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Friday, 03 April 2020

Intelligence agency: Russia trying to destabilize Germany

AP , Thursday 8 Dec 2016
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrives at a two-day foreign ministers' meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Hamburg, northern Germany, on December 8, 2016. ( AFP File PHOTO)
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Germany's domestic intelligence agency says Russia is trying to destabilize German society and the state with propaganda campaigns and cyberattacks.

The blunt warning from Germany's BfV agency comes less than a year before the country is expected to hold a general election.

Agency chief Hans-Georg Maassen said in a statement Thursday that "there is growing evidence for attempts to influence the federal election next year."

His agency has seen an increase in "aggressive cyber-espionage" targeting German politicians.

Russia has been blamed for the hacking and release of Democratic National Committee emails before the U.S. presidential election.

Maassen says "automated opinion forming" with so-called bots could be used to spread fake news on social media.

Russia has in previously strongly denied its involvement in orchestrating cyberattacks on foreign soil.

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