The Spread of False Stories from Russia to Sweden


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By: Mehgan Wentworth

August 31, 2016; 10:45 am

There is an international debate on whether or not Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO.  There was suddenly a problem with false information on Sunday, August 31, 2016. These false stories were: “If Sweden signed the deal, the alliance would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil”, “NATO could attack Russia from Sweden without government approval”, and “NATO soldiers, immune from prosecution, could rape Swedish women without fear of criminal charges,” as stated by The New York Times.  Even though they were false, they still had the nation in shock, fear, and confusion.

In an interview, she gave with The New York Times on Friday,  Marinette Nyh Radeb, Sweden’s defense minister’s spokeswoman, said, “People were not used to it [false stories], and they got scared, asking what can be believed, what should be believed?”

Unfortunately for Swedish officials, they were never able to find out who sent out these horrifying false reports. But analysts and experts in Europe and American point to Russia to be the suspect of these false alarms. In an interview he gave with The New York Times on Friday, Geb Pavlovsky said, “Moscow views world affairs as a system of special operations and very sincerely believes that it itself is an object of Western special operations. I am sure that there are a lot of centers, some linked to the states, that are involved in inventing these kinds of false stories”. False stories are nothing new to this world. The Soviet Union had done this before in the battles of the Cold War causing many almost-conflicts.

President Vladimir Putin showed off his “modernized, and more muscular” military. Yet he still lacks the economic strength. He might, maybe too openly, confront NATO. Instead of doing confronting, he invested in a more, heavy program of “weaponised” information. The goal for this is to weaken the formation of the member states.

Do you think that Russia is the one spreading these false lies? What do you think about Sweden entering a military partnership with NATO? What do you think about Putin creating this new, military program? Do you think that Putin should stop worrying about the military and focus more on the economic strength?    Share your opinions in the comment section below.


 MacFarquhar, Niel. “Spreading of False Stories.” N.p., 28 Aug.                                2016. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.

Macfarquhar, Neil. “A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories.”     The New York Times. The New York Times, 28 Aug. 2016. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.



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