Disinformation in the Energy War – Gas, Oil and Electricity – Has Become a Tool

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As a response to the sanctions imposed on Russia by the West-European countries and the USA for the military invasion of a sovereign state, Kremlin opened a front in the heart of Europe and “turned off the faucets” of gas. As a result, the price of the energy on the global market increased astronomically thereby making the continent face a brutal economic crisis and recession and putting to the test European solidarity with Ukraine

Author: Zoran BOJAROVSKI


There was no hesitation at all in the solidarity, condemnation and undertaking common actions for sanctioning the dangerous military grames of Vladimir Putin, but the extremely high energy prices and the issue of whether energy will be available or not, challenged Europe’s resistence against the dependency of Russian gas, including the disinformation campaign accompanying this energy war as the situation described by Alex Munton, global gas markets expert in the consultancy company Rapidan Energy Group.

Russian disinformation campaigns tend to undermine Europe’s support for Ukraine by subverting public debate and imposing defeatist narratives about the future of Europe, warned several Members of the European Parliament.

In such a response, the Member of the European Parliament, Nathalie Loiseau from the French liberals, Head of the Security Subcommittee of the European Parliament said that ”malicious misinformation campaigns originating from Russia” have been going on for years with an intensity”designed to deter EU public opinion from supporting Ukraine, and accept the increase of sanctions against Russia”.


Russian disinformation as a trigger for social tensions

The threats from Russian disinformation act as a trigger for social tensions in Germany, and Kostantin von Notz, the chairperson of the Control Committee in the Bundestag from the Green Party promptly recognized and warned about this fact.

Julia Smirnova, from the think-tank Istitute for Strategic Dialogue, in the same Deutsche Welle article stresses that pro-Russian activists „from the very beginning of the war raised the issue of energy shortages in Europe presenting it as a consequence from Western sanctions and, in general, as a consequence of the solidarity of the West towards Ukraine”.

Russian propaganda is spreading the narrative that Germans must be freezing because of Ukraine, said Smirnova.

She also added that:

Now, when Winter is knocking on the door, such a narrative has enormous potential to reach people with legitimate fears and concerns.

To intercept social tensions, the European Commission proposed extensive interventions for allocating approximately 140 billion Euros – money of the European citizens – as support for the companies and households.

All countries separately create crisis budgets. The United Kingdom announced a Relief Programme of 46 billion Dollars, Sweden proclaimed liquidity guarantees of over 20 billion Dollars for its energy companies, while Germany, apart from the social impact protective measures, started to nationalize large energy gas giants.

Apart from these measures of EU Member-States – that differ from one country to the next – the European Commission announced its set of proposals expected to mitigate the impact of the high energy prices caused by Russia through its President Ursula von der Leyen on 14th September 2022. The main points of this set are: joint gas storage; 3 billion Euros to facilitate massive hydrogen development technology; energy savings programme; taxes on fosil fuel companies given that the current crisis partly fuels higher profits from surging oil and gas prices and price cap on electricity – EU proposes a EUR 180/MWh day-ahead wholesale price cap.

This scheme is expected to bring some EUR 140 billion in excess revenue that would be redistributed to the final energy consumers – i.e., to those in the industry most at risk and to the households.

Careful analysts of the approach of the European Commission for dealing with this “military” state of affairs with the energy caused by Russia paid special attention to one part of the address of the President of the European Commission when she said that the current situation brought to the surface all the weaknesses of the electricity market in the EU, admitting that ”we need a new market model for electricity that will really work and bring us back into balance”.

This brings us to the most important lesson dearly paid – that Europe learnt about the necessity of energy resilience and independence from the East.


War in Ukraine will facilitate the European Green Agenda

National experts say that it will be difficult for Europe this Winter, and maybe even the next, with this price of Russian gas. But, within several years, the continent will secure its energy independence.

The President of the Regulatory Energy Commission, Marko Bislimovski, gives an illustrative explication about the gas prices and how they became part of the tools in Putin’s war.

In 2020, the production costs of a thousand cubic metres of gas for Gazprom was around 40 US Dollars. I don’t believe that the cost increased in 2021 or even this year. And if we add the maximum transportation cost, the price would reach 100 Dollars the most for 1.000 cubic metres Siberian gas. End of August this year, the price of Gazprom’s gas reached 2,900 Dollars for a thousand cubic metres. That’s how the war in Ukraine is funded, says Bislimovski from the REC as part of the interview for this analysis.

