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Germany sees 'no decline in Russian disinformation' over the past year

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DPA/The Local - [email protected]
Germany sees 'no decline in Russian disinformation' over the past year
Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Sommer

Russia disinformation aimed at influencing public opinion in Germany shows no sign of letting up, officials say.

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"Russian entities continue to spread disinformation to a consistently high degree," a spokesperson from the interior ministry said in response to a query from the DPA news agency.

"The known narratives are still being propagated, and current events are being picked up. Russia continues to rely on a complex network of state-controlled or state-affiliated actors."

Social media platforms, particularly Telegram, are frequently used for these purposes, the ministry spokesperson said. 

A year ago, the ministry expressed concern about fake and deceptively authentic-looking media websites disseminating pro-Russian disinformation related to the conflict in Ukraine. Through fake accounts, social media platforms were being used to spread fabricated content designed to mimic the appearance of established news sites.

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And the ministry has not seen any sign of this trend abating: "There has been no decline in Russian disinformation over the past twelve months."

The ministry continues to take the "threat of foreign influence and manipulation" very seriously, the spokesperson added. The intention behind the disinformation includes: influencing public opinion in Germany, exacerbating potential conflicts within society, and sowing distrust in governmental institutions and actions, according to the interior ministry.

"Since the start of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, an increase in Russian disinformation in Germany has been observed."

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In response, the federal government has established a dedicated task force for coordinating the federal ministries and security agencies, which meets weekly.

"The focus remains on measures to identify Russian narratives, strengthen proactive, transparent, and fact-based communication, as well as enhance societal resilience against threats from the information space," the spokesperson said, adding that the analytical capabilities of intelligence agencies are also being reinforced.

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