Recently the Swedish authorities are faced with a large number of distorted and outright false information in social networks about a possible military cooperation with NATO. Writes columnist The New York Times Neil MacFarquhar, this information along the following lines: if Sweden not being a NATO member, will sign the agreement, NATO will begin secretly stockpile nuclear weapons on the territory of the country; NATO could attack Russia from Sweden without the approval of the government; NATO troops having immunity from prosecution, unable to rape Swedish women.
Despite the fact that these statements were false, they began to penetrate the traditional media. The Minister of defence of Sweden Peter Holquist traveled around the country to promote the Treaty with NATO, and he was constantly asked about it.
Swedish officials have not been able to find the source of misinformation. But many analysts and experts from the us and European intelligence suspected of its distribution to Russia, writes MacFarquhar.
According to them, prevention of NATO expansion – a policy goal of the President of the aggressor country of Vladimir Putin. He invaded Georgia in 2008 to limit NATO.
In the Crimea, Donbass and in Syria, Putin is flaunting military power, but it lacks the economic power to confront NATO, the European Union or the United States. So Putin is investing heavily in the program, “armed” information spreading in social networks and media to various rumors. So he tries to weaken the internal cohesion between the countries-members of NATO and to create domestic political conflicts.
“Moscow sees international relations as a system of operations and sincerely believes that she is the object of those from the West” – said once close to Putin, Gleb Pavlovsky, who participated in the creation of information machines of the Kremlin.
MacFarquhar reminds that the Soviet Union was allocated for activities of significant resources during the Cold war. But now the misinformation is aimed at a much broader range of topics and in much larger quantities than in the past.
NATO and the EU has already set up special units to detect and misinformation posed by the aggressor. She, meanwhile, arrived in the United States: U.S. intelligence calls Russian intelligence likely leaked emails of the National Committee of the Democratic party, which compromised the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.
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The Kremlin is using traditional media (news Agency Sputnik, RT) and covert channels, which are almost always impossible to track. “We mean everything from Internet trolls to the propaganda and disinformation propagated by the media companies, such as RT and Sputnik,” confirmed the representative of the security Service of Sweden Wilhelm..
Experts from Sweden and other countries have found a characteristic pattern that they associate with a generated by a Kremlin campaign of disinformation. They (campaign ed.) begin in Russia, on the websites of state-run media. Then fake a document becomes a news source that diverge at the extreme left or extreme right sites. Those who rely on these sites give a link to the story, and it’s spreading. No one can tell where they came from, but they eventually become the key issues of security policy.
The main target of the Kremlin is Europe, where the growth of right-wing populism and the decline of support for the European Union to create a more receptive audience for the conservative, nationalist and authoritarian Russian approach adopted under Putin. Last year the European Parliament has accused Russia of “financing of radical and extremist parties in the member States. Prior to that, the Kremlin extended a loan of $11.7 million for the far-right French national front party.
See also: neo-Nazi Germany and the propaganda of the Russian Federation United against migrants.
In the UK, according to analysts, English news Agency the Kremlin has actively supported the campaign for a Brexit.
In the Czech Republic, the disturbing stories that are portrayed in an extremely negative light USA, EU and migrants, appear daily at approximately 40 Pro-Russian sites.
During NATO military exercises in early June, some sites speculated that Washington is using the Alliance control of the EU. Also there were reports that NATO plans to place in Eastern Europe nuclear weapons and will attack from there to Russia. The result is a survey of the analytical center of European Values in Prague showed that 51% of Czechs have a negative sees the US role in Europe. At least 25% believe some elements of misinformation.
Regardless of the methods or promises, the aggressor clearly wants to win the information war that recently has made clear the Kremlin mouthpiece Dmitry Kiselyov. Speaking this summer at the 75th anniversary of the Soviet information Bureau, he said that the time neutral over journalism. “Today, killing one enemy soldier is much more expensive than during the Second world war, the First world war or in the middle ages”, – he said in an interview with state TV channel Russia 24. But business is more expensive, and if you can convince a person, you will not need to kill him, said Kiselev.