From information laundering to influence activities (excerpt), 2020


Attacks on democracy at large

The chapter about the Kremlin’s information influence activities uses Latvia’s case, where the country’s education system is transferring to the Latvian language in Russian language public schools where studying is currently split 60-40 between Latvian and Russian languages respectively. Obviously, the reform is not welcomed by some and thus foreign states use information influence activities to interfere in already existing domestic discussions, seeking to polarise society using deception to obscure, mislead and disinform.

The support of the Russian Federation to the cause of the pro-Russian school activists in Latvia and the populistic simplification of the problem bears a long-term risk of (a) polarizing the society and (b) weakening trust in the government, law enforcement, public administration, and democracy at large.

It’s worth noting that in addition to the pro-Kremlin media targeting audiences in Latvia, the Kremlin is also active in international organisations:

The international attempts by the Kremlin and its proxies to frame Latvia as a neo-Nazi country implementing policies to eradicate the identity of an ethnic minority achieves two goals: (a) placing Latvia as an outsider to common European and liberal democratic values, unacceptable to the Western democratic family of countries, and (b) justifying Russia’s foreign interventions (including military ones) to its home audiences by continuously maintaining a feeling of Russia’s compatriots abroad being threatened.

Document data: 01.12.2020. Link: The article is quoting a NATO StratCom report.

Publisher’s notes: The curriculum of minority (high) schools before the current reform (not “currently”) was not “split 60-40 between Latvian and Russian languages respectively” – 60 % was the minimum of Latvian, there was no safeguards protecting use of minority languages.

Tagged: Tags