Mitko Andreevski, one of the most knowledgeable energy consultants in Macedonia, believes that Europe is looking into several scenarios and will find a way to deal with this threat.

Will there be damage? Yes, there will! Will it cope with it? Yes, it will. Let’s not forget that as part of the Green Agenda, Europe planned – and it is being implemented gradually – decreasing the dependency from natural gas and completely excluding its use until 2050, pinpointed Andreevski.

Bislimovski also stresses Europe’s long-term strategy, i.e., EU’s complete liberation from Russia’s energy dependency by investing large amounts in renewable sources of energy, windmills, and photovoltaic installations. If there is anything useful from this exclusively crisis situation, that is the process of facilitating the implementation of the Green Agenda.

Currently there is an upward trend to invest in bateries for storing electricity produced from photovoltaics and wind. That way reserves are being created which can be used whenever required, explains the President of the REC, Bislimovski.

One of the long-term strategies for overcoming the crisis mentioned by Andreevski is the additional benefits for investing in the construction of new facilities of renewable sources for electricity and LNG terminals i.e., liquified gas. Germany is already building them. In the region, in Greece, one is in Alexandroupoli and another is announced in Volos.


Europe will not forgive Russia

All of these events are announcing the new global balance that includes the economic side this time around. Although market economy and the nature of money do not recognize military and political borders, many years will go by before accomplishing the balance dictated by these factors. Europe, however, will not forgive Russia, and Russia will have to accept long-term consequences for daring to put the continent on its knees, as the biggest market before its gates.

Russia naturally belongs to Europe and long-term it should be directed towards the West. But now, it is funding the war with these prices. However, when you finance a war that you are starting to lose, that becomes a special problem. Russia with such an energy potential, in peaceful conditions, can govern the world without war. This now is violence, deems Bislimovski.

On the other hand, he says, the fact that Russia is now turning and building a pipleline to China, Pakistan and other markets in the East, will not secure the prices imposed on Europe. They will be much, much lower – just like the oil sold to India.

Europe will turn to the other big energy resource countries such as Azerbaijan, Qatar, USA, and Russia will become a Chinese collony when China, as the fastest growing economy, will enter full-scale on the Russian market, long-term, which is not a very smart option, predicts Bislimovski.

In the war with disinformation and energy, the best way to make inefficient Putin’s new tool – energy – is the integration of Europe into a single energy security network, claim the analysts of one of the oldest US magazine “Atlantic”. That is one of the priorities and necessary requirement to enable full operation of the North-Atlantic Alliance (NATO) in the world changing in front of our eyes as to protect its Member-States.


Energy war – case study Macedonia: Most expensive is the energy you do not have

And while the disinformation war is intensified and disseminated throughout South-East Europe, especially on the Balkans, in expectation of the long “cold” Winter, which neither national politicians hide from the public, North Macedonia is not a silent observer.

How efficient will the measures and policies undertaken to mitigate the blow be remains to be seen, since there are so many open issues, with new problems appearing with every new day.

Before seeing what is in front of Macedonia and whether our country will embrace the changes that prove to be inevitable and dearly paid by Europe, the brief overview of the situation in the region points out that in our geographical environment, the country that will deal best with the energy crisis is Greece. Energy consultant, Mitko Andreevski, mentions two reasons.

First, because the only EU country that does not have – and probably will not have – restrictions, and for which the obligation to reduce the use of gas and save 15% electricity imposed by the EU does not apply. Second reason is the geographical position of Greece. The average temperature during the Winter is uncomparably higher in relations to Germany or Sweden, for example, says Andreevski.

In addition, even in such a crisis – explains Andreevski – Greece has electricity surpluses and is the biggest exporter in the region. In the last few years, Greece embarked upon a serious initiative to build energy facilities, above all, an enormous number of photovoltaic facilities and gas power-plants supplied with gas capacities from its own sources as well as reserves in the ports, not to mention the connection with Azerbaijan through TAP, thereby operating with a capacity to receive and store huge amounts of natural gas and to transform it into electricity, independent of the gas obtained from Russia.

