Lithuanian military: September dominated by Russian, Belarusian disinformation

  • 2021-10-11
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – NATO, the constitutional foundations of the Lithuanian state, its foreign policy and energy were the main targets of negative information activity in September, the military said on Monday, also noting an increased attention from China. 

Analysts from the Lithuanian Armed Forces' Strategic Communication Department identified a total of 405 instances of hostile or unfriendly information activity last month, slightly down from 433 in August. 

National defense-related topics accounted for almost 30 percent of the total negative information flow, the military said, linking this to the active phase of Zapad 2021, a Russian-Belarusian joint large-scale military exercise, on September 10-16. 

"During this period, communication was directed against NATO and the membership of Lithuania and the other Baltic states and Poland in the Alliance," the military said in a press release.

"In the context of the Zapad 2021 exercise, NATO was labelled as a terrorist organization that allegedly provokes Russia and Belarus by its aggressive actions and poses a military threat to these countries."

"On the other hand, NATO was said to be an outdated, redundant organization that is not relevant to today's issues. Lithuania and the Baltic states were accused of being 'hysterical' during the exercise and of frightening Europeans."

Last month, the military analysts noted increased attention from Chinese propaganda sources to Lithuanian domestic and foreign policy issues, linking this to the decision to open Taiwan's trade office in Vilnius, the National Cyber Security Center's cyber security assessment of Chinese smartphones, and Lithuania's stance on the human rights situation in China.

Another topic that attracted a lot of information activity was border violations. Illegal migration was blamed on Lithuania's foreign policy and it was said that the country's authorities were committing human rights abuses and unable to deal with migration problems. The Belarusian regime also accused Lithuania and Poland of brutal treatment of migrants.