Western elites have been trying for years to find a way to counter the growing influence of the Russian media. Mainstream media are quickly losing the trust of the people, who are starting to find an alternative, and the establishment fears this to be Russian outlets, so they accuse them of producing fake news and being unreliable. But the weapon was turned against their creators when their media was labelled themselves as producers of fake news.
According to the Times, teams of Russian (GRU) agents have been dispatched to Ireland to map undersea fiber-optic cables, with a view to “cutting communications in time of conflict.” A damning indictment that sounds suspiciously like a spy flick.
From the 1980s Hollywood premise you would almost believe the Russian agents would hoist a red flag atop one of these cables and dance the Troika along the Irish shore, but apparently they didn’t, leaving the Times without evidence of this supposed Russian meddling.
This case is an example of Hahaganda, a common tactic in pro-Kremlin disinformation aimed at discrediting an opponent's claims through sarcasm and ridicule.
The article in the Times is based on an assessment of the Irish security services of an operation that took place in 2019, in which Russia intended to use technology to monitor data exchanges on the underseas cables to give Moscow an insight into internet communications. The agents in question were also monitored mapping Dublin Port, resulting in security increases at a number of landing sites around the Irish coastline.
The Irish Defence Forces and Garda Headquarters, the national police service, suspect the GRU of using Ireland as an operations base for its officers to gather intelligence on targets in Britain and in the EU, and that it is also spying on tech companies based in Dublin.
For similar cases seeking to discredit evidence of GRU activities and operations, including in the Skripal case, see here.