From the other countries, Serbia is facing shortages of electricity, but laterly we are seeing an intensive energy-diplomatic engagement of the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic, who established contect with Azerbaijan and met with Erdogan for the same purpose and most probably will visit Bulgaria for the same purpose.

Let’s not forget that Bosnia and Herzegovina has significant capacity to produce electricity. With the connection with Republika Srpska and the 100% coverage of natural gas due to the Agreement with Russia, with competitive prices, Serbia will not have restrictions of power supply during the Winter, deems Andreevski.

Bulgaria is also an exporter of electricity and that leaves North Macedonia and Kosovo to suffer the worst blow. North Macedonia will be one of the worst cases in the region, predicts Andreevski.


Macedonia between the worst and the less bad scenario

Experts say that when such an energy-related announcement is at sight, one always develops the worst scenario. Extreme predictions are projected to express a clear outlook about the expectations and the steps that need to be undertaken.

The worst case scenario for Macedonia is not to have access to natural gas. In that case, heating energy supply in Skopje would be questionable and instead of natural gas, heavy fuel oil will be used as a substitute for heating purposes, except for TE-TO that works exclusively on gas.

If natural gas “disappears” for companies of our industry that use gas as energy, a serious problem would occur. It will need to be substituted with extra light fuel, oil or heavy oil, if possible at all, warns the President of the Regulatory Energy Commission, Bislimovski.

To sharpen the contrast and get a clear picture, the companies from TIDZ-3 use gas. A significant number of companies are foreign investors, some are large companies from Skopje that are export-oriented such as Alkoloid, Makstil and others. They are the main capacities that fill our GDP, and if they have problems or if their operational costs are increased, we shall have to face serious economic ramifications.

The other problem, apart from the problem that could cause discontinuation of gas supply, is electricity. We do not fully meet the needs for power supply in the country with all of the available capacities. That will make us face our old problem of overloading the transmission system with frequent outages, since the distribution network is not designed for electric heating.

ESM stated that it will secure the needs of households and small consumers, but the number of companies on the free market is large. Their suppliers import the required electricity from the free market, but this time quite expensive which makes the aid that the Government might try to provide with subsidies or similar manner much “more expensive”.

Energy consultant, Mitko Andreevski, says that it is good to have Bulgaria for a neighbour in this respect because Bulgaria is a serious electricity exporter. Efforts are made to provide reasonably priced electricity which can mainly be determined by the highest limit proposed by the European Commission of EUR 180/MWh.

A problem with imports may occur if there is shortage of surplus electricity on the market in Europe due to the war. That is a less likely scenario, but as a bad scenario it should be taken into consideration. Under the circumstances, we can have all the money in the world, but to no avail if there is no electricity, said expert Andreevski.

Andreevski explains that the problem with this scenario is that France from an electricity exporter became import dependent due to the problems with some of the nuclear power plants it relied on that made France turn to the European electricity market.


National and international factors affecting energy sustainability of North Macedonia

As far as gas is concerned, for the time being it comes as Damocles sword hanging over the head in the form of a faucet managed by the hand of Gazprom, i.e., Kremlin.

Two large trading operators in the country import natural gas – Makpetrol and TE-TO. The latter purchases exclusively for meeting the needs of its co-generation facility in the country, while the former supplies for the industry and from February onwards for BEG. That gas is Russian and it comes from Gazprom via the Turkish stream.

This reveals the paradoxical situation of our country – in this extremely emergency situation, Russian gas from Gazprom continues to flow.

Bislimovski from REC explains this with the small gas consumption which is a drop in the ocean for Gazprom.

Last year we had record gas consumption of 427 million cubic metres. For Gazprom that is a drop in the ocean. As illustration, now Serbia has 660 million cubic metres of natural gas reserves which is a quantity for only two months. We do not have a significant gas consumption. If it wasn’t for TE-TO, we wuld have required 130-140 million cubic metres of gas, explains Bislimovski.

REC President, Bislimovski, says that although ”we are secure until the end of the year, unfortunately we never did manage to secure capacities for meeting fully the domestic needs of energy, especially with electricity. That makes us dependent on several external factors”.

If Russia definitely stops the gas, we will have a serious problem. In such a predicament we will not be able to use the potential of TE-TO, because this co-generation heating facility, apart from providing “heat” for Skopje, produces electric power and works on gas only. TE-TO is a foreign and private company and it must work continuously, because it secures inexpensive heating energy and from a technical point of view, it has a positive effect on the electric power system because it decreases the pressure from bigger consumption of electricity, specifies Bislimovski.

