NATO soldiers stationed in the Baltic States regularly complain that they and their families are victims of unknown Internet trolls and receive frightening anonymous calls. The last such incident occurred with Danish soldiers in late October. The command is confident that Russia is behind the attacks. NATO is preparing to allocate additional millions of euros for the information war.
NATO International Battalion based in Estonia is led by the UK. The soldiers say that since 2017 when they were transferred to the Baltic States they received unpleasant messages from unknown persons via Facebook and Twitter, as well as on personal phone numbers.
The command of NATO believes that it is the Russian bots that troll the soldiers. At the same time, the leadership of the Alliance fears that Russian agents are armed with special devices with portable antennas that allow hacking mobile phones of military personnel to access the information contained in them.
American officers believe that while they were in Estonia, someone was tracking their geo-location on their smartphones. In turn, pilots from the Netherlands complained that during their work in the Baltic States, their wives and girlfriends received anonymous calls with provocative questions, for example, “Do you know what your husband is doing here?” or “Maybe he should leave?”. Americans tend to blame the Russian special services for such intrigues. The Dutch also have no doubt that it was the Russians.
In Holland, the harassment case is being considered with “great seriousness,” says Colonel Jens Hvid Lenborg.
“The case is serious, as it concerns families, and, in addition, because the callers generally know whose families they are,” the military said.
Danish Minister of Defense Trine Brahmsen called it “a cynical violation of all agreements to protect civilians, women and children.”
According to Russia expert Flemming Splidsboel Hansen, collecting information about soldiers and their families is part of modern war, for which any defense should be prepared.
Recall that since 2014, NATO stated that it considers Russia its strategic enemy. After that, the North Atlantic Alliance announced an increase in its military presence near the Western borders of Russia.