Dutch newspaper warns against Russian disinformation in Western media

The Russians are using Western journalists from minor news outlets to spread disinformation in the media, said the Dutch daily newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, citing the “independent journalist” Sonja van der Ende, an embedded reporter with the Russian army, as an example.

Only a handful of Western journalists are telling the truth – said the host of the popular news programme Vremya broadcast on Russian television’s channel one – but there are reporters who do not shy away from doing so. A group of such “independent journalists” has been invited to Donbas by Euroasia, an organisation founded by the Russian political scientist Alexander Dugin. Among the “self-appointed” journalists from unspecified media outlets, was Sonja van der Ende, former member of the Socialist Party and blogger, whose Facebook page has 4,800 followers.

“It turned out that we could go to Ukraine under the protection of the Russian army to show the truth about the crimes committed by the Ukrainians during the war, which they had provoked,” van der Ende told Algemeen Dagblad. Previously, she was “uncovering the truth” about the COVID-19 pandemic on her blog, where she describes a secret global government, Western plans to bring Russia to its knees, and the ineffectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine. In her opinion, the Bucha massacre was faked and there was no attack on the hospital in Mariupol. The true crime is being committed against the Russian-speaking people of Ukraine.

Louk Faesen, who researches Russian disinformation at the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, is not surprised by Van den Ende’s reports. He stresses that “foreign independent journalists” are being used by Russia for internal reasons, to spread disinformation and strengthen the Kremlin propaganda.

“Some Western media are actually directly sponsored by the Russian intelligence service,” Fasen told Algemeen Dagblad.