NewsEU warned of Russia's mass disinformation campaign amid European elections and Ukraine war

EU warned of Russia's mass disinformation campaign amid European elections and Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Images source: © Getty Images | Contributor
4:08 AM EST, February 23, 2024

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During her interview with "Rzeczpospolita", Jourova was asked about the upcoming European elections in June and how they could be influenced in the context of the war in Ukraine.

"The war has already endured for two years. One fact is clear: Putin will not halt his actions on his own, we have to force him to stop. We, referring to Ukraine - which is sacrificing the lives of its citizens - and the EU, which is supplying both financial and military support. The rose-tinted perception that Western Europe, in particular, maintained towards Putin and Russia, has been shattered. We can't afford to be indecisive. Putin continually silences his adversaries. Navalny is a recent example, following Anna Politkovskaya, Boris Nemtsov and many others," the Deputy Head of the European Commission pointed out.

She stressed that our victory in this war is a prerequisite for ensuring Europe's safety.

"If we face defeat now, the cost will amplify significantly in the future. Alongside this physical conflict on the EU's borders, we're embroiled in an information warfare. This isn’t only happening in Europe, but also in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Russia excels at brainwashing and propagating misinformation," Jourova added.

What is Russia's objective?

When questioned about Russia's aim behind this disinformation, she stated that within Europe, the ambition is evident: Russia hopes to dampen the willingness of European leaders to back Ukraine.

"This is the most cost-effective approach, deriving from the nature of democratic countries where leaders can't act without the electorate's support," Jourova highlighted.

She observed a newly emerging narrative, circulated widely across Europe, proposing that impending elections, whether European or national, might be compromised.

"This narrative, which we confronted in the USA and which had a certain impact there, serves to undermine faith in democracy," she noted.

Lastly, she pointed out that each disinformation campaign is designed specifically, taking into consideration the unique sensitivities of every nation.

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