Disinfo: Latvia switched to “total cleaning” of TV, banning Russian channels

Summary

Not only in front of our eyes but also in front of all European institutions, who are meant to develop and protect freedom of speech and journalism, the final cleansing of the media space in Latvia and neighbouring Baltic countries is taking place. From Russian media, from information coming from Russia, and from information in Russian, coming from Russia and from the point of view of Russian journalists. These processes have nothing to do with freedom of speech, and no one in the Baltic States and the European Union any longer considers it necessary to hide it.

This is a manifestation of the stupidity and immorality of the Latvian political elite, imposing more and more restrictions on the use of the Russian language in Latvia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation message about the Baltic States and, in particular, Latvia, portraying governments in the Baltic as hostile towards the Russian media.

On 8 February 2021, Latvia's broadcast regulator, the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) suspended rebroadcasting of the Russian government-owned “Rossiya RTR” program in Latvia for a full year commencing on 15 February. The decision was taken because significant violations of the law had been identified, in connection with incitement of animosity and hatred, encouragement to engage in violence, and kindling military conflict.

Both the Latvian national law on electronic mass media as well as the European Union's Audiovisual Media Services Directive prohibit the incitement of hatred, calls to engage in violence, and the kindling of military conflict. The NEPLP decision was taken in accordance with the procedure laid down in the European Union's Audiovisual Media Services Directive, and conveyed to representatives not only of Rossiya RTR, but also representatives of the European Commission and the Swedish media regulator (since “Rossiya RTR” is registered in Sweden).

This is not the first time such a suspension has been imposed on Rossiya RTR. On 31 January 2019, the NEPLP took the decision to suspend retransmission of “Rossiya RTR” into Latvia’s territory for a period of three months in accordance with Latvia’s law on the electronic mass media. On 3 May 2019, the European Commission confirmed that the measures which Latvia’s NEPLP had decided to take in response to Rossiya RTR’s violations of the law were compatible with EU law.

In the World Press Freedom Index for 2020, Latvia ranked 22nd and Russia ranked 149th. A number of journalists from Russia have relocated to Latvia for safety and freedom of media reasons.

See similar cases of disinformation: Russian media are being discriminated in Baltic states; There are clear violations of the principles of freedom of speech in Estonia; Suppression of media freedom is norm in the Baltic states.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 232
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/02/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, Latvia
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian, Freedom of speech, Media, Baltic states
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British children are deprived of “breast milk” and “mothers”

British newborns are actually deprived of “breast milk” and “mothers”. In order not to offend “gender-neutral” patients, hospitals in Brighton and Sussex have introduced new terminology.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the moral decay of Europe and propaganda of the morally corrupt West, and an over-interpretation of an instruction on inclusive language from the university hospitals of Brighton and Sussex. The instruction contains details on how to address non-binary and transgender people giving birth. The authors emphasise the necessity of an individual approach. The first point in the instructions to midwife is:

Treat people as individuals and uphold their dignity.

The instruction continues:

If we only use gender neutral language, we risk marginalising or erasing the experience of some of the women and people who use our services. We understand the fear of erasure, however marginalising other groups because they are rare will not improve care for women. We believe in human rights-based care and we can add inclusive language to our current language without subtracting anyone.

The demo with torchlights will give 146 percent support for Navalny

The plans of [Navalny’s associate] Leonid Volkov, who has suggested to use torchlights on 14 February all over the country, have been disclosed. Nothing needs to be done, all is already drawn and ready. The videos are already prepared.

Why does Volkov suggest a demonstration with torchlights outside the houses? Because they are easy to manipulate with computer graphics. They doctored the film with the “palace”. Imagine what they can do here. There will be 146 percent of support.

Disproof

An attempt to belittle the demonstrations and, in advance, create a narrative about its insignificance. Similar attempts are described here.

The number "146 percent" relates to a meme in Russia, where the turnup in the parliamentary elections in some regions amounted to 146 percent.

Russia is prepared for any kind of mess the West will come up with

Do you expect some kind of mess? The mess is already here.

The sanctions would be there, no matter what we do. We can do nothing, we can act, there will be sanctions against Russia anyway. The Democrats in the US seems to have outlined a strategy on relations with Russia for the upcoming six months. It will likely contain new concepts of economic restrictions against our country.

They will come up with something; remembering the anniversary of the Crimeas reunification with Russia might be the pretext. They do not need any reason. We must not forget that there this year will be presidental elections in Syria. The US introduced the Caesar Act and this will likely mean sanctions. All is very predictable and accounted for. Our authorities are confident.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western sanctions imposed on Russia trying to imply that the sanctions are groundless and used to suppress Russia.

EU sanctions and other restrictive measures were first applied (opens in a new tab)in 2014 following the Russian illegal annexation of Crimea. Since then, the list has been updated(opens in a new tab). The United States also imposed(opens in a new tab) sanctions on Russia after the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity in 2014.