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UK Covert Op Planned to Set up Major EU Info Warfare Hub in Brussels - Anonymous

© REUTERS / Yves LoggheThe headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium
The headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium - Sputnik International
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LONDON (Sputnik) – The UK Integrity Initiative project planned to create a research network on the basis of the Institute for European Studies at the Free University of Brussels (VUB-IES) as part of its Russian Language Strategic Communication Programme aimed at countering the alleged Russian hybrid warfare, the Anonymous hacktivist group revealed.

"Setting up a Brussels-based research network to encourage all major European countries, US and Canada to establish in a major national think tank a process or programme for studying infowar The basis of this network is the academic research programme of the Institute for European Studies at the Free University of Brussels (VUB-IES)," the Project Proposal Form read.

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The document, issued on April 27, 2017, included the letterhead of the UK Foreign Office and a signature of the "agency lead contact" Chris N. Donnelly.

"Purpose: To counter Russian disinformation and malign influence, and associated weapons of ‘Hybrid warfare’, in Europe and North America by: expanding the knowledge base; harnessing existing expertise, and; establishing a network of networks of experts, opinion formers and policy makers, to educate national audiences in the threat and to help build national capacities to counter it," the document further read.

READ MORE: Russian Lawmakers Mull Response to Leaked UK Information Warfare Strategy

The program described in the document includes two phases. Phase One envisages the creation of the so-called clusters, including a hub plus a network of experts, journalists and political players, in nine countries — Spain, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Lithuania, Norway, Serbia and Italy — with funding from the UK Foreign Office and NATO.

Phase Two ensures bringing nine existing clusters and four "latent" clusters (established in Moldova, Georgia, Sweden, Montenegro and Malta) to fully functional status and setting up clusters in 10 more countries —Canada, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland and the United States.

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The indicated project launch date is April 1, 2018, while the planned completion date is March 31, 2019.

The hackers claim that Integrity Initiative is a "large-scale information secret service" created by London to "counteract Russian propaganda" and allowing the United Kingdom to meddle in other states’ domestic affairs.

The documents, published by Anonymous, also showed that the Integrity Initiative's costs for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2019, were estimated at 1.96 million pounds ($2.51 million). Apart from the UK government and NATO, the program is founded by Facebook, the US State Department and other governmental and non-governmental structures, according to the leaked files.

READ MORE: Ex-CIA Officer: UK NGO Used for Covert Ops Allows London 'Plausible Deniability'

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