Germany: Russia’s next target: German politics? | Financial Times

Lisa was a Russian-born teenager living in Berlin who last January said she had been abducted and raped by three men she alleged were immigrants, noting they were “southerners” who spoke poor German. As the story spread on social media, Russian media outlets pounced on it, widely reporting the 13-year-old girl had been held as “a sex slave”. Before the police could complete their investigation, Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, accused the German authorities of “sweeping problems under the rug”. Berlin responded by warning Moscow not to exploit the case “for political propaganda”. A few days later, prosecutors concluded the girl had not been abducted or raped, but had gone to a friend’s home to hide from her parents after getting into trouble at school. Despite the prosecutors’ findings, Russian media issued dire warnings about sex crimes committed by immigrants, prompting an outcry in Germany’s ethnic Russian community. Protests were staged across the country, including a demonstration by 700 people outside Angela Merkel’s chancellery.