RIGA - The Defense Ministry calls a recent article on a pro-Russian ''news'' site about supposed Latvian soldiers training Ukrainian saboteurs as fake news and a ''classic Russian information operation'', LETA was informed by the Defense Ministry.
The pro-Russian ''news'' portal rusvesna.su recently wrote an article claiming that a group of NATO soldiers were involved in the training of Ukrainian saboteurs. The portal claims that the saboteurs operate in the Donbas region of the country causing ''harm to national security and citizens''. The portal also published names of these supposed instructors and their passport information. Among these seven supposed instructors is also a ''captain from Latvia''.
The Defense Ministry points out to LETA that Russian media has published similar fake news stories in the past, about supposed Latvian and other NATO soldiers participating in the armed conflict in Ukraine's east and training local saboteurs.
''The practice of slandering and demonizing Latvian and other NATO soldiers is nothing new. However, the most surprising is the lack of imagination of those who made up this story, as fake news articles about Ukrainian allies who ''support terrorism'' is also nothing news. We have for years been reading about myths of blond haired female snipers from the Baltics supposedly involved in almost every conflict Russia itself is involved in,'' the ministry points out.
The ministry says that this is a classic Russian information operation, which by manipulating facts is attempting to influence people's minds.
The Defense Ministry has on many occasions informed the public that Latvia, after a request by Ukraine, has been involved in the training of Ukrainian soldiers in the country, together with other allies.
The ministry calls on the local media to critically evaluate such information and not become supports of Russia's campaign of slander by republishing unchecked and false information from dubious sources.