Disinfo: Many Estonian politicians want to ban Russian media and the Russian language in Estonia

Summary

The president of the Estonian Parliament is apparently inspired by his success in the fight against Sputnik Estonia employees.

Many Estonian politicians, including the president of the Estonian Parliament, want to ban Russian media and the Russian language in Estonia.

Disproof

Recurrent Russian disinformation narrative that portrays Baltic states as dictatorial regimes that practice discrimination against their Russian minorities and that accuse Estonia in particular of oppressing Russian media and of currently persecuting Sputnik Estonia.

The claim of the Russian government that Estonia is restricting the content of the local Sputnik branch and obstructing media freedom is not true. As Dmitry Kiselyov, the Director-General of Rossiya Segodnya (the parent company of Sputnik Estonia), is on the list of sanctioned persons, Sputnik Estonia has been affected.

Rossiya Segodnya founded Sputnik in 2014 as its international branch. Dmitry Kiselyov, the Director-General of Rossiya Segodnya, was added to the list of individuals subject to sanctions because he played a central role in the propaganda of the Russian Federation that supported the attack on Ukraine (i.e. the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the military actions of the Russian Federation in eastern and southeast Ukraine).

As Dmitry Kiselyov is subject to financial sanctions, Estonian banks froze the bank accounts and payments of Rossiya Segodnya. The journalistic content of Sputnik was irrelevant in the sanctioning process, as follows, Rossiya Segodnya’s TV channel and Sputnik Estonia’s websites are fully operational and open. The decisive factor was the role that the Director-General of Rossiya Segodnya Dmitry Kiselyov played in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, as well as his personal involvement in and financial gain from Rossiya Segodnya’s activities.

Read here a similar case claiming that Sputnik is the victim of unprecedented persecution in “totalitarian” Estonia.

As for language, the pro-Kremlin media has been accusing the Baltics in forcing Russians to speak local languages for a long time. Its sometimes also connected with Russophobia. See other stories on the alleged suppression of Russian language in Lithuania and Latvia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 179
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Estonia
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russian language, Dmitry Kiselyov, Sputnik, Sanctions
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Iran's admission is a result of a trade-off or pressure on Tehran

Experts see contradictions in the [Iranian] version of the downing of the aircraft and suspect that the admission is a result of either a trade-off or pressures on Tehran.

Disproof

A claim, not supported by any documents. Iran has officially admitted the downing a result of a human error and has allowed independent experts access to the crash site.

The United States might have provoked Iran to open fire against a civilian aircraft

The former commander of the surface-to-air defence section of the Russian Air Force does not exclude that an American reconnaissance UAV, sent to Iran after Tehran’s missile attack on US bases in Iraq, was present close to the Ukrainian passenger aircraft.

Disproof

A claim, not supported by any documents. Iran has officially admitted the downing a result of a human error and has allowed independent experts access to the crash site.

The United States has developed a method for downing civilian aircraft

The nose part of the [Russian built] “TOR” 9M330 surface-to-air missile was, according to publications on the Internet, laying almost ideally placed under the aircraft, in full working order and ideally coloured. Any civilian aircraft has transponders, connecting them to the air dispatchers and the military simply cannot know what kind of object is approaching. “This is typical for our comrades the Americans. Since 1978 there have been seven cases of downing of aircraft by American actions. One can see an entire method being designed”.

Disproof

A claim, not supported by any documents. Iran has officially admitted the downing a result of a human error and has allowed independent experts access to the crash site. The claim that US systematically is downing civilian aircraft is merely an unfounded conspiracy theory. There certainly have been tragic cases of military action against civilian aircraft, and at some occasions - by US military. A notable example is the Iran Air flight 655, which was downed by a hit by a SM-2MR surface-to-air missile fired from a US naval ship. The United States accepted responsibility for the tragedy at a settlement in the International Court of Justice.