‘Russian sources’ tried to undermine European vote

15 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

BRUSSELS: The European Union said Friday that “Russian sources” had carried out sustained disinformation efforts to suppress turnout and sway voters during the elections to the European Parliament last month, reports AFP.

But the report did not elaborate on what it meant by “sources” and said it was not yet able to identify a “distinct cross-border disinformation campaign” targeting the elections.

The European Commission report follows pre-election warnings from Brussels to EU countries and social media giants like Facebook and Twitter to guard against possible “fake news” from Moscow.

“Available evidence has not allowed to identify a distinct cross-border disinformation campaign from external sources specifically targeting the European elections,” the report said.

“However, the evidence collected revealed a continued and sustained disinformation activity by Russian sources aiming to suppress turn out and influence voter preferences,” the report said.

The European Commission, the 28-nation union’s executive arm, added that “political actors” in member states often adopted tactics and story lines used by “Russian sources” to damage the EU.

The report said, for example, that “malicious actors” used the fire in the Notre-Dame Cathedral in the French capital two months ago to show the alleged weakening of Western and Christian values.