Ursula von der Leyen Warns of Russian Hybrid Attacks

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jun.04 - 2024 8:34 AM CET

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Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com
Ursula von der Leyen warns of Russian hybrid attacks.

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is calling for enhanced safeguards against hybrid attacks following new revelations about Russian funding of influence operations in Europe.

Citing evidence of Russian interference, von der Leyen urges EU countries to collaborate in creating a "shield for democracy."

This initiative aims to strengthen defenses against disinformation and information influence funded by Russia. She emphasizes the importance of pooling European expertise to address these threats.

SVT Nyheter reports that Pravfond, a Russian state fund with close ties to Russian intelligence, has been identified as a key financial source behind influence operations and disinformation targeting Sweden and other European countries.

The fund has distributed millions of dollars through a network of departments in various countries over recent years.

Documents obtained by SVT in an international collaboration reveal that Pravfond's money has been used for various purposes, including legal fees for a Russian arms dealer and an FSB agent convicted of a high-profile murder in Berlin. These activities directly impact security and politics in Europe.

Von der Leyen's Response

During a press conference in Sweden, Ursula von der Leyen addressed the situation, highlighting Russia's attempts to manipulate information and influence European societies as a direct attack on democracy.

"We have to take this very seriously," von der Leyen stated. "This is further evidence that Russia is trying to manipulate information and influence our society."

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