The main objective is “to provide a coordinated Western response to Russian disinformation and other elements of hybrid warfare.” The Institute for Statecraft is affiliated with the NATO HQ Public Diplomacy Division and the Home Office-funded ‘Prevent’ program, so objectivity is, of course, at the forefront of their work.
Operating on a budget of £1.9 million (US$2.4 million), the secretive Integrity Initiative consists of “clusters” of local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists and academics. The team is dedicated to searching for and publishing “evidence” of Russian interference in European affairs, while themselves influencing leadership behind the scenes, the documents claim.
The UK establishment appears to be conducting the very activities of which it and its allies have long-accused the Kremlin, with little or no corroborating evidence. The program also aims to “change attitudes in Russia itself” as well as influencing Russian speakers in the EU and North America, one of the leaked documents states.
At present, the vast network allegedly has clusters for Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Norway, Serbia, and Montenegro… but there’s more!
According to the Anonymous leak, major plans to expand the sphere of influence throughout eastern Europe, the US, and Canada, as well as the MENA region, are allegedly underway.
The clusters’ work is apparently done under absolute secrecy via concealed contacts embedded throughout British embassies, the leak claims, some of which are listed as part of the documentation.
In the documents, the Integrity Initiative states that sharing analysis of alleged “Russian attacks” (citation needed) with other countries in the network at a governmental level would likely increase international “collaboration and Alliance cohesion.”
The initiative claims it is not a government body, of course, but does work with unnamed British “government agencies.” The initiative has received £168,000 in funding from HQ NATO Public Diplomacy and £250,000 from the US State Department, the documents allege.
Some of its purported members include British MPs and high-profile “independent” journalists with a penchant for anti-Russian sentiment in their collective online oeuvre, as showcased by a brief glance at their Twitter feeds.
The case is being highlighted as one of the major examples, but similar operations can be carried out in numerous other EU states, Anonymous warns in their release.
RT.com has contacted the British Foreign Office and Statecraft and is awaiting their response.