External Publications

Aug 23, 2016

Germany: Target of Russian Disinformation

DGAP expert Stefan Meister examines the "Lisa case" for the magazine NATO Review

This spring's media storm surrounding the hoax about a Russian-German girl who claimed to have been molested by refugees, was a wake-up call for Germany's political elite. For the first time, the links became clear between Russian domestic and foreign media campaigns against Germany and Russian politics at the highest level.



The German government promptly advised the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) in coordination with the Foreign Office to check Russian sources of manipulation of German public opinion.

Germany‘s leading role in the Ukraine crisis, Angela Merkel's consistent position on sanctions against Russia and her leadership in Europe make the German government a core target of Russian disinformation.

The “Lisa Case“ also shows not only the failure of Germany's partnership for modernization with Russia but also the dysfunctionality of Russia's attempts to use personal ties and informal networks to influence German decision-making and policy when it comes to the current crisis and, in particular, the person of Chancellor Merkel. While the German government remains strongly committed to keeping channels for dialogue open, we see a complete loss of trust in relations that will be very hard to rebuild in the forseeable future.

Read the full article on NATO Review here.

Bibliographic data

Meister, Stefan. “Germany: Target of Russian Disinformation.” August 2016.

Published in NATO Review, July 27, 2016