Disinfo: A new Union of Journalists for “independent media” established in Finland

Summary

A new Union of Journalists for alternative – a better description would be independent – media established in Finland.

Disproof

The context: The actual Union of Journalists in Finland (UJF), www.journalistiliitto.fi, , has nearly 15 000 members who work for the print media, broadcasting, publishing and new communications media. It is an independent trade union that negotiates collective bargaining agreements. It works to further the financial, social and professional standing of its members, both salaried and freelancers. The union does not belong to but cooperates with trade union confederations.

The copycat NGO has been registered officially within the Finnish Register of Associations in 2016 with the name "Suomen vapaa sana riippumaton toimittajayhdistys ry". However, this Union imitates the UJF URL address (www.journalistiliitto.com), . Vice-chair of the copycat organisation is also MV-lehti's editor-in-chief, a Finn who resided for years in occupied Donetsk and ran a propaganda media operation there. In the "About" section of the website the war in Ukraine is described as a "civil war", which is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation. See the archived version of the web page here.

Twitter has suspended the account of the copycat organisation.

Further background by journalist Laura Halminen and more on an earlier similar operation targeting the Helsinki Hybrid CoE.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 177
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Finnish
  • Country: Finland
  • Keywords: Media
  • Outlet: MV-lehti
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Crimea returned to the embrace of Russia

Relations between Russia and Ukraine are experiencing high political tension since the return of Crimea in March 2014 to the embrace of Russia. Beside this, Moscow has supported the authorities and residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk to unilaterally declare their independence from Kyiv. The conflict appeared after the outbreak of an acute crisis in Ukraine in 2014, which led to a power change in Kyiv. The new rulers hardened their approach to the Russian-speaking population.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Crimea did not "return" to Russia but was illegally annexed by Moscow. On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

NATO: We will bring Serbia back to the stone age

NATO’s generals have unequivocally announced that they will bring “Belgrade, and all of Serbia, back to the Stone Age.” NATO’s strikes and its armed attacks have killed more than 140,000 people.

Does anyone today believe NATO’s allegations that Russia intends to attack it?

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in former Yugoslavia, and the claim that the “Russian threat” is a false idea.

The NATO operation for Kosovo followed over a year of intense efforts by the UN and the Contact Group, of which Russia was a member, to bring about a peaceful solution.

Greta Thunberg is a liar

The Swedish activist Greta Thunberg was accused of lying after she posted on her personal account on Twitter a picture of herself on the floor of a train coming from Germany. The picture shows Thunberg sitting on the floor of the train returning from the climate summit in Madrid to Sweden. She explained that her train from Basel had been cancelled, and therefore she had to take another train without a seat. Meanwhile, the activist stressed that crowded trains “is a great sign because it means that the demand for train travel is high”.

In response, the German railroad company, “Deutsche Bahn” wrote on its Twitter account that it would have been good if Thunberg talked about “how friendly and competent you were looked after by our team at your seat in first-class”.

Disproof

This article is part of a vicious campaign by Russian state media against Greta Thunberg. The campaign itself is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign against the climate movement.

It is true that Thunberg tweeted a photograph of herself sitting on the floor of a German train on Saturday with the caption: “Traveling on overcrowded trains through Germany. And I’m finally on my way home.” It is also true that the German railway company Deutsche Bahn AG implied in a tweet that Greta did have a seat in the first class. However, the part of the story that this piece conveniently missed in order to smear Greta is that she was not offered a seat except after more than four hours into her journey.