“Merkel is the main goal”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Mr. carts, Russia is trying to influence other States with the help of propaganda. Do to varying degrees, all countries. Information war of Russia against the West?

Janis was Sarts: Russians call it the information society and is considered as a clear component of international relations. In conflict situations, such a confrontation is particularly noticeable. Unlike “soft power” of Western countries is that they generally operate based on proven facts. From the Russian point of view, this is not necessary, it is crucial to the interpretation. If necessary, stories are completely fabricated.

In German propaganda during the Ukrainian war has become known in the form of factories trolls. Hundreds of officers flooded the Internet sites desired review. How important is it today?

Troll was first used in the Russian Internet, and then network abroad. Their role has decreased. More important today bots, robots, aggregators of opinion — anyway, as for the impact on European and Western States.

— To what extent is Moscow successful in this? Sanctions it is not disposed of in this way.

— Right, this short-term goal, Moscow is not reached. But the other, more important long-term goal is to weaken the unity of Europe. To this end, Moscow wants to have an impact on the election.

American intelligence agencies believe that Russia with the help of hackers and the publication of their documents have influenced elections in the United States. What do You think about this?

— We rely only on open sources. All available information suggests that these are Russian special services. Network bots and pages that distribute fake messages, only strengthen the impression.

— Who controls the Kremlin propaganda?

— We have evidence that campaigns are managed centrally from the top. When Russia began operation in Syria, the propaganda apparatus was switched from Ukraine to Syria. Every Friday there are meetings editors-in-chief with the people from the Kremlin, for example, the press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov. There is established a line.

— The Kremlin supports the right-wing and left-wing populist parties in other European countries. You see the support for ADG and Left party?

— These parties support such Russian media foreign broadcasting as RT and Sputnik. Their stories are supported by networks of bots, Internet pages and social networks where they are present. Whether support for this framework, I can’t say, based on open sources.

— RT and Sputnik not play a big role in the German media landscape. We exaggerate the threat posed by Russian propaganda?

— Of course, Russia does not have such a great impact on Germany on the Baltic countries. But Russia is trying to exploit their weaknesses and problems of the West. And such problems certainly exist, for example, the immigration crisis. Russia turns to the debate on this topic and trying to translate them in the direction that it is beneficial. The media and social networks are the only visible part. There is also a network of agents, managed organizations. For example, the case of Lisa. Previously, it was impossible to imagine that there may be demonstrations over fictional stories. But it worked.

— What is the intervention of Russia You see the elections in France?

Noticeably, RT and Sputnik are working against Emmanuel Makron. Now it’s become even more noticeable. Much already directed against Germany. Macron — puppet Merkel, say so.

— Merkel — the main goal of Russian propaganda campaign?

— Yes, so. This is due to the fact that Germany is the leading power in Europe. In this role, Germany ensures the continued existence of Europe in its current form. The second reason is the clear position of Germany-recognition of another of the cases of the annexation of foreign territories. It broke the plans of Russia to reach agreement with the EU. And third if people a long time in power, role and personal. I assume this applies to Putin and Merkel.

— In Germany in September will be elections to the Bundestag. What do You expect with regard to Russian influence?

— At the moment, Russian propaganda is concentrated on France. Then, one should expect growth of activity of the Russian media foreign broadcasting and social networks in relation to Germany.

— What do You recommend against this arm?

— I will make three suggestions. Society must realize that there are attempts at providing such effect. Forewarned is forearmed. The government and media need to know what happens. Because they play in these scenarios a special role. The third piece of advice is not to get so focused on alarm other hand. After all, if we do nothing but react, there is a danger that we will forget what is important to us. Own history is more important.

— Our weaknesses in the EU we made ourselves, they are not caused by Russia.

— That’s it. Russia uses it — by the way, in the first place, to convince their own people that Russia is better than in the West. The support of the Russians for the Kremlin’s most important. On this he has to work. If others fear Russia, so they coped with the task.