Rape by "southern-looking men" made up

A 13-year-old Russian-German girl from Berlin has admitted that her claim that she was raped by "southern-looking men" was made up. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had accused the German authorities of trying to cover up the alleged incident. How long is the arm of Russian propaganda?

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Handelsblatt (DE) /

Russia trying to weaken EU with propaganda

The purported rape led to protests by thousands of people of Russian origin in Germany in the past weeks. The case shows how Russian propaganda is trying to destabilise Europe, the liberal business daily Handelsblatt concludes:

“Firstly Russian state broadcasters mostly cover foreign affairs in the main news programmes to divert attention from the hopeless state of their own economy. Secondly the Kremlin wants to show people how dangerous refugees would be for Russia. … Thirdly this case is not just a textbook example of Russian propaganda but also an indication of Moscow's active support for right-wing extremists in Europe, be it in the form of propagandist help for the [neo-Nazi] NPD party in the Berlin case, loans for France's far-right Front National, or political support for pro-Moscow parties in Hungary, Bulgaria and elsewhere. The Kremlin too is aiming for a 'change of regime'.”

Die Welt (DE) /

Berlin must summon Russian ambassador

The purported rape of a 13-year-old girl of Russian origin in Berlin has triggered outrage in Russian Internet media. While the German police say the act never took place, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has cast doubt on their assessment. The investigation of the case remains a matter for Germany to deal with, the conservative daily Die Welt comments:

“The way Lavrov brazenly referred to the purported rape victim as 'our Lisa' was spooky. As in Ukraine and elsewhere it appears that here too people of Russian origin are being declared wards of Moscow. ... [The German government must] summon the Russian ambassador and make it clear to him that Germany is as little willing to tolerate the defamation and undermining of its liberal system as it is the intimidation of German Kremlin critics. Furthermore the extent to which Russian secret service members have infiltrated the German Federal Republic, and their connections with local extremists must also be brought to light."”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Russia extending its battle zone

The conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung also takes a clear stance on the issue saying that the Kremlin is exploiting the alleged rape:

“Putin's goals go further: what weakens the EU helps the Kremlin. Certain states are more vulnerable to pressure. So the Kremlin is using nationalist forces, from the Front National to the Alternative for Germany for its own purposes. Putin's media have long been fomenting distrust of the Western elites. In recent weeks the Kremlin propaganda machinery, in cahoots with the NPD [the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany] has used the case of an alleged rape committed by migrants in Berlin to incite hatred among Germany's Russian-speaking population. Last weekend's demonstrations in Berlin and elsewhere, along with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov's dark insinuations are the culmination (for the time being) of the efforts to extend the battle zone.”