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Defense Ministry says recent report about "secret laboratory" at Lielvarde airbase a botched attempt at psychological operation
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    Topics - Defence Matters ENG - News

    Defense Ministry says recent report about "secret laboratory" at Lielvarde airbase a botched attempt at psychological operation

    RIGA, Feb 4 (LETA) - A recent statement to the media about a secret biological laboratory at the Lielvarde military base presents an example of a poorly thought out psychological operation, believes the Defense Ministry.

    A few days ago, agency LETA received a statement, allegedly from the Civic Alliance of Latvia. LETA found out nevertheless that the authors of the statement did not represent the non-governmental organization Civic Alliance, founded in 2004 for consolidation of civic society of Latvia.

    The statement said that local residents were concerned about the Air Force base in Lielvarde after an electrician, called to the air base to restore power supply interrupted by heavy snow, saw a room with microscopes, hazmat suits and other "stuff you can only see in movies". This, the statement said, has made local residents very concerned.

    The statement then refers to a report by U.S. journalist Jeffrey Silverman about an American laboratory in Georgia, which was allegedly making dangerous substances - including anthrax and swine flu - and testing them on local residents.

    The statement received by LETA said the authors believed it their duty to inform the public about the dangerous biological laboratory using Lielvarde Air Base as a front, and that further power supply interruptions there could pose major threat to the public.

    Asked to comment on the document, the Defense Ministry said it was obviously a failed attempt at a psychological operation targeting the National Armed Forces.

    Kaspars Galkins, head of the Defense Ministry's Military Public Relations Department, told LETA ironically that the authors of the "statement" had made a major blunder as the equipment observed by the unnamed electrician "was meant not for a research laboratory developing biological weapons, but for researching extraterrestrial civilizations and unknown flying objects as aliens have established contacts with the aviation base."

    "They did a botched job of a psychological operation targeting the Armed Forces, allies of Latvia, and the general public," said Galkins. "First, the reference to the American journalist who released a report about a similar laboratory in Georgia. Second, the story of the unnamed witness, and combining it with that of the U.S. journalist. By putting these two accounts together, and never revealing the name of the valuable witness, they attempted to cause an uproar".

    NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence in Riga declined to comment on the statement.

    In the meantime, the weekly Disinformation Review released by the East StratCom Task Force of the European Union has mentioned several instances of Russian media reporting about viruses artificially created and circulated in Ukraine.

    • Published: 04.02.2016 14:06
    • Edgars Skvariks, LETA
    • 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.