanistan is just a prelude to a Western attempt at
The allied/coalition presence in Iraq and Afghanistan is just a prelude to a Western attempt at "taking" Russia and China: Illustration by Russian state TV channel Perwy Kanal. Source: (Perwy Kanal screen still)

Stoltenberg wants war, NATO’s April exercise in Ādaži was the preparation of the alliance’s upcoming attack on Russia, the Baltic police forces are running cleansing and punitive operations, and Baltic Russians are subject to experiments altering the human psyche: A glimpse of the news coverage of the Russian state media.

Two weeks ago, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was misrepresented on Russian state TV. Channel Russia-1 manipulated an interview with Stoltenberg to make him sound as if he admitted that NATO was preparing for a war with Russia, though Stoltenberg had in fact said the exact opposite in the interview, namely that NATO wasn’t looking for a confrontation with Russia (click here for the transcript of the full interview).

Last week, NATO and allied forces were again in the focus of pro-Kremlin disinformation. One outlet claimed that the international military exercise Summer Shield XIV, taking place between Apr. 17 and 30 at the Ādaži military base in Latvia, was in fact NATO preparing its European forces for an attack on Russia.

Conspiracy theories are rampant as well, with yet another pro-Kremlin outlet reporting that during the exercise, NATO’s commanders were likely to test new techniques of hybrid warfare by subjecting Russian-speaking individuals to new physical, biological, and other methods aimed at altering the human psyche and behaviour.

Zvezda, the TV channel of Russia’s ministry of defense, reported that NATO exercises in the Baltic states included police cleansing and punitive operations, and that they were directed towards suppressing insurgencies and riots. 

The Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia responded by pointing out that this was false information, and that the aim of such disinformation was to undermine public trust in NATO and the troops of the allied forces.

The ministry also alerted the public to other fake stories concerning allied forces. One was about U.S. soldiers being poisoned by mustard gas in Latvia, which came via a Lithuanian news website that had been hacked. Another, building on what is already becoming a substantial track record of pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets fabricating stories of sexual attacks, alleged an attack by drunken U.S. soldiers in Poland, though there were neither victims nor perpetrators.

Meanwhile the negative reporting about the U.S. continues. The country is regularly blamed for having staged the 9/11 terror attacks, having created ISIS, and orchestrating the deaths of pro-Russian protesters in Odessa in 2014.

General fear-mongering continues across Russian state TV as well, with channels regularly fabricating scenarios according to which the allied presence in Iraq and Afghanistan is actually a step taken in preparations for an attempt to “take” Russia and China (see the TV still at the top of the article).


Every Thursday, the Disinformation Review brings you the latest cases of news articles carrying key examples of how pro-Kremlin disinformation finds its way in international media, as well as news and analysis on the topic. The review focuses on key messages carried in international media which have been identified as providing a partial, distorted or false view or interpretation and/or spreading key pro-Kremlin messaging. The Review is a compilation of cases from the East StratCom Task Force’s wide network of contributors and therefore cannot be considered an official EU position.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: Disinformation Review

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