Ministry of Defence of Latvia states: regarding the previous days events in banking sector and detention of Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, Head of the central bank of Latvia, there is a high probability that massive information operation from outside is conducted, which is identical in structure and execution to information operations which were observed in France, Germany and the USA before elections.
The initial source of this operation is tweet from “Associated Press” journalist Carlo Piovano (tweeted on February 19, at 19:05) with link to “AP News” story and photo, where Mr. Rimšēvičs is sitting at the table with other persons. The search of the picture on “Scanpix” proves that this picture was uploaded not in 2010, but only on February 19, 2018 by third party.
Ministry of Defence wants to emphasize that the story wasn’t picked up only by international news portals with interest in foreign affairs or financial sector, but was also disseminated fast and efficiently in various foreign news portals. Many of such foreign news portals do not usually post about banking or financial issues or have not published any other news about Latvia before; some of such lesser known news sites include “India Everyday”, “Idaho Press”, “The North Platte Telegraph”, “Conservative Angle”, “The Fresno Bee”, “Last Minute Christmas”. This method allows to multiply the story in short time and guarantee visibility search engines.
Ministry of Defence states: there is a high possibility that this is a wide information operation from outside and its aim is to show Latvia as untrustworthy Ally and to promote the decline of trust in the government of Latvia. There is high probability that this is not the end of this information operation and it could continue. The aim of this operation, most probably, is to influence interior affairs of Latvia and elections of Saeima.
Ministry of Defence asks society to be alert and always evaluate information sources critically in order to avoid multiplication of stories created as part of information operations.
Ministry of Defence of Latvia
Military Public Affairs