Germany’s version of the CIA, the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), has announced that Russia is not trying to influence the outcome of the German elections.
Intelligence agencies in Germany say they have found no clear evidence of a Russian disinformation campaign against the government, despite claims by mainstream media that the Kremlin seek to harm western democracy.
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This is according to information from the Süddeutsche Zeitung , NDR and WDR the result of almost a year of investigation by the Federal Intelligence Service ( BND ) and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV). Original reflections, which were categorized as secret curses, were at least partially published.
“We have not found a smoking gun,” the government said, trying to find a striking evidence of Russia’s political interference. Such a document would have been presented by the government to warn Russia about this type of action. “We would have liked to draw the yellow card,” says a security expert. However, given the lack of evidence, it would not make sense to publish the 50-page intelligence paper. This would have put a further strain on the already tense relationship with Russia.
However, the Chancellor’s Office ordered the investigation to be further investigated. Because of the in 13 subdivided chapter Report of the Special Evaluation “Sputnik” of the BfV and the working group “Psychological Operations” of the BND is the view of the Government no acquittal. It analyzes the since 2014 “confrontational course” Russia against Germany and is called the coverage of Russian media and their German branch such as RT or German Sputnik News downright “hostile”.
“Fall Lisa”: rape by “Südländer” turned out to be invented
The responsibility for such attempts to influence see the German secret services directly in the presidential administration of the Kremlin. It is difficult, however, to draw the line between exaggerated and false reporting and disinformation, according to the report. State treatment of this phenomenon represents a “new challenge” and must be further investigated.
The background is the concern that Russia, as is said to be happening in the US, could intervene in the elections, for example by publishing secret documents captured by hacker attacks or by helping right-wing populist parties. With France and the Netherlands, where elections are also pending, the German intelligence services now agreed to cooperate closely.
The investigation was commissioned by Chancellor Angela Merkel after “Fall Lisa”. Russian media and politicians had caused a stir after the alleged rape of a 13-year-old Russian-German by “Südländer”, there were demonstrations, among them the Chancellor’s Office. Later it turned out that the girl had invented the story. It was initially assumed that Russian government agencies or intelligence services orchestrated protests. But this could not be proven “in any of the cases,” the report says.