Disinfo: In Estonia, negative attitude towards the country is punishable by law

Summary

In Estonia, creating and strengthening negative attitude towards the country is punishable by law. Relevant amendments approved by the Parliament at the end of last year.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation. Estonia does not punish for negative attitudes towards the state, instead the law mentioned in the news is about intelligence activities directed against the security of the Republic of Estonia.The necessary elements of the criminal offences of the establishment or maintenance of a relationship that is against the Republic of Estonia, and anti-state influencing of officials are also specified.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 135
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 29/01/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Estonia
  • Keywords: Freedom of speech

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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The West tried to carry out a coup in Venezuela

The West is trying to overthrow the Venezuelan legally elected President by violating all legal norms. What the West does is absolutely illegal. The West thinks only of its own interests and turns to the defence of human rights only when it can benefit from it.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West meddling in and destabilising countries around the world. Nicolas Maduro was officially re-elected president of Venezuela on May 20, 2018. Several Venezuelan NGOs, such as Foro Penal Venezolano, Súmate, Voto Joven, the Venezuelan Electoral Observatory and the Citizen Electoral Network, expressed their concern over the irregularities of the electoral schedule, including the lack of the Constituent Assembly's competencies to summon the elections, impeding participation of opposition political parties, and the lack of time for standard electoral functions. After that the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Lima Group, Australia and the United States expressed concerns on electoral process. In the declaration on behalf of the EU on the situation in Venezuela the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini reiterated that the presidential elections last May in Venezuela were neither free, fair, nor credible, lacking democratic legitimacy. The EU has called for the urgent holding of free, transparent and credible presidential elections in Venezuela. Food shortages, poverty and hyperinflation (which according to the IMF estimates is about to reach over 10 million % based on the average consumer prices) have generated a wave of 3 millions refugees from Venezuela and the protests in Venezuela itself, when President of the National Assembly of Venezuela Juan Guido stepped in as an interim president on the basis of the Venezuelan Constitution. Read more here.  

Election campaigns in Ukraine are funded from incomprehensible funds

On the eve of the 2019 elections, Ukraine’s presidential candidates finance their election campaigns from incomprehensible funds. This was stated by the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov. According to him, political corruption in the country is booming and candidates use shady sources of funding.

Disproof

The purpose of this misleading material is to discredit the future presidential elections in Ukraine. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the election in Ukraine, aimed at questioning the elections themselves and the integrity of Ukraine. The Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov did not declare that all presidential candidates in Ukraine finance their campaigns from obscure sources. During the Collegium of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, minister Avakov stated that 38 applications for presidential candidates were submitted to the Central electoral commission, but only a few of the election funds had been opened. He insisted that the financing of the election campaign should only come from the election fund accounts. "We should not tolerate political corruption that goes into the world through financing the electoral process from obscure funds", the minister said. The minister also emphasized that all efforts should be made to prevent political corruption on the part of the presidential candidates. Further debunk by StopFake.

In Ukraine churches belonging to Moscow Patriarchate have been seized and priests beaten up

Following the 15th December 2018 “schism” that established a Unified Orthodox Church of Ukraine, churches in Ukraine belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate have been seized and priests beaten up.  

Disproof
No evidence given. Ukrainian media published a video about a service held in that church on the 17 December. Vinnytsia police chief Serhiy Syniavskyi informed that they “sent a special patrol to the church to