NATO Is Fighting Russia’s Fake News Schemes by Training Danish Troops How to Spot Propaganda

Political elections are not the only target of Russia's hacking and "fake news" campaigns. Fighting forces can be targeted, as well. As such, Denmark will reportedly train troops against propaganda that it plans to send NATO next year in Estonia as the build-up of forces in Eastern Europe continues, according to Reuters.

Though Russia was not specifically mentioned, President Vladimir Putin’s government has been directly accused of meddling in the United States election by disseminating false news reports and conducting cyberattacks as well as similar efforts in France, Austria, the Ukraine, Germany and the Netherlands, to name a few.

"It is a whole new world. The Danish soldiers need to be extremely aware of that. Therefore I have arranged with the armed forces that the soldiers being sent out in January are informed and educated in how to protect themselves," Danish defense minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said Monday.

"It is easy to imagine they will become exposed to intimidation and fake rumors,"  Frederiksen added.

The 200 Danish troops are scheduled to reach Estonia in January.

Denmark’s plan comes in response to an incident in February when German NATO troops stationed in Lithuania were falsely accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in emails sent to high-ranking members of Lithuania’s government and its media outlets, DW reported.

Prosecutors later opened a criminal investigation because of the false story, and NATO blamed Russia.

Putin, who met with President Donald Trump for more than two hours earlier this month at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, claimed he firmly denied accusations of election meddling when Trump brought it up. Russia also has denied knowledge of other alleged hacks.

In Europe, Russia’s efforts also involve attempts to thwart the increasing number of troops in Eastern Europe as NATO and Russia posture for military prominence.

Most recently, leaders from NATO members congregated in Poland to discuss defense efforts. The new movements will mark the first time multinational forces will rotate in Eastern Europe since the Cold War, according to PBS.

The U.S., alone, had deployed roughly 4,000 troops to Poland—and to make rotations in Europe—as of January, with other equipment like tanks also making its way to Latvia, Romania and Lithuania.

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