Lithuanian security services state that the Kremlin uses methods of propaganda same to the ones used in Crimea, 2014, in such a way Russia is trying to create a false history that denies the Baltic states’ right to exist.
Lithuanian officials don`t underestimate the level of threat. They are sure that disinformation campaigns orchestrated by Moscow are aimed to destabilize the region. “Russia is a threat,” the defense minister of Lithuania, Raimundas Karoblis, told the British newspaper “The Guardian”. “For example, they are saying our capital Vilnius should not belong to Lithuania, because between the first and second world wars it was occupied by Poland. It’s history of course, but Russia is using this pretext to undermine our nationhood”.
“There are now reports that Klaipėda, Lithuania’s third largest city, never belonged to Lithuania; that it was the gift of Stalin after the Second World War. There are real parallels with Crimea’s annexation from Ukraine. We are speaking of a danger to the territorial integrity of Lithuania.”
“Crimean style” propaganda
That`s why there is no surprise that Lithuania is concerned about the Russian propaganda influence objectivized with the change of history. Experts and strategists suppose that such Kremlin policy is a beginning of a “returning Lithuania to its motherland” campaign. Moreover, disinformation policy can become a pretext to an armed attack.
Sgt Tomas Ceponis, from the Lithuanian military’s department of strategic communication, said “the process of planning and realization of information operations on the territory of Ukraine was underway for 12 years, and the term “Novorossia” in the context of Donbas appeared in Russian media space as early as in 2003, but no one even cared”.
Apparently, such comments concerning Lithuania are outspoken not by the President Putin himself. Though, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, parliamentarian of the Duma, is among those who have challenged Lithuania’s right to exist.
The way Russia interprets the history of Lithuania is a real threat to the independence of the state, which achieved it not long ago. That`s why the Lithuanian authorities sued four Russian TV companies and made a strong accent on educing Russian propaganda in the education sphere. The security of citizens is guaranteed by German troops of the NATO.
However, is it enough? According to the Lithuanian intelligence report, Russia strengthened its forces in Kaliningrad region, which makes impossible the protection from the NATO side. It means, the Moscow attack can be prepared and conducted in less than a day, and the Alliance forces deployed in the region can be detached from their support. Therefore, if we ignore the information warfare today, we will lose an armed stand-off tomorrow.