Bislimovski’s warning should be taken very seriously since TE-TO supplies gas from daughter-companies of Gazprom. If Gazprom, specifically, the Russian Defence Ministry, decides to stop the flow of gas, we will have a grave problem in the country. TE-TO and the heating facilities in Skopje will have to switch to heavy fuel, thereby opening the issue of air population. Under the circumstances, we will have to swallow the problem and accept the implementation of the worst scenario ever.

Answering the question “what needs to be done” and whether the financial aid of 350 million Euros of the Government of North Macedonia would suffice to escape the less unfavourable scenario, Bislimovski said:

It should be known that according to the current gas prices on the market, only the heating plants in Skopje will require approximately 200 million Euros. Now 50-60 million Euros are required for heavy fuel.

Bislimovski, yet again, stresses that the most important thing at the moment is to secure raw material for the production of electric power, i.e., enough coal and heavy fuel while the country tries to find cheaper natural gas.

Such gas can come from Greece as LNG i.e., liquified gas, then natural gas from – I assume – Qatar, Algeria, Azerbaijan gas from TAP as well as Russian from private suppliers for the country, informed Bislimovski.


Gas terminal Alexandroupoli, Macedonian investment in independence from the East

The predicament in which Macedonia found itself, from abusing Russian energy potentials as a tool in politics and in the Ukrainian war, opened additional essential issues regarding the strategy of our country related to its own energy independence as the only right perspective.

In the last two to three years, investments in large photovoltaic and wind-power facilities were announced and the two biggest companies for renewable energy – the German WPD with the largest wind farm in the region, and “Akio Energy” from France with a solar park, also the biggest in the region. Until the end of the year, the evaluation of the bids for the sole and final investor to build the Chebren project of the Greek Consortium PPC will be completed followed by the signing of the contract for construction.

What is discouraging is the implementation of these big projects. The HPP Chebren project was conceptualized back in 1963 and finally reached the second phase after 13 or 14 failed tenders.

This kind of concerns are threatening the participation of North Macedonia in the Alexandroupoli project that includes two mega sub-projects – LNG Gas Terminal, i.e., liquified gas from the USA, Qatar, Egypt and other countries and the gas power plant of “ prstofat (pinch)” next to the terminal with a capacity of 800 Megawatt hours that, according to the business plan of the investors, should be completed towards the end of 2024.

North Macedonia was invited from the very beginning of this large project – supported also by the EU with 167 million Euros – to be a partner, i.e., a shareholder, but the Government of Dimitar Kovacevski, after the previous Prime-minister Zoran Zaev initiated the procedure, did not undertake concrete steps and the whole procedure was reduced to many signed Memoranda and Expressions of Interest without specific agreements, except for the gas lease agreement.

The Alexandroupoli project is not just a gas terminal with quantities that need to be supplied, but a gas plant as energy facility with a capacity of 800 Megawatts that will be completed in 2024.

For the purpose of this study, ESM informed that from the gas terminal in Alexandroupoli – whose construction started May this year – AD ESM will purchase 10 percent of its capacity, i.e., the agreement has already been signed. The capacity of the gas terminal will be 5,5 billion nm3, out of which AD ESM, i.e., North Macedonia will procure 10 percent, or 500 million nm3 gas of the overall capacity of the terminal. Our annual gas consumption is approximately 400 nm3, meaning the country has a need for such a quantity and that only Alexandroupoli can secure sustainable and safe procurement of non-Russian gas thereby solving the Gazprom gas dependency issue or the problem with the Russian Defence Ministry.

This is important since consumption will be increasing bearing in mind AD ESM’s development programme that provides for a gas power plant in the range of REC Bitola, a gas power plant in Energetika-Skopje, possible shift of TEC Negotino from heavy fuel to gas or the construction of an entirely new gas power plant next to the current one in Negotino.

The geographical position of the country on the crossroads and with our participation in Alexandroupoli it became possible with additional inter-connectors through North Macedonia to supply other countries, above all Albania and Kosovo, hence to earn significant proceeds as a country.

