According to investigations by multiple media sites, Russian secret services are infiltrating or organizing protests in significant Western European cities to stir up anti-Ukrainian feelings or thwart Sweden’s application to join NATO.
Several news sites claimed that Russian secret services have been putting on or infiltrating protests in significant European cities for propaganda purposes.
The joint investigation by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, German broadcasters NDR and WDR, French newspaper Le Monde, Swedish newspaper Expressen, and the Scandinavian broadcasters DR (Denmark), NRK (Norway), and SVT (Sweden) is based on leaked strategy documents that are allegedly from the Kremlin’s security apparatus.
The Dossier Center, a think tank led by Kremlin skeptic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, received the materials after they were leaked. Although it is impossible to confirm their veracity, the material, and links they provide do point to demonstrations that occurred as claimed.
According to news sources, the purpose of the staged protests is, among other things, to incite anti-Ukrainian feelings or make Sweden’s NATO membership more challenging.
FAKE ANTI-TURKISH PROTESTS
The strategy papers state that Moscow advises small groups of Russian agents to act out fake protests in important European towns.
The Kremlin is thought to have already orchestrated some phony demonstrations, including anti-Turkish marches when spies pose as Ukrainians to criticize Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This appears to be done to portray a widespread anti-Islamic sentiment throughout Europe.
Examples include a march against Erdogan in Paris by alleged members of the Ukrainian community at the beginning of March, who used the Hitler salute and a balaclava and mocked the victims of the tragic earthquakes that rocked Turkey and Syria in February.
HIJACKING OTHER PROTESTS
According to the research, provocateurs also reportedly entered protests taking place in a number of cities over other issues, like the nurse shortage, pension reform, and climate change, with the intention of disseminating information opposing support for Ukraine.
The intention is to produce propaganda for online platforms. Paris, The Hague, Brussels, and Frankfurt are among the places mentioned in the Russian strategy document as being targeted.
Images of the false protesters have been circulating on social media, giving the impression that there is a strong anti-Ukrainian attitude in Western European nations, according to the media sources.
The journalists were able to identify three social media accounts run out of St. Petersburg, Russia, as the source of part of the content.