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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 01.07.2022, 17:13

Lithuanian military: last week's 'fake news operation' aimed to discredit US Army Europe

BC, Vilnius, 02.06.2020.Print version

A "fake news operation" was carried out last week to discredit the US forces in Europe, the Lithuanian military said LETA/BNS. 

Analysts at the Lithuanian Armed Forces' Strategic Communication Department recorded "a complex false information operation that unfolded in several phases aiming to discredit Lithuania's strategic ally, specifically, U.S. Amy Europe last week, May 22-28," the military said in a press release.

"The hostile information operation began immediately after the May 13, 2020 press release from the US Army Europe about the Defender Europe 20 Plus international exercise being renewed in part of Europe, including Poland," it said.

According to the analysts, two fake news articles were published in the first phase of the operation on May 13 and 27.

"They presented a counterfeit "view" of Christopher G. Cavoli, US Army Europe, USAREUR Commanding General, and Col Patrick O'Neal, Commander of the U.S. Army 2nd Brigade Combat Team, allegedly stating the Baltic states and Poland were not capable of training in such exercise."

"The second phase of the fake news operation unfolded on May 27: falsified e-mail letters pretending to have been sent by the Baltic News Service media organization and the Minister of National Defense of Poland were sent to the media, other countries, and international organizations."

"The letters included links to fake news articles and the "senders' " negative evaluation of the fake statements from Lt Gen Christopher G. Cavoli."

The military analysts also note that even though the situation is returning to normal, there are still attempts to use the COVID-19 pandemic to misguide people and spread disinformation.

Fifty-eight information incidents were recorded last week, with more than 60% of them being in the Russian language.

In total, 1,335 information incidents of different types concerning COVID-19 were seen in virtual space in Lithuanian, Russian, English, and French, from February 1 through May 28.

In total, 1,335 coronavirus-related information incidents of various types, in Lithuanian, Russian, English and French, were identified in cyberspace between February 1 and May 28, according to the press release. 

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