• Friday, 30 september 2016
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NATO STRATCOM: Hybrid-warfare already evident in Latvia

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| Defense

Indications of hybrid-warfare can be seen in Latvia, according to Jānis Sārts, director of the Latvia-based NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence.

''Generally, the situation has worsened. We are now seeing signs of hybrid-warfare directed at us in Latvia,'' Sārts said.

The indications of ongoing hybrid warfare are becoming stronger in Central Europe and Scandinavia too, and there's always the risk of it developing into actual warfare, he told Latvian Television Wednesday.

Sārts noted that despite cuts to the Russian budget, a propaganda project like Sputnik, which recently opened a Latvian version, is still receiving funds. This shows that Russia keeps on increasing funding for propaganda.

The head of the NATO center said that the best thing to do about such propaganda is to ignore it. Although websites could be blocked, there are simple solutions to bypass the block, so shutting down websites would be counterproductive. 

Sārts said that hybrid warfare is not limited to what happened in Crimea, and does not necessarily entail armed combat.

According to Sārts, NATO analysts are researching different variations of hybrid warfare, including ones not yet known publicly. He did not reveal what these variations consist of.

The Russian propaganda outlet Sputnik set up a website in Latvian in early February. The Latvian Security Police said it serves as evidence to Russian attempts to spread propaganda. 

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