Intelligence officials here are on high alert, bracing for a wave of cyberattacks, embarrassing information leaks and fake news stories spread on social media as part of an expected Russian campaign to sow political discord ahead of next month’s German federal elections. The nation’s domestic intelligence agency says Moscow would like to see Chancellor Angela Merkel, a backer of sanctions against Russia, lose in September, but since that outcome is unlikely, the Kremlin can be expected to settle for any shenanigans that weaken the public’s “faith in democracy.” Many fear the Russian subversion effort will get fuel from the U.S. presidential vote while even contested charges of Russian hacking and meddling in the campaign have become a consuming political and legal distraction for the Trump administration.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has pointed to Russian influence on the recent U.S. and French elections, warning “it cannot be ruled out that there will be similar attempts on the election in Germany.”
But for some here, particularly in East Germany, where Russian President Vladimir Putin once honed his skills as a KGB operative, there is little question that a Kremlin-backed subversion campaign is already well underway — and that its aim may be even more pervasive than German intelligence wants to admit.
There are as many as 3 million Russian speakers in Germany and, according to Dmitri Geidel, a local city council member in the heavily Russian-German Marzahn-Hellersdorf district of East Berlin, Moscow’s aim is to agitate them and draw international attention to their presence.
Full Article: Germany expects Russia election meddling – Washington Times.