September 5, 2017

Hybrid Coe Revealed “Yleisradio” Hybrid Operation – “YLE” gathering database of Russian-speaking experts capable of commenting Finnish presidential elections

Finnish broadcasting company “Yleisradio” is carrying out an intensified hybrid operation in order to bias Finnish presidential election coverage in Russian-language media. In order to influence Russian news content and produce fake news against Russian interests, in 2016 “Yleisradio” launched extended Russian language news service “Yle Novosti”, employing a handful of Russian-speaking operators, none of whom are Russian. On 7 September 2017, “Yle Novosti” operator called Katja Liukkonen addressed the Finnish-Russian expert community through Helsinki University mailing list “Aleksanteri Lista”, which reaches thousands of scholars in Finland and abroad, to identify Russian-speaking experts who would be capable of commenting Finnish presidential elections on Russian-language television. As Ms. Liukkonen claimed ”Yle Novosti” would need such an expert for a broadcast in January 2018, but they need that information already in September, that is half a year before. It is merely clear the “Yleiradio” is carrying on another hybrid operation, in order to identify Russian-speaking experts capable of commenting Finnish presidential elections, and to collect a database of such experts and their political views, and to react and intervene in their possible influence. “Turn yourself or your colleague in”, wrote Ms. Liukkonen, clearly in order to gather a database of such commentators. It is not plausible to think that “Yleisradio” would use crowdsourcing to find a Russian-speaking expert for such a purpose for half a year time in advance. The email sent by Ms Liukkonen is below:

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