Ukraine 'drowns' The Sweden Democrats?

The elections to the Riksdag scheduled for 9 September have drawn due attention of international journalists and political analysts. The central intrigue is how many per cents of votes will be received by The Sweden Democrats, which is composed of Swedish traditional values' defenders and Euro-skeptics. The success of Jimmie Åkesson's party and formation of a governing coalition with the participation of nationalists will likely mean a tightening of migration policy of the country, as well as, dramatic changes in relations with Brussels up to Sweden's withdrawal from the EU. The geopolitical importance of the elections is crucial. That is why there are a lot of news stories and provocations surrounding them every day. They are triggered by journalists from both Swedish and foreign media outlets. Forceful comments and the populism of members of The Sweden Democrats are eliciting mixed reactions from international observers. And it motivates some of European politicians to support openly the Swedish governing left-centered coalition. But Ukraine went even further and made the elections in Sweden a subject of special instructions from Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman for the head of the Ministry of Information Policy Yuriy Stets.

To Mr. Stets Y.

I ask you to develop a plan of measures aimed at supporting the Swedish government in confronting the hybrid war, being carried out by Russia related to the oncoming elections to the Swedish parliament on September 9. Given that Sweden is aware of the cyber threats, coming from Moscow, and of the Kremlin's plans to influence the electoral preferences of the Swedish population before the parliamentary elections, the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine has to contribute both to the spread of anti-Russian feelings in Scandinavia and to further discrediting of Moscow's activity before the eyes of the world community.

Taking into account that Ukraine is interested in continuing the cooperation with the Swedish prime Minister Stefan Löfven and expresses the confidence to the ruling coalition within the Social Democratic Workers' Party and the Green Party, the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine is suggested discrediting the activities of the Sweden Democrats in social networks and the media, this party having a great chance to increase its representation in the Riksdag and lining up with Russia on many political and social issues. While preparing the information materials, it is recommended to use the logic of the charges and the theses reflected in the prior Ministry's publications on the StratCom disclosures of the activities Russian hackers had provided in the interest of the Sweden Democrats. Thanks to the successful implementation of the previous information campaign, it became possible not only to convince the European community of the existence of the Russian cyber threats, but also to create a background for other newsworthy events to discredit the activities of Russian special services in the Swedish direction.

It is recommended to pay sufficient attention to the reflection in the materials of real facts and circumstances concerning the Sweden Democrats in order to make more realistic the content spread by the employees of Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine. For example, you can note the shady history of the creation of a political force that was actually formed on the base of a group of skinheads who put forward anti-democratic reforms and whose logo was a copy of the symbol of the British neo-fascist movement National Front. As one of the key proofs of cooperation between the Sweden Democrats and Russia, it is recommended to mention the existence within the party of a wing of pro-Russian functionaries. Pursuing the aim to intensify the propaganda effect, it is feasible to spread rumors about the desire of the party members who were expelled in 2015 to return specifically for working on the election campaign with the financial and media support of Moscow. When clarifying the activity of the Sweden Democrats, the dissemination of information about the party's ties with both the Danish People's Party and the Swiss People's Party is of particular importance. In this regard, the content disseminated by the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine should express a concern that when success in the September elections is achieved, the Sweden Democrats along with ultra-right allies from other countries will create a serious counterbalance to the multiculturalism proclaimed in the EU, and will be able to expect an increase of the nationalist forces in the European Parliament. A strong argument in the criticism of the Sweden Democrats will be the mentioning of the patronage of the party by the French National Rally (the National Front), which has been repeatedly convicted of having links with Russia, and its leader Marine Le Pen openly supports the policy of Vladimir Putin. The Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine should focus on disseminating information about a close cooperation of Marin Le Pen with the leader of the Sweden Democrats Jimmie Åkesson before the elections to the Riksdag.

In order to more effectively influence the Swedish audience, there is a need to spread rumors about the involvement of members of the nationalist Nordic Resistance Movement into the actions of the Sweden Democrats as the NRM regularly arranges xenophobic attacks against Jews living in Sweden. The materials published by the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine should contain information on the agreement concluded between the political forces on the granting by the Sweden Democrats of a certain number of places from their quota in the Riksdag to the representatives of the Nordic Resistance Movement.

