US Secretary of State Blinken assails Russian misinformation

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a Czech Defense Capabilities Event at Prague-Kbely Airport, in Prague, Czech Republic on May 30. (AP)

PRAGUE, May 30, (AP): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday assailed Russian attempts to sow discord in democracies with misinformation after hinting the Biden administration may soon allow Ukraine to use American-supplied munitions to strike inside Russia.
In Prague for a NATO foreign ministers meeting, Blinken hit out at Moscow’s use of misinformation and disinformation, calling it a “poison” and signing an agreement with the Czech government to combat it. He also toured a Czech military base, where he saw armored vehicles that Prague is sending to Kyiv to help fight Russia’s invasion and received a briefing on a Czech initiative to supply Ukraine with a million rounds of ammunition by the end of the year.
“We know that a major front in the competition that we have, the adversarial relationship that we have, notably with Russia, is on the information front,” Blinken said.
He said the agreement with the Czechs – the 17th such accord the US has signed with partner nations – would help “to effectively deal with misinformation and disinformation, which is a poison being injected into our democracies by our adversaries.”
“The more we’re able to do together both between our countries but also with other countries, the more effective we’re going to be exposing it and dealing with it,” Blinken told reporters at a signing ceremony with Czech Foreign Minister Minister Jan Lipavsky.
Lipavsky agreed, noting that Czech authorities had recently exposed a major Russian-backed misinformation campaign.
“We are facing confrontation between democracies and autocracies,” Lipavsky said. “The Kremlin has started targeting targeting democracies all around the world with cyber warfare, propaganda and influence operations and this danger simply cannot be underestimated any more.”

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