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Vladimir Putin is using the internet to lead a war against Europe. Extra powers for the intelligence services are therefore crucial, according to the prime minister.
But what does the Russian aggression on the World Wide Web embody? And how clear is the evidence? Human went to Paris, Gothenburg, Moscow and Amsterdam in search of the frontlines in this new underground warfare.
In Paris we meet Yves Bigot, director of TV5Monde. The French television station went black in 2015 a few months after the attack on Charlie Hebdo. Supporters of IS claimed responsibility for the attack on the station, but years later the trail to the suspects led to Moscow. “People always ask me if this can happen to everyone. Yes, this can happen to everyone,” according to Bigot.
In the Swedish harbor town Gothenburg we discover hints that Russia is no longer limiting itself to conducting a digital war. While Russia had been poking via the digital world into the most sensitive matters taking place in Europe, recently the rest of the real world has become part of the battlefield. In Sweden two neo-Nazis carried out an attack on asylum seekers after learning how to make a bomb in Russia. “Their visit to Russia was at the very least an inspiration for the attacks,” according to Mats Ljungqvist, the Swedish public prosecutor.