Setting the record straight
Two weeks ago, we saw the words of NATO Secretary General Stoltenbergmisrepresented on Russian state TV. Last week, NATO and allied forces were again in the focus of pro-Kremlin disinformation, something we could also see some months ago. In fact, these kinds of accusations are so frequent that NATO has a whole section of its website dedicated to setting the record straight concerning relations with Russia.
One outlet claimed that the international military exercise Summer Shield XIV, taking place between April 17 and April 30 in Ādaži Military Base in Latvia, is in fact NATO preparing its European forces for an attack on Russia. Another pro-Kremlin outlet told us that during the exercise, NATO’s commanders are likely to test new techniques of hybrid warfare bysubjecting Russian-speaking individuals to new physical, biological and other methods aimed at altering human psyche and behaviour. Russia’s Defence Ministry TV channel “Zvezda” reported that NATO exercises in the Baltic states include police cleansing and punitive operations and are directed towards suppressing insurgency and riots.
The Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia responded by pointing out that this is false information, and that the aim of such disinformation is to undermine public trust in NATO and the troops of allied forces, as we have also previously explained.
The Ministry of Defence of Latvia also alerted the public to other fake stories concerning allied forces. One concerned US soldiers being poisoned by mustard gas in Latvia, which came via a Lithuanian news outlet website that had been hacked . Another, building on what is now becoming a substantial track record in pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets of fabricating stories of sexual attacks, alleged an attack by drunken US soldiers in Poland – an attack that had neither victims nor perpetrators, it seems.
Meanwhile, the negative reporting on the US continued in pro-Kremlin outlets, and the country was blamed for being behind such horrors as the 9/11 terror attack, creating ISIS, and orchestrating the deaths of the pro-Russian protestors in Odessa in 2014 .