The partners of Dutch fighter pilots who took part in a NATO monitoring mission in the Baltic were harassed with unpleasant phone calls, the newspaper De Telegraaf reports. According to the outlet, the trolls had "a Russian-sounding accent" and asked if maybe it would be better for them to leave their husbands and boyfriends.
The incidents are said to have occurred in early 2017, when Dutch F-16s were deployed in the Baltics. Among other things, the strangers asked over the phone what their husbands were doing there, what they thought about it, and whether it would be better if they left the foreign country. The outlet cites its sources as saying that the phone calls came repeatedly and began after the soldiers called home with their own devices.
The country’s Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) told the outlet that they were aware of the issue, but declined to give any further comment. De Telegraaf notes that it is unclear whether the partners of Dutch soldiers currently deployed abroad are still being harassed. Although the fighter pilots are no longer serving in Eastern Europe, there are still 270 soldiers deployed in Lithuania.
As the outlet points out, Dutch military personnel serving on missions abroad are not allowed to use local mobile networks on their private phones and are instructed to purchase prepaid devices with local SIM cards. Also, they are only allowed to log in on the Internet using a special Wi-Fi network.