The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) fostered and supported the BBC and Reuters to carry on a series of concealed programs with the purpose of promoting regime change inside Russia and undermining its government across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, according to a series of leaked documents, reported The Grayzone, an independent investigative news website.
According to the leaked materials, the FCO cultivated an “attitudinal change in the participants,” boosting a “positive impact” on their “perception of the UK,” by training programs of Russian journalists managed by Reuters.
The leaked documents showed that BBC Media Action and the Thomson Reuters Foundation were involved in a concealed information warfare campaign just for countering Russia. Together with the Counter Disinformation & Media Development (CDMD), a barely known department of the UK FCO, the media organizations worked with a batch of intelligence contractors in a covert entity – “the Consortium.”
These revelations show that when MPs were railing about Russia, British agents were using the BBC and Reuters to deploy precisely the same tactics that politicians and media commentators were accusing Russia of using,” said Chris Williamson, a former UK Labour MP who tried to apply public scrutiny to the CDMD’s secret activities, reported The Grayzone.
The authenticity of the leaked materials was confirmed by Thomson Reuters Foundation spokesperson Jenny Vereker, according to The Grayzone.
In October 2020, some leaked documents, closely resembling UK FCO-related documents, were released anonymously, The Grayzone reported, which also revealed a tremendous propaganda campaign funded by the UK organization to foster support for regime change in Syria.
Reuters and BBC participated in UK FCO’s project to undermine Russia
According to the news agency, the newly leaked documents illustrated how the BBC and Reuters tried to assist the British foreign ministry in its desire to improve its “ability to respond and to promote our message across Russia,” and to “undermine the Russian State’s influence on its near neighbours.”
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, the documents detail how the British government established a network of influence agents in the Russian-language social media segment.
Russia is awaiting the UK’s reaction to the leak of Foreign Office documents detailing how the British government controls the work of various media, as well as how it established a network of influence agents in the Russian-language social media segment, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Facebook Saturday.
We can’t stop reading while awaiting London’s reaction. Who knows, maybe this is all a lie. And they will have to make a statement: millions of pounds were pumped into clandestine informational campaigns,” she pointed out.
The diplomat explained that the leaked Foreign Office papers document how the UK government “finances and manually controls the operation of various media via intermediaries, and how it formed a network of influence agents in the Russian-language segment of social media.”
In particular, the British focused on Meduza and MediaZona. There are hundreds of papers detailing the London propaganda machine, Zakharova said.
Reuters and BBC participated in UK FCOs project to undermine Russia