10:25 GMT08 May 2021
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    Western countries are cultivating a narrative of Moscow being guilty of every negative event, the Russian General Staff chief said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A growing information warfare campaign against Russia in the West creates the impression that any negative event in the world is the work of its special services, Russian Chief of General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov said Wednesday.

    "The countries of the West are building up the scale of the information warfare waged against Russia," Gerasimov said at the VI Moscow Conference on International Security.

    The disinformation campaign, he argued, aims to "blacken Russia as much as possible and belittle its role in the fight against international terrorism, in solving other international problems."

    "If you look through the European and US mass media messages, you get the impression that almost every the negative event taking place in the world is the work of either Russian special services or Russian hackers," he stressed.

    It is nearly impossible to identify the real sources of cyberattacks, making it viable to assign blame and act militarily without justification, Gerasimov said.

    Gerasimov said NATO has launched its "collective defense" training "in the event of cyberattacks on the technical means of the NATO member states' government and military command structures."

    "But in modern conditions, the true sources of such attacks are virtually impossible to identify. In this regard, there is the possibility of absolutely unjustifiably assigning those to blame and to deal with them by military means," he said.

    There are no conditions for Europe’s return from confrontation to the state of stability and calmness, Gerasimov said.

    “The conditions to reverse the influence of multiple destructive factors are currently missing … The confrontational rhetoric toward Russia is only increasing. Russia is frequently accused by the European Union and NATO of increasing tensions. The NATO-Russia council is a platform where the sides could meet and clarify their positions, intentions and concerns. But there is no military dialogue. Almost all contacts via military experts have been halted today,” he said.

    NATO has set a sustainable course for the alliance’s expansion by engaging Eastern European states since 2014, explaining the expansion as a response to Russia’s alleged meddling in the Ukrainian conflict. Moscow has repeatedly refuted such allegations, and regards NATO's encroachments as provocative.

    At the NATO July summit in Warsaw, it was decided that the military alliance would send multinational battalions to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland, at the request of these countries.

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    Tags:
    information war, cyberattacks, media, NATO, Russian General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, Russia
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