Fake News Attempts to Discredit NATO Exercises in Lithuania

Lithuania’s defense minister said on Wednesday a report about a U.S. armored vehicle supposedly killing a boy there was fake news and an attempt to discredit NATO exercises in the Baltics.

Posted to an obscure website but made to look like a story from Lithuania’s top news website Delfi, the June 7 blog saying a U.S. Army vehicle hit a boy on a bicycle bore the hallmarks of a fake rape claim published last year, Raimondas Karoblis told Reuters.

The story included a picture purporting to show a broken bicycle lying in front of the vehicle.

The minister did not identify who might have been responsible, but said he had informed his NATO counterparts

A senior NATO general has said last year Russia was behind the false rape claims against German soldiers and warned of more such reports.

The Russian defense ministry has repeatedly denied that Moscow stages any such disinformation campaigns.

They culminated on Wednesday in a dramatic river crossing aimed at testing NATO troops’ ability to move quickly to the alliance’s eastern flank in the event of a conflict with Russia.

Worried since Russia’s 2014 seizure of Crimea that Moscow could invade Poland or the Baltic states, NATO has bolstered its eastern flank with troops, war games and equipment ready for a rapid response force of up to 40,000 personnel.

The United States is testing NATO forces’ readiness for combat, while Russia says the alliance build-up threatens the stability of central Europe.

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Reported by: Reuters