Report: Russia and China main in spreading disinformation, CG is mentioned in the context of foreign interference during elections

"There are bombs that can kill, poisons that can poison you. But how to deal with manipulation and meddling on the ground is also a big challenge," stressed the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for common foreign policy and security, Josep Borelj.

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Borelj, Photo: Reuters
Borelj, Photo: Reuters
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

On Tuesday, the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for common foreign policy and security, Josep Borelj, proposed measures to combat disinformation.

The report on measures against disinformation was prepared ahead of the start of the election campaign for the European elections, which will be held in June.

About 400 million voters will choose their representatives in European institutions at the end of spring.

As a result of these elections, a new structure of members of the European Parliament will be formed, and the heads of institutions such as the European Commission, the European Council and the European External Action Service will be chosen.

The Russian disinformation campaign is on an industrial scale

"There are bombs that can kill, poisons that can poison you. But how to deal with manipulation and interference on the ground is also a big challenge," stressed Borelj.

Russia, as he assessed, has been engaged in a disinformation campaign for years in a sophisticated manner and on an industrial scale.

"We are sensitive to this threat because information and misinformation spreads at the speed of light," he said.

Russia and China are the main actors in spreading disinformation

The report mentions Russia and China as the main manipulative actors.

These two countries are deliberately manipulating the public narrative on multiple channels and platforms, it is pointed out.

According to this report, the motives of these two factors range from destabilizing and dividing societies, to undermining democratic institutions or just for economic gain.

The report was prepared on the basis of 750 so-called incidents between December 2022 and November 2023.

According to the experts' findings, around 59 individuals were the target of the incidents, starting with politicians, such as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Borelj himself.

Among the "victims" were actors, such as Nicolas Cage and Margot Robbie, Elijah Wood or writer Stephen King.

Also, 30 percent of the attacks were organized against 140 different international organizations.

Networks like Telegram and Iks (formerly Twitter) have been used the most for foreign interference.

However, it states that this mix-up was observed on virtually all other major and emerging platforms, and cross-platform coordination was the default method used by malicious actors.

Serbia was the target of foreign interference

The report mentions that the targets of foreign interference are "global".

In 49 percent of the analyzed cases, countries or their official representatives around the world were directly targeted 480 times.

The most common target was Ukraine, with 160 recorded cases.

The United States was targeted 58 times in these cases. Poland, Germany, France and Serbia follow.

Of the other countries in the region, Montenegro and Kosovo are mentioned, in the context of foreign interference during the election process.

In this connection, the parliamentary elections in Montenegro, which were held last year, as well as the local elections in Kosovo, also held in 2023, are mentioned.

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