Russian influence operations against Baltic states and Poland having ‘significant impact’ on society


Russia has improved the quality and upped the frequency of its information campaigns against Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland, according to the latest report from Lithuanian security services.

Over the past year, Moscow’s operations against these Eastern European NATO members have become more aggressive.

“They had a significant impact on society and required a large amount of institutional resources to withstand,” Lithuanian authorities said.

The main narratives of Russia’s information campaigns since the start of its invasion of Ukraine are intended to downplay the impact of Western sanctions on Russia’s economy, incite hatred against Ukraine and fuel confrontation among Western countries.

They are also meant to impact people inside the respective targeted countries by spreading fear and panic among the population, disrupting the work of state institutions, and inciting dissatisfaction with government decisions. They’re also intended to undermine the ability to enforce public order, according to the report.

During one information campaign, Russia spread false information about explosives planted at Lithuanian schools, which was timed to coincide with the start of the academic year and a teachers’ strike.

Last October, Lithuanian media reported that local police received approximately 900 Russian-language false warnings about explosives in schools, kindergartens and Jewish institutions.

Despite the majority of Western countries imposing restrictions on Russian propaganda sources, including television channels and online media, Moscow is trying to circumvent sanctions by creating clones of its propaganda channels, the report said.

Researchers have previously uncovered a Russia-linked influence campaign known as Doppelgänger, which spread misinformation in the U.S. and seven European countries through a network of impersonated media outlets and political organizations.

Russia is also trying to find new ways to broadcast propaganda from its territory, according to the Lithuanian report. In July 2023, the Russian state-owned holding RT launched Sputnik radio broadcasts from the Kaliningrad region, which reached the Lithuanian cities bordering Russia.

In addition to its influence operations, Russia often uses cyber capabilities to conduct information campaigns. “They allow the perpetrators to reach their target efficiently and quickly… and maintain the anonymity of the campaign organizers.”

Other countries that were once members of the Soviet Union and now support NATO and the EU while condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are also experiencing the effects of Moscow’s cyberattacks and information campaigns.

Moldova’s intelligence warned earlier this week that Russia uses social networks to promote pro-Moscow politicians, encourage anti-government protests, and incite inter-ethnic hatred in the country.

Moldova also anticipates Russia launching hybrid attacks against it ahead of the upcoming elections, which will include a referendum on joining the European Union.

“Russia’s information policy is likely to intensify further,” Lithuanian intelligence said. “It is possible that information attacks will be aimed at inciting fear in society, undermining trust in public security institutions, and hindering support for Ukraine.”

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Daryna Antoniuk

is a reporter for Recorded Future News based in Ukraine. She writes about cybersecurity startups, cyberattacks in Eastern Europe and the state of the cyberwar between Ukraine and Russia. She previously was a tech reporter for Forbes Ukraine. Her work has also been published at Sifted, The Kyiv Independent and The Kyiv Post.


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