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RT Becomes Prominent Media Outlet In Germany Sowing Distrust Ahead Of Federal Election

September 14th, 2021 16:21

Bel­gian media is report­ing that Russ­ian state media out­let RT Deutsch has become a major play­er spread­ing dis­in­for­ma­tion on social media just weeks ahead of Germany’s fed­er­al elec­tion. Accord­ing to a Politi­co report:

Sep­tem­ber 3, 2021 Since March, RT Deutsch has focused on pro­mot­ing anti-vac­cine fears around the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic and cham­pi­oning the far-right Alter­na­tive for Deutsch­land (AfD). Its efforts, col­lec­tive­ly, have racked up rough­ly 22.7 mil­lion inter­ac­tions on Face­book in the form of com­ments, likes and shares, accord­ing to research from the Ger­man Mar­shall Fund (GMF) of the Unit­ed States, a Wash­ing­ton-based think tank.  […] Ahead of the Sep­tem­ber 26 vote, the Krem­lin-backed out­let is also pur­su­ing a dou­ble strat­e­gy of pro­mot­ing AfD, while attack­ing the Green Par­ty, espe­cial­ly its leader, Annale­na Baer­bock. They also make rou­tine ref­er­ences to both the CDU and SPD polit­i­cal par­ties, but most­ly leave these groups alone in terms of pro­mo­tion or attack­ing their polices.  RT Deutsch has not direct­ly wad­ed into the upcom­ing elec­tion. But it has repeat­ed­ly cham­pi­oned AfD talk­ing points, includ­ing an anti-refugee stance and an end to COVID restric­tions, while pro­mot­ing con­tro­ver­sies relat­ed to Baer­bock, whose anti-Rus­sia stance threat­ens the Krem­lin’s inter­ests. In a recent pla­gia­rism scan­dal involv­ing the Ger­man politi­cian, the Russ­ian out­let pro­duced a series of arti­cles that pro­vid­ed blow-by-blow details of Baer­bock­’s alleged wrongdoing.

Read the rest here.

In June, we report­ed that  Ger­man author­i­ties were prepar­ing for for­eign influ­ence oper­a­tions, cyber attacks, and dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paigns ahead of fed­er­al elec­tions, iden­ti­fy­ing Rus­sia, Chi­na, and Iran as the prin­ci­pal for­eign actors car­ry­ing out cyber­at­tacks against Ger­man agen­cies and interests.

In August, we report­ed that Russ­ian out­lets RT and Sput­nik were seek­ing to ampli­fy sto­ries around Germany’s fail­ures to inte­grate its immi­grants and that both out­lets are open­ly sup­port­ive of the Alter­na­tive for Ger­many (AfD), a par­ty Rus­sia favors over the CDU.