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U.S. Military Tracking Russian Government News Agencies For Disinformation On Coronavirus

Prime Minister Mishustin closed Russia's border with China to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Kirill Zykov / Moskva News Agency

Newsweek: Exclusive: Documents Reveal U.S. Military is Tracking Russian Government News Agencies For Disinformation on Coronavirus

The U.S. military is bracing for possible Russian disinformation regarding the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, according to Department of Defense documents obtained by Newsweek.

Military planners are actively tracking disinformation campaigns promulgated by accounts operated by — or attributable to — the Russian government. Between January 28 and February 3, the "coronavirus" hashtag was the most used by major Russian news Twitter accounts, according to the documents.

Information about the new coronavirus flooding social media was cause for concern among World Health Organization (WHO) officials who said they were working to diminish an "infodemic." Such campaigns, while not uncommon, are an obstacle for implementing an effective response, those officials said.

But the documents obtained by Newsweek more broadly reveal U.S. military efforts to track and detail social media during a heated election year as cyber officials at U.S. Cyber Command are anticipating further Russian meddling in the 2020 presidential elections which could rival Kremlin efforts in 2016.

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WNU Editor: I have been following this story since the beginning. For now the Russian government news agencies have been saying the same thing as everyone else.

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