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Russian ambassador slams Catalunya 'Kremlin interference' claims
RUSSIAN ambassador in Spain Yuri Korchagin has slammed claims about Kremlin-funded media sources seeking to discredit the latter country during the Catalunya referendum weeks using bots, fake Twitter and Facebook accounts, and pro-Chávez websites in Venezuela.
A front-page headline in Spanish national daily broadsheet El País yesterday (Saturday) claimed 'digital disruption' by Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik, both owned by the State of Russia, had led to the proliferation of damning information and focused on police violence on voting day.
The report cited a study of over five million social media accounts by visiting researcher Javier Lesaca at the USA's George Washington University, which showed that around 32% of profiles distributing Kremlin news sources about Catalunya were invented and another 30% or so were linked to Chávez sympathisers.
Korchagin says the reports are not only 'erroneous', but 'highly dangerous'.
“Various manifestations of populism exist, the most common being some politician or another wielding sensationalist slogans which are, nevertheless, not really viable, but there are also populists among press reporters,” the ambassador states.
“The most distinctive feature of all populists is that of proposing easy and even primitive solutions - which are, by definition, impossible – to a complex problem.”
Korchagin says the actions of 'certain Spanish reporters' is 'very disappointing'.
“They're trying to blame the complicated nature of the Catalunya crisis on Russian interference, which is erroneous and highly dangerous,” he states.
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