Signs of an intensifying Moscow-led information campaign have the Lithuanian government worried that Russia is laying the groundwork for “kinetic operations” — a euphemism for combat — similar to its recent actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
Lithuania’s defense minister and military communications officials told The Guardian that they were “taking very seriously” Russia-organized propaganda efforts to undermine stability in the Baltics, which consist of Lithuania and its northern neighbors, Latvia and Estonia.
“Russia is a threat,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis told The Guardian. “They are saying our capital Vilnius should not belong to Lithuania because between the first and second world wars it was occupied by Poland.”
“There are now reports that Klaipeda never belonged to Lithuania, that it was a gift of Stalin after the second world war,” Karoblis said. Klaipeda is Lithuania’s third-largest city.
“There are real parallels with Crimea’s annexation [from Ukraine] … We are speaking of a danger to the territorial integrity of Lithuania,” Karoblis added.
Lithuanian officials said attempts to dispute or alter history could be a prelude to offensive action, similar to more than a decade of such disinformation efforts in Ukraine that led to Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
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Featured image courtesy of Reuters
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