Countering attempts by Russia and other actors to meddle in the democracies of other countries requires more than just stronger cyber defences and better election monitoring, Latvia’s deputy minister of defence said Thursday. It also demands stronger societies and better-informed citizens able to withstand an onslaught of disinformation, rumours and outright fabrications, said Janis Garisons in an interview Thursday with CBC News. Latvia, which has faced cyber attacks on its infrastructure and frequent disinformation campaigns for years, has learned a lot about how to protect itself, said Garisons. “Without general resilience in the long term, I think it will be very difficult to resist,” he said.
The Baltic state, which hosts over 450 Canadian troops as part of a NATO battle group, has embarked on a series of measures aimed at hardening the resolve of its 1.9 million citizens.
Some of the scenarios it’s planning for are alarming. In 2016, the government introduced a 75-page civil defence guide on how to survive a Russian invasion. It included tips on spotting spies and detecting enemy tanks and mines.