The EU itself admits that no large-scale Russian attempt to interfere in the elections to the European Parliament was seen in the last months.The biggest chunk of the disinformation is, according to the EU experts, “motivated by the populist and anti-establishment sentiment”. The observed “level of disinformation and online manipulation” is “normal”.
Misrepresented quote. The claim refers to the Disinformation Review Issue #150, where one can read:
But in the final days leading up to the vote, their findings appear to be anticlimactic: expectations of a massive coordinated influence campaign, targeted hack-and-leak operation, or other dramatic cyberattack have seemingly fallen short. The observed level of disinformation and manipulated online activity has been pretty much, well… normal. And much of it, importantly, now appears to be home-grown – motivated by populist, anti-establishment attitudes that are gaining traction across certain segments of the European electorate, and not coordinated directly by Russia or its immediate proxies (but certainly promoted by them!).
Compared to past elections, it may indeed seem like we have gotten off easy. But before we breathe a collective sigh of relief, let’s ask ourselves – is this a “normal” that we are willing to accept?
Because here is what this new “normal” actually means: it means that the Kremlin’s strategy is succeeding. It means that we risk becoming desensitized – even habituated – to the subversive efforts of a hostile foreign power aimed at damaging our democratic institutions and processes, and the values that have been essential to building a peaceful and prosperous post-World War II Europe.