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'Orchestrated Propaganda': Russia Reacts to Dutch Hacking Accusations

Piroschka Van De Wouw / Reuters

Russian officials have denounced hacking accusations leveled by the United States, Britain and the Netherlands against Moscow on Thursday as an “orchestrated propaganda campaign.”

Dutch authorities said Thursday that they had disrupted and deported four Russian military intelligence agents who had attempted to hack the international chemical weapons watchdog headquarters in The Hague in April. 

Also on Thursday, Britain accused Moscow of running several hacking campaigns and the U.S. indicted seven alleged agents of cyberattacks on international sports and anti-doping bodies.

Here is a selection of reactions to the Dutch accusations from Russian officials and public figures:

Foreign Ministry:

“We conclude that this is yet another orchestrated propaganda campaign against our country.”

“In light of the West’s heavily hyped-up paranoia around ‘omnipotent Russian cyber spies’ in recent years, who Western politicians say live in ‘backward Russia’ – any citizen of our country with a mobile device is perceived as a spy.”

State Duma Information Policy Committee Chairman Leonid Levin:

“The Dutch defense minister’s statement looks like a populist attempt to butt into a hot news agenda against the backdrop of a series of wanton accusations about Russian hacking attacks and chemical weapons use.”

“The reasons for why this development was held without public disclosure for nearly half a year are not clear.”

Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Konstantin Kosachev:

“The contours of further information and propaganda attacks against Russia have been outlined; they will continue to revolve around a certain set of promoted ‘tags,’ among them: ‘chemical weapons, cyber attacks and the GRU.”

“This is intended to create a strong association between Russia and inhumane weapons, and with its incessantly secret (but for some reason always revealed) interference in the affairs of Western democracies.”

“[The association will] ultimately delegitimize Russia itself [and open the use of] equally permissible and good illegitimate means against it.”

The Insider media outlet chief editor Roman Dobrokhotov:

“We believe American special services have already proved this information, the only question left is which specific people were involved.”

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

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