site.btaWhole State and Whole Society Alone Can Combat Hybrid Threats - Defence Minister
"Combating disinformation requires the efforts of government institutions, independent regulators and public organizations concerned with defence. I am focusing on finding an option to counter Russian disinformation in the armed forces so that it would be clear that service members, on whom the Government and the National Assembly spend huge resources for rearmament, pay rises and improvement of the social status, are not susceptible to influence in the interest of a foreign power," Bulgarian Defence Minister Todor Tagarev said here on Friday, quoted by his Ministry in a press release.
He was speaking at a forum on "Russian Disinformation and the Bulgarian Institutional and Media Narrative," which took place with the participation of journalists, political analysts, NGO representatives and other experts.
"Hybrid threats can be combated solely and exclusively by the whole State and the entire society. All government institutions must be involved in this effort, including security services, counterintelligence, financial intelligence, all types of regulators which oversee and protect competition and regulate the handling of the matter by the media, public and private entities. The response cannot come from a single institution or even from the government, it must come from the entire society," Tagarev argued.
He singled out the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the US and Bulgaria on increasing cooperation to counter foreign information manipulation as an important step in combating disinformation at the national level. The Minister said that such interactions focus on training and setting up structures in government institutions.
Tagarev pointed out that his Ministry concentrates its efforts on building capacity for combating propaganda and disinformation and actively involving military media in countering disinformation campaigns.
"I view hybrid threats as a combination of activities which are implemented constantly to reduce the capacity and the will to resist malign interference. Russia continues to pursue an aggressive strategy to destabilize the countries of the Black Sea region," Tagarev said on October 28 at a conference in Sofia on Countering WMD Hybrid Threats and Malign Interference in the Black Sea Region.