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Russian news site spreads misinformation about multinational military exercise taking place in Latvia
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    Russian news site spreads misinformation about multinational military exercise taking place in Latvia

    RIGA, April 25 (LETA) - An website maintained by the Russian information outlet Rossiya Segodnya has carried fake news about the multinational military training exercise Summer Shield XVI with the aim to psychologically influence local residents.

    The article Independent Newspaper posted on claims that during the exercise, which is currently being held in Adazi Training Area outside Riga, NATO might use some novel techniques affecting human psyche. The article also says that in March of this year German staff recruiting agencies were looking for Russian-speaking extras for participation in the military exercise. A Russian military expert, Lieutenant-General Yuri Netkachev, is quoted as saying in the article that NATO commanders apparently needed such people to practice new methods of hybrid warfare, and that the plan was to use the recruited Russian-speakers as Guinea pigs for testing new physical, biological and other techniques influencing human psyche and behavior, spokespeople at the Latvian Defense Ministry informed LETA.

    The Russian military expert also predicts that military exercises that use such techniques will be held increasingly often in the U.S. and other NATO member states. The use of such methods cannot be ruled out also during the Summer Shield XVI exercise in Latvia, Netkachev believes.

    The publication on also cites an opinion dominating in Russia that Summer Shield XVI is an exercise of a "strikingly anti-Russian character", in other words, that NATO in Latvia is preparing an attack on Russia.

    A similar opinion has also been spread by Russia's website whose domain name is an abbreviation of the phrase Third World War. The website alleges that NATO has been launching a number of activities in Europe in preparation for an assault on Russia and that Summer Shield XVI in Adazi is one of such maneuvers.

    The Latvian Defense Ministry notes that lately fake news about NATO's activities and situations involving soldiers of allied troops have been spread with increasing frequency.

    One of the most outrageous examples of sheer propaganda was a fake news story posted by hackers on the BNS Lithuania news wire earlier this month. The fake news titled The Echo of Syria in Latvia: US Troops Poisoned with Yperite was published on the agency's system on April 12 in the Lithuanian and Russian languages.

    Representatives of the Latvian Defense Ministry explained that such propaganda is being spread with the aim to undermine public trust in NATO and allied troops by manipulating facts and scaring people.

    The ministry warns that similar fake news are likely to appear about the Canada-led multinational NATO battle group, which is due to deploy to Latvia in June of this year.

    The Defense Ministry urges people to take a critical approach to such attempts to stage subversive information operations in Latvia's media environment.

    • Published: 25.04.2017 17:59
    • Gatis Kristovskis, LETA
    • © The given news may not be republished in any way or amount, or otherwise used by the mass media or Internet websites, without written permission of LETA. If this provision is not observed, the matter will be taken to court pursuant to the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia.