Skip to content
Edit post

Media: Russia planned interference campaigns to disrupt NATO accession of Finland, Sweden

by Nate Ostiller December 4, 2023 6:24 PM 2 min read
People burn Sweden's flag during a demonstration in Lahore, Pakistan on July 9, 2023, as they protest against the burning of the Koran outside a Stockholm mosque that outraged Muslims around the world. Leaked Russian intelligence documents obtained by Finnish media show that Russia sought to exploit the protests as a means of disrupting Sweden's accession to NATO. (Arif Ali/AFP via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Russian intelligence services planned a series of disruptive activities to try to prevent, or at least hinder, Sweden and Finland's accession to NATO, the Finnish media outlet YLE reported on Dec. 4, citing leaked Russian intelligence documents.

The documents were initially obtained by the independent Russian anti-corruption project Dossier Center, YLE said.

The planned activities, which YLE said did not appear to have actually taken place in Finland, sought to increase discord between Turkey and other NATO countries, especially Sweden, as the two Nordic countries began the process of joining the alliance.

Russia allegedly tried to inflame tensions that erupted after a series of public burnings of the Quran in Sweden in early 2023, which resulted in protests breaking out around the Muslim world.

The Quran burnings also caused a diplomatic dispute between Sweden and Turkey, complicating the process of Sweden's accession to NATO.

The Swedish government accused Russia of spreading disinformation about the incidents, saying that it had sponsored the publication of articles in Arabic that claimed that the Swedish government was in favor of the Quran burnings.

Both Sweden and Finland applied to join the alliance in May 2022 following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Turkey initially blocked both bids but gave the green light to Finland's accession in March. A unanimous vote of all members, including Turkey, is required for a new member to be admitted.

The leaked documents also included plans to mock Turkey and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, including promoting anti-Turkish protests and spreading anti-Erdogan graffiti around Europe.

Although Erdogan signed a long-awaited protocol on Sweden's NATO accession on Oct. 23, its final approval has been delayed by the Turkish parliament.

Ukraine war latest: Russian infantry activity rising in southeast, general says
Key developments on Dec. 3: * Ukraine investigates Russian troops allegedly executed 2 Ukrainian POWs * Tarnavskyi: Russian forces have intensified infantry activity on the southeastern front line * Russian attack on Kherson kills 2, injures 7 * Official: Russia has lost over 7,200 troops, 530…
Before you skip this banner, we want to tell you something…

The Kyiv Independent doesn’t depend on a wealthy owner or an oligarch — in 2023, 80% of our revenue was from reader contributions . It’s thanks to them that we don’t have to rely on a single owner.

Support us now and help maintain our independent model and keep our articles free for everyone. Your contributions allow us to cover journalists’ salaries, report from the front lines, and fund projects like our War Crimes Investigations Unit.

visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
10:04 AM

Russian attacks against Ukraine kill 1, injure 9 over past day.

Russia launched Shahed-type drones toward the western city of Lviv overnight on June 19. While the authorities reported that all five drones were shot down, the debris reportedly injured two men aged 47 and 70 in the village of Malekhiv on Lviv's northern outskirts.
9:01 AM

Polish attitudes toward Ukrainian refugees deteriorating, survey shows.

In more than two years of the full-scale war, Poles see Ukrainian refugees more negatively in almost all aspects, except for accepting Ukrainian children to schools, according to a survey by the University of Warsaw and the University of Economics and Humanities in Warsaw published by Rzeczpospolita on June 18.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.