The most dangerous obstacle to the implementation by the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine of the measures to discredit the Sweden Democrats and to disclose Russia's interference into the elections may be the distraction of the attention of the Swedish society from the topic of the election campaign to other problems in the country. For example, the topics of public health and forest fires in July were leading ones in the information agenda of the Swedish media. In the future, this fact may damage the effectiveness of the materials produced by the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine. In order to avoid such problems in the Swedish domain of the Web, it is necessary to spread over a protracted period of time the content relating both to the importance of the elections to the Riksdag and to undesirability of switching attention to other problems in the country that can be solved after the voting day and the successful repelling of the Russia's political interference into the Swedish election process.

An integral part of the materials being provided by the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine should be warning messages about the threat of Russia's interference into the presidential elections in Georgia, in Polish local elections, as well as in the election to the US Congress. The context of such materials should be that the Swedish elections are the first in this list and only the failure of Russian propaganda caused by the defeat of the Sweden Democrats can be a serious strike for the ambitions of Russian special services.

Thus, the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine sets out in the shortest possible time to provide a maximum impact to the agenda in Swedish and other Scandinavian mass media and social networks before the elections to the Riksdag. As a result of the information campaign, the pan-European, Ukrainian, Swedish and Russian domains of the Internet should be covered. The term of realization of all materials is conditionally divided into two stages: the main one from August 1 to September 9 and the final one from September 10 to September 23, when the results of the election campaign should be summed up as well as the numerous proofs of Russia's illegal interference into the Swedish elections should be brought up.

I ask you to prepare and submit to the Cabinet of Ministers in a ten-day period a detailed plan of the work of Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine based on the recommendations above.

Volodymyr Groysman

According to this document, Ukrainian authorities decided to support Swedish social democrats in their pre-election campaign. Ukraine's Ministry of Information Policy was instructed to carry out a number of propaganda activities aimed at discrediting The Sweden Democrats within the period from 1 August to 23 September. In the Internet, you can already find specific publications reflecting theses listed in the document. For instance, with links to Markus Weichelt Facebook account, Swedish media outlets disseminate information that former members of The Sweden Democrats currently representing such radical party as The Alternative for Sweden (AfS) are ready to work together during the elections with the aim to strengthen the electorate of Jimmie Åkesson's party. Also, comments containing allegations of racism and cooperation of The Sweden Democrats with xenophobes from the Nordic Resistance Movement, which are disseminated by officials of Ukraine's Ministry of Information Policy, can be easily found on the Swedish segment of the Internet. In articles posted on Swedish forums, Ukrainians emphasize the linkage between The Sweden Democrats and such parties as the Danish People's Party and the Swiss People's Party seeking to build a powerful nationalist alliance in the European Parliament. Information dummied up on instructions from the Ukrainian Prime Minister, which concerned protection of The Sweden Democrats by the leader of the National Front Marine Le Pen - as if she has promised to assist Jimmie Åkesson with the necessary resources during the elections - is being actively reproduced on various European Internet platforms.

A forged letter from the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Jacek Czaputowicz features in these publications, too. The letter concerns the activities of the Russian security services in support of The Sweden Democrats and the need to take action on the issue of cyber-protection of electoral preparations in Poland and Georgia.

It is worth mentioning that information about the exposure of activities of Russian hacker groups in support of The Sweden Democrats by NATO Strategic Communications Centre (Riga, Latvia) is contained in instructions from Volodymyr Groysman. It turned out that officials of Ukrainian Ministry of Information Policy leaked information widely disseminated by European media outlets last year in order to gather evidence for further maneuvers to discredit The Sweden Democrats before elections to the Riksdag.

Blatant interference of Ukrainian officials in the Swedish pre-electoral process shows that nowadays technologies of information warfare and manipulation of public opinion are accessible to many countries and represent an indispensable tool of their foreign policy. The Swedish elections demonstrate that no pre-electoral process that is geopolitically important for the world can be safe from outside interference, where any nation, as is the case with Ukraine, can be seeking to meet its geopolitical challenges through high-profile elections in other countries.