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Irish Government warned of upcoming elections interference

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The Irish Government has been warned by the United States of potential attempts by Russia to interfere in upcoming elections

US Diplomatic Warning

“The warning was contained in a diplomatic cable sent last month by the US State Department to dozens of countries worldwide considered at risk from election meddling from Moscow.”

Methods of Russian Interference

“The warning states Russia is increasingly using social media, espionage, and other hybrid or grey-zone methods to interfere with or discredit elections in democratic countries.”

Russian Government’s Perception

“Our information indicates that senior Russian government officials, including the Kremlin, see value in this type of influence operation and perceive it to be effective,” it stated.

Russia’s Growing Boldness

“US officials have warned countries, including Ireland, that since attempting to influence US Presidential elections in 2016 and 2020, Russia has become emboldened and increasingly sophisticated in its interference attempts, sources said.”

The Goal of Russian Interference

“The goal is not necessarily to ensure one side wins in an election but to sow enough division and doubt to create instability and erode social cohesion in countries Russia perceives to be hostile to its interests, Washington believes.”

Ireland’s Position

“Since coming out very strongly in support of Ukraine since 2022, Ireland certainly falls within that camp,” an Irish diplomatic source said.

Targeted Elections

“The European Parliament elections scheduled for next year are believed to be a main target for Russian interference. Ireland will also host local elections next year and a general election sometime before March 2025.”

US Assessment

“Washington based its latest assessment on an examination of alleged Russian influence operations targeting 11 elections in nine countries between 2020 and 2022, including the United States. Another 17 countries were targeted by ‘less pronounced’ attempts, the assessment states.”

Specific Russian Tactics

“In its warning, the US highlighted one unnamed European country where Russian intelligence agents intimidated election workers, sabotaged overseas voting, and used fake news websites to sow doubt about the results in a recent election.”

Irish Government’s Response

“The cable did not identify any of the countries alleged to have been targeted, although it is understood Ireland is not one of them. An Irish Government spokesperson confirmed it has been in discussions with the US about potential Russian interference but declined to go into specifics.”

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