Russian defence minister admits Kremlin has info warfare troops
PR dla Zagranicy
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has said the country has set up a new branch of its military – information warfare troops.
News agencies reported that this is the first time the Russian authorities have acknowledged the existence of such soldiers.
Speaking to parliament on Wednesday, Shoigu was asked about the need to relaunch a counter-propaganda institution. He said that Russia already has information warfare troops.
The minister also said the troops are “more efficient” than the Soviet era counter-propaganda bureau.
The Russian RBK website quoted Frants Klintsevich, first deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council's Committee on Defence and Security, as saying that the branch had been created “recently”.
“There are experts who expose [foreign] sabotage in electronic, paper and television media," he said. According to Klintsevich, such troops are also tasked with countering cyber-attacks.
Yury Baluyevsky, former First Deputy Minister of Defence and ex-Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, was quoted by the RIA Novosti agency as saying that winning the information war in the current world situation might be more important than winning a traditional war.
He added: “Today, the information confrontation is pivotal, a war is ongoing for people’s minds.” According to Baluyevsky, winning the information war results in “paralyzing all of the enemy’s state organs of power”.
The previous US government accused Russia of cyber attacks during last year’s presidential elections in America.
At the beginning of January, during a Senate hearing, US intelligence services chiefs said that Russia poses a serious cyber threat to the US, adding that it had interfered with the elections aiming to increase Donald Trump’s chances of winning against Democratic contender Hillary Clinton.
The Kremlin has rejected accusations of manipulating the US elections.