The ESM-agreement will not be able to be implemented if our country through the National Energy Resources (NER) does not sign the agreement to purchase 10 percent of the shares of the gas terminal thereby acquiring partial ownership of the terminal as an infrastructure.

This opportunity was arranged in 2020 by the previous Prime-minister Zaev, who managed to secure the participation of our country in this project by getting the consent of the five shareholders DEPA (Greek state-owned company for constructing gas infrastructure), Bulgartransgas (state-owned company for gas distribution), Gaslog (private company for LNG transport), Copelouzos (private company for gas and gas infrastructure trade) and DESFA (state-owned company for gas distribution) for partner shareholders by agreeing to sell 2 percent of shares each for Macedonia, i.e., for NER, the shareholding company for energy-related activities in state ownership.

Answering the question why this agreement has been postponed for two years, NER explained:

Negotiations are ongoing to harmonize the text of the Interconnection Agreement between GAMA (Macedonian gas distributor) and Bulgartransgas that will be signed soon. Ongoing are also negotiations for harmonizing the roadmap between NER and Bulgartransgas that will hopefully also be signed soon. With that we will be defining all of our future directions of cooperation in the interest of both natural gas transmission systems.

Obviously, a great deal needed to be harmonized and too many “will” on the way. It remains to believe that an agreement signing event will be happening soon that will finally make official the specific participation of our country in the Gas Terminal Alexsandroupoli project.

As previously mentioned, this agreement will determine the lease of AD ESM for the quantity of 500 million cubic metres gas, because it is related to the 10 percent of our participation in the terminal worth 37 million Euros.

ESM explains that the value of the leased 500 million cubic metres gas for our needs will be 9,8 million Euro per annum and these funds will be part of the price of the gas, i.e., they will be embedded in the price and returned with the sales of the gas. In other words, there will not be any financial implications – instead, the funds invested in the lease will be returned.

ESM also specified that as regards the gas power plat Alexandroupoli, a Memorandum has been signed between ESM and the Greek side, but the Government has not adopted a decision yet for signing the agreement.

That is a good project, claims the President of the Regulatory Energy Commission, Bislimovski

Energy consultant, Andreevski, recommends greater proactivity in the project and stresses:

We were one of the first to be invited to participate in the project that is strongly supported by the USA.


North Macedonia and Bulgaria energy-connected with the help of USA and EU

In the meantime, in the middle of October 2022, the Bulgarian state-owned company for gas distribution “Bulgartransgas” announced that together with GAMA, the Macedonian state-owned company for gas transmission started the procedure for concluding an agreement for the interconnector Kyustendil/Zhidilovo on the Macedonian side in order to enable gas distribution.

This means that apart from the transmission of the Russian gas from Gazprom, GAMA will now be able to bring to our country the gas from Greece that was established with an interconnection link by Bulgaria and Greece on 1st October. President Stevo Pendarovski was also present on the ceremony.

With this link, and by connecting our country with Bulgaria by means of the interconnector Kyustendil/Zhidilovo, natural gas from Azerbaijan, Qatar and other countries, including LNG i.e., liquified gas from the USA, Qatar and other sources can come to North Macedonia from the gas terminal Alexandroupoli.

The interconnector Kyustendil/Zhidilovo will, in a certain way, double the needs and significance of our connector with Greece. Experience has proved that options are necessary therefore this initiative is extremely welcomed.

Bulgartransgas’ decision, i.e., Republic of Bulgaria’s decision, was preceded by the visit of the US ambassador in Athenes, Geoffrey Pyatt, of Sofia to „congratulate the Government there” for its commitment to reduce the Russian energy dependency of the country.

Also, ambassador Pyatt stated that the USA is ”mobilizing its energy resources to help Europe”.

When connecting the points ”Pyatt in Sofia” with “Ursula von der Leyen in Skopje with a set of energy support to the country” the impression left is that North Macedonia and the region are in the centre of attention of both USA and EU in the energy independence from Russia strategy.


Penetration of disinformation in the energy war in Macedonia

At the same time with the economic war for securing gas for longer periods of time or “for other options heavy fuel and coal”, Macedonia also became target for energy-related disinformation for the purpose of fully undermining and destroying public trust in governmental measures and policies including competent institutions for overcoming the threats from the energy crisis.

