During the Covid-19 pandemic caused by the new coronavirus, more and more aggressive information attacks are being directed against the Latvian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and other NATO structures, LETA told the ministry.
The last of them is directed through the English-language portal “TheDuran.com”, which spreads a false message about allegedly 20 to 21 sick soldiers in the NATO Enlarged Battle Group in Latvia.
“Such tendentious attempts at attack in the information space indicate a certain inferiority complex of a potential opponent.
If one wants to be afraid of a few thousand allies in one of the Baltic states, trying to slander them in everything, then it means that either the author of such news has something wrong with self-confidence, or at some political level in one of our neighboring countries is complete. confusion that shows that they are not coping with their own Covid-19 problems, ”said Minister of Defense Artis Pabriks (AP).
According to him, “therefore, a path is chosen in favor of pointing fingers at neighbors, saying that they are burning.”
“Furthermore, unlike each other in Latvia’s eastern neighbor, we do not hide the number affected by Covid-19,” the official commented, pointing out that at a time when Covid-19 is raging around the world, hostile forces in the West are trying to take advantage of this situation.
The Ministry of Defense informs that the commander of the battle group of NATO’s expanded presence in Latvia, Lieutenant Colonel Ēriks Eindžels, to whom the author of the article refers as a source of information, has not given interviews to the Latvian media during his service in Latvia. Thus, it is untrue that he would have spread the news about the allegedly ill soldiers.
In addition, despite the widespread misinformation, the author of the article – someone Edgars Palldis – made several mistakes in the article, AM stressed. First, the headline reports that 20 soldiers from the Canadian contingent have contracted Covid-19 in Latvia. Secondly, another number is already in the false quote of Lieutenant Colonel Eingel, Commander of the NATO Enlarged Battlegroup – 21 Covid-19 positive soldiers.
Palldis has also shown incompetence in selecting an illustration for his false message – instead of depicting the soldiers of the Canadian contingent, he has published a picture with Latvian soldiers during his training.
At the same time, the ministry points out that so far four cases of Covid-19 have been diagnosed among both Latvian and Allied soldiers deployed in Latvia, and most of the soldiers have already been cured.
The ministry also points out that this is not the first time that fake messages have been spread through TheDuran.com.
It has already been reported that the Latvian Ministry of Defense had recently received a false message in the form of an e-mail forwarding a seemingly signed letter from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to the Lithuanian Minister of Defense Raimundas Karobls regarding the withdrawal of NATO forces.
The letter states that NATO will withdraw troops from the expanded presence battle group from Lithuania in connection with the Covid-19 crisis.
Pabriks previously pointed out that NATO had confirmed that the letter sent was false, reiterating its commitment to maintain its presence in the Baltic States and Poland, where multinational battle groups are deployed.
NATO’s enhanced presence battlegroups in the Baltic States and Poland aim to enhance NATO’s deterrence and strengthen the Alliance’s defense by demonstrating its solidarity and determination to defend itself against all forms of aggression.
The multinational battle group in Latvia is led by Canada and consists of around 1,400 troops from Albania, the Czech Republic, Italy, Canada, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain, who serve on a rotating basis in Latvia, participating in exercises with the National Armed Forces, thus improving interoperability with regional allies in order to be able to respond to the challenges of the security environment.