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Russian embassy in Canada rejects claims of cyberattacks as ‘witch hunt’

October 05, 4:29 UTC+3 OTTAWA

"The real aim of this crude propaganda campaign is to brainwash and intimidate own citizens," the embassy said

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OTTAWA, October 5. /TASS/. Canada’s claims of Russian cyberattacks are nothing more but a new round of anti-Russian witch hunt, the Russian embassy in the country told TASS in a statement on Thursday.

"The new round of anti-Russian witch hunt around the far-fetched accusations of some cyberattacks, which is currently being fuelled by the United States, the United Kingdom and their obedient allies, including Canada, is nothing more than cheap spy hysteria and empty guesses," the embassy said.

"The real aim of this crude propaganda campaign is to brainwash and intimidate own citizens and the international community with the non-existent Russian threat and to divert attention from NATO’s ongoing buildup of its offensive cyber warfare potential," the embassy said.

Global Affairs Canada said on Thursday that the Government of Canada "assesses with high confidence" that Russia’s military intelligence GRU was responsible for cyberattacks against the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and world’s anti-doping agency WADA in 2016.

"The incidents identified by Canada and our allies, including the GRU’s attempt to undermine the work of the OPCW, underscore the Russian government’s disregard for the rules-based international order, international law and established norms," the Canadian government’s foreign policy arm said. "The attempt to compromise the networks of the OPCW is consistent with Russia’s broader attacks on the independence and professionalism of the personnel of the OPCW."

Earlier, Dutch Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld claimed at a news conference that Dutch military intelligence and security services had allegedly foiled an attack by Russian hackers against the OPCW. She claimed that four Russians - Alexey Morenets, Yevgeny Serebryakov, Oleg Sotnikov and Alexey Minin - were involved in the incident. Bijleveld claimed that all four worked for the Main Directorate (formerly the Main Intelligence Directorate, the GRU) of Russia’s General Staff. If she is to be believed, the equipment confiscated from them was evidence that they had tried to get access to information about the Malaysian MH17 flight disaster in Ukraine.

Shortly after, the Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed those allegations as "spy hysteria.".

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