For example, in the beginning of the war in Ukraine, when it was clear that a serious energy crisis and economic recession will occur, the position of the biggest opposition party in Macedonia was to criticize for sake of winning political points from the crisis.

It was this party that in the middle of last January, less than thirty days since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, when it became clear that Russian gas became a tool in the war, came out with an announcement claiming that:

If the government of Zaev and the pawn Kovacevski had tried to provide cheap gas from the international market like all governments in the region and the world, Macedonian companies and citizens would not be paying for the most expensive gas now. Citizens are now paying more for heating because the government did not provide low gas prices when other governments did.

Truthmeter’s counter-spin “High Gas Import Prices Are Not Related to Government Negotiating Capabilities” revealed the disinformation within the announcement, ”because although formally and legally the Government negotiates the gas price with the Russians, still its role and influence on the price – as speculated by the above-noted reasons – is quite limited. An attempt of the Russian side to influence the geo-political situation in the region is more likely, instead of actual economic negotiations through which the Macedonian side could have some kind of influence on the price”.

Disinformation became more frequent with the beginning of the war and the initial advancement of Russian occupational forces on the territory of Ukraine when Russia, as a response to the economic and political sanctions against Moscow, decided to terminate gas supply for some European countries, including Bulgaria.

Immediately after that followed more disinformation or semi-true stories such as the article dated 20th March titled “Macedonia without gas? – Supply under threat, Bulgaria repeals Russian gas”.

What is typical for such disinformation is that apart from the title, the article does not deal with Macedonia, but with Bulgaria and the situation it would find itself into once the Russian gas is stopped. It also tackles the response of the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic related to this issue – pointing out that stopping gas supply to Bulgaria does not stop gas transiting for other countries that have an agreement with Gazprom.

A national television also undertook the role of disinforming with semi-truths or incomplete information. In the video-story on its portal titled “Russia is closing the gas faucets for Bulgaria; for the time being Macedonia has gas, but the question is until when” the frontal piece of news is that gas for Bulgaria is stopped, while in second plan is the essential fact that until the Russian Federation decides to stop natural gas supply for Macedonia, the gas will arrive in continuity and regularly in the country because pipelines are just channels for transmission of agreed quantities for countries holding a contract with Gazprom or any other supplier from Russia.

As background, when disinformation as propaganda tool in North Macedonia is concerned, one should have in mind the study of the European Parliament published in 2021 ”Mapping Fake News and Disinformation in the Western Balkans and Identifying Ways to Effectively Counter Them”. The conclusion the study derives is that “while disinformation is frequently dicussed in the context of external threats to the functioning of governance and democracy, this study shows that foreign actors are not the most prominent culprits”.

For disinformation in that context one should pay attention to the words of Mitko Andreevski in his text titled “Ukrainian crisis and Russian gas as a tool for political aims” in the magazine “Challenges” from June 2022, published by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation where he specifies that regardless of the exclusive benefits for North Macedonia of the Alexandroupoli project in terms of diversification of gas supply sources ”the project is “bombarded” with fake news, incorrect numbers and percentages, incorrect projections of the price of the gas, untrue claims that the project is not based on a feasibility study, that it is too expensive etc.”.

Under conditions of actual and fierce war on the soil of Europe, fake news “bombs” have a clear motive for certain circles in our society, argues Andreevski in his text in the magazine “Challenges”.

President Pendarovski also points out that North Macedonia, in this energy war is a constant target of extremely serious hybrid threats from Russia that involve a political propaganda campaign of disinformation.

In an interview for the Greek newspaper ”Ethnos” Pendarovski says that the disinformation campaign is complex and as intense as in 2018 during the referendum for the Prespa Agreement.

The sensitive spots in the region are well-known to Moscow and indeed, Moscow is trying to penetrate them, stressed the President of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski for the Greek newspaper “Ethnos”.

The predicament in which North Macedonia found itself from the abuse of Russian energy potential as a tool in the politics and war against Ukraine, enhanced by disinformation, openned additional and essential issues cncerning the strategy of our country regarding its own energy independence as the only right perspective as well as in terms of developing authentic strategy and plan for fighting disinformation.

Regardless of whether these campaigns are coming from Russia, from other countries in the world, and even from domestic generators of disinformation, one should never forget, above all, the anti-democratic and destabilizing effect of disinformation.





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