Moscow Slams Reports On Threatening NATO Pilots' Families As Attempt To Smear Russia
The article by Dutch Telegraaf newspaper about threatening phone calls allegedly received by families of NATO pilots from Russian speakers is a deliberate disinformation move, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday
Earlier in August, the newspaper published a story about the families of Dutch pilots in Lithuania receiving threats in 2017. According to the media, family members were threatened by an unidentified person with a heavy Russian accent. The article heavily referenced anonymous witness accounts and classified data from the military intelligence.
"The facts that the article explicitly speaks of Russians, directly cites facts provided by anonymous sources, which allegedly heard a Russian dialect, Russian accent in that speech, all indicate a premeditated, purposeful and simply disgusting disinformation to once again portray Russia as an aggressor," Zakharova said.
NATO jets have been policing the region's sky since April 2004. In January 2017, the Netherlands' Air Forces took over the policing mission in the Baltic region from the French and later that year passed it over to Poland.