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There is no evidence of Russian attempts to influence the 2019 EU elections

Summary of Disinformation

There is no evidence of Russian attempts to influence the EU parliamentary elections in May 2019.

The European establishment needs fake news about “external interference” in order to draw voters’ attention to the upcoming elections and mobilise them.

With such advance declarations, the mainstream media tries to justify a possible defeat and the victory of the Eurosceptics. The latter could actually claim the formation of a strong group in the future European Parliament. If that happens, the elites will need someone to blame. Russia is already identified as the culprit.

Disinformation produced and/or spread by Russian sources has been reported in the context of several elections and referenda in the EU, as noted in the EU's action plan against disinformation.
Ahead of the European elections, Microsoft registered cyberattacks targeting think tanks and non-profit organizations working on topics related to democracy, electoral integrity, and public policy and that are often in contact with government officials. Microsoft continues to investigate the sources of these attacks, but is confident that many of them originated from a group called Strontium, also known as APT 28 or Fancy Bear – which is believed to be associated with Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU. Read more here.

According to the latest annual threat assessment by the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service, NBC News reports, "Russian intelligence services will continue the extensive cyber-espionage campaign against the West that they have pursued for years, with the military intelligence service, called the GRU, and Russia's spy agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB) directing most operations".

The Director General of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service, Mikk Marran, says that Russia will target the European parliamentary elections in May with a likely focus on the larger member states — Germany, France and Italy.

A report by the European Council for International Relations assesses it is highly likely that Moscow will attempt to manipulate the European elections, given Russia's interference in recent national elections in Europe.

Also, the Financial Times points out that Russia-linked hackers have sharply stepped up a campaign to disrupt EU elections in May, leaving EU officials and tech companies scrambling to muster a response.

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Reported in: Issue 141
Date: 12.03.2019
Language: German
Country: Russia, EU
Keywords: EU elections 2019, Anti-Russian, Russophobia
Outlet where the disinformation appeared: Sputnik Deutschland
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