UK troops being trained to fight ‘Russia propaganda’: Report

UK troops being trained to fight ‘Russia propaganda’: Report

Wed Nov 2, 2016 9:10AM

British troops are being trained to identify and counter what officials call “Russian propaganda,” a new report says.

The training provided by Lithuanian troops aims to help their British counterparts to fight alleged Russian attempts to influence public opinion, The Times reported on Tuesday.

Officers from the 77th Brigade, a new British Army unit that deals with information warfare, are being trained by the Lithuanian troops from the Baltic state, which the West says is at the front line of Russia’s “soft-power” war in Europe.

“The UK has a great deal to learn from the disinformation campaign which is being waged against Lithuania,” a defense source said.

The head of Lithuanian military’s strategic communications department told the British daily that the country “is overloaded by this [Russian] culture.”

“For our society it can feel like we actually are in Russia,” added Lieutenant-Colonel Juris Zguts.

“For a Russian population, they say things like: NATO is a strong and growing organization, it is getting bigger every day and getting closer and closer to Russia and maybe one day it will attack,” said Captain Tomas Tauginas, a member of Colonel Zguts’ team.

Meanwhile, the UK Army is investigating whether two soldiers were caught up in an alleged Russian-backed “propaganda plot.”

The plot was purportedly to discredit British forces after they were attacked by a local gang and then filmed scuffling while they were on exercise in Latvia.

This comes as the head of MI5, Andrew Parker, has said Russia presents an ever-increasing threat to the stability of the United Kingdom.

Russia is using all of the cutting-edge tools at its disposal to achieve its goals, Parker told The Guardian in an interview, part of which was released Monday.

“It is using its whole range of state organs and powers to push its foreign policy abroad in increasingly aggressive ways,” he added.

Relations between Russia and the West have soured since people in Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea voted to rejoin the Russian Federation in a referendum in March 2014.

The UK and the US have also become unfriendly toward Russia after it started its air campaign against Daesh in Syria at the request of its government.

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