The West is failing to get to grips with Russian hacking and fake news, the Latvian foreign minister, Edgars Rinkēvičs, told The Guardian:
Speaking on a visit to London, Rinkēvičs said there was increasing evidence that Russia was automating disinformation on social media. Pointing to new Nato-sponsored research showing more than five times the number of Russian language tweets sent in Latvia concerning Nato came from bots, instead of from individuals. The figure in Estonia was nine times as many. He described the tactic as ”very systematic and a new way to spread propaganda amongst young people”.
Denmark and Sweden are teaming up to fight Russian cyberattacks and propaganda as they look to deepen cooperation between their militaries, The Hill reports. The defense ministers of both countries condemned Russian “fake news” as a danger to their countries and pledged to increase their work in combatting Moscow’s “hybrid warfare,” according to a translation of a joint statement.
Stockholm’s Institute of International Affairs accused Russia of using fake news, false documents and disinformation in a coordinated campaign to influence public opinion and decision-making. The study said Sweden had been the target of “a wide array of active measures” including misleading reports on Russian state-run news networks and websites, forged documents, fabricated news items and “troll armies”.
There’s no question that Russian intervention is systematic and multi-layered, notes analyst Molly McKew; like all guerrilla doctrine, it prioritizes conservation of resources and decentralization, which makes it harder to detect and follow. And strategically, its goals aren’t the ones we’re used to talking about. The Kremlin isn’t picking a winner; it’s weakening the enemy and building an environment in which anyone but the Kremlin loses, she writes for POLITICO:
Herein lies the real power of the Gerasimov-style shadow war: It’s hard to muster resistance to an enemy you can’t see, or aren’t even sure is there. But it’s not an all-powerful approach; the shadowy puppeteering at the heart of the Gerasimov Doctrine also makes it inherently fragile. Its tactics begin to fail when light is thrown onto how they work and what they aim to achieve.