Disinfo: British curators are behind the persecution of Sputnik in Estonia

Summary

There are British curators behind the persecution of Sputnik [Estonia] by the Estonian authorities.

Disproof

This conspiracy theory is based on the concept that countries or organisations are not independent but under the control of other countries or organisations. Examples of such disinformation narratives include NATO's Eastern European members are under Washington’s political and military control or The Economist is a mouthpiece of the Rothschilds and Europe is a puppet of Washington.

As for persecution by the Estonian authorities, it should be noted that the Article 2 of the Council Regulation (EU) No 269/2014, on the territorial integrity of Ukraine, foresees freezing the assets of Dmitry Kiselyov, the Director General of Rossiya Segodnya. As a result, Estonian banks froze accounts of Rossiya Segodnya and the Financial Intelligence Unit informed persons employed or contracted by Rossiya Segodnya that knowing performance of work or services to a sanctioned person was forbidden.

The Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu has emphasized that Estonia has not taken any measures against the portal's media content: "They are financial sanctions aimed at economic activity. I believe it to be justified. We have notified the European Commission's Legal Service. European agencies have said in the Commission that steps taken by Estonia in exercising sanctions policy are warranted."

Estonia is ranked as the 11th freest country in the world for press by Reporters Without Borders.

Sputnik was created by a Presidential decree with the aim to “report on the state policy of Russia abroad”. Numerous reports have described how top managers from all the large government-controlled outlets and some influential private media attend the weekly meetings where "media managers receive guidelines that “help” them not to overstep the Kremlin’s so-called “double white lines”".

The EU vs Disinfo team has found 49 different Sputnik websites from all over the world and 31 of them are in the Disinfrormation cases database, meaning those outlets have been publishing disinformation. Sputnik Estonia is represented in that database both in Estonian and in Russian languages.

In 2016 Latvia's domain registry shut the website of Sputnik Latvia after receiving a letter of concern from the Latvian Foreign Ministry, which drew attention to Sputnik's coverage of Ukraine and routine denial of the embattled nation's territorial integrity. In July 2019, Latvian authorities blocked access to the online portal baltnews.lv, owned by Rossiya Segodnya. In mid-2019 a court in Vilnius ruled on blocking Sputnik Lithuania over copyright issues.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 178
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Estonian
  • Country: Estonia
  • Keywords: Dmitry Kiselyov, Sanctions, Sputnik
  • Outlet: Sputnik Estonia
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There are no lies coming from Sputnik

I would like to add that, as far as I know, Sputnik Estonia has never been accused of lying. As for claiming that Sputnik Estonia is a mouthpiece of Russian propaganda, I have to say that all our [Estonian] biggest newspapers, radio and TV channels are mouthpieces of Estonian propaganda. The main question is whether the propaganda is based on truth or lie or deliberate lie. I repeat, I have not heard of a lie coming from Sputnik. The Estonian authorities are not accusing Sputnik [Estonia] of lying.

Disproof

Sputnik was created by a Presidential decree with the aim to “report on the state policy of Russia abroad”. Numerous reports have described how top managers from all the large government-controlled outlets and some influential private media attend the weekly meetings where "media managers receive guidelines that “help” them not to overstep the Kremlin’s so-called “double white lines”".

The EU vs Disinfo team has found 49 different Sputnik websites from all over the world and 31 of them are in the Disinfrormation cases database, meaning those outlets have been publishing disinformation. Sputnik Estonia is represented in that database both in Estonian and in Russian languages.

The regime in Estonia publicly persecutes its citizens

We regard the actions of the regime in Estonia towards its citizens as public persecution, anarchy in the rule of law, indication of totalitarianism and a gross infringement on the principles of freedom of speech unprecedented in the EU. The journalists were only guilty for working for Russian media.

Disproof

Estonia is ranked as the 11th freest country in the world for press by Reporters Without Borders. Estonia is considered a consolidated democracy by Freedom House and a Flawed Democracy by the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index, similar to countries like the US, Japan, France, Portugal or Belgium. Thus, Estonia is by no means a totalitarian regime.

As for anarchy in the rule of law, the matter is quite the opposite: the Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu has ephasized that Estonia has not taken any measures against the portal's media content: "They are financial sanctions aimed at economic activity. I believe it to be justified. We have notified the European Commission's Legal Service. European agencies have said in the Commission that steps taken by Estonia in exercising sanctions policy are warranted."

Ukraine declared war against Donetsk and Luhansk after the 2014 coup

In April of 2014, the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, which both declared their independence unilaterally as an expression of their opposition to the coup in Ukraine in February of the same year.
Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, aiming to portray the conflict as Ukraine's civil war.

The war in eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict, but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014.