Illegal migration has become target of disinformation – Lithuanian Armed Forces

  • 2021-09-09
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Illegal migration from Belarus has become a target of disinformation in Lithuania, the country’s armed forces have said.

As usual, decisions made by public authorities and state governance, Lithuania's bilateral relations with China and Belarus, and the human rights situation in the country also received high disinformation flows, according to a press release from the military.

Last month, the analysts of the Strategic Communication Department of the Lithuanian Armed Forces identified a total of 433 unique cases with the features of negative information activity in the Lithuanian information environment.

Compared to July, the total number of such cases decreased somewhat (from a total of 485 cases recorded in July), yet the intensity of disinformation remained high.

According the military, hostile information pressure against Lithuania's actions to tackle the flow of illegal migration across the Lithuanian-Belarusian border was actively pursued in August.

Information channels related to the regimes of Alexander Lukashenko and the Kremlin escalated disinformation narratives, spread lies, published misleading content, manipulated facts and interpretations of events, and republished the views of "experts" in favor of the Russian and Belarusian regimes.

“The aim was to form the image of Lithuania as a non-democratic state, where human rights are violated stating that Lithuania allegedly uses "fascist methods" against persons crossing the state border illegally,” the press release said.

On August 10, the protest rally outside the Lithuanian parliament, which ended in riots, was actively exploited by the channels of hostile information and was one of the most escalated topics, the military said.

Also, following Lithuania’s official announcement on July 20 that it would open a Taiwanese diplomatic mission in Vilnius, the Russian and Chinese information channels selectively provided information on possible economic loss to Lithuania and its foreign policy throughout August.

“Lithuania’s business was threatened to have the consequences for allegedly interfering into China's internal affairs and trying to harm its foreign policy. The narrative that Lithuania is a supposedly insignificant state, and its foreign policy is dictated by the interests of the Unites States of America and Lithuania’s wish to please the US was repeated the most frequently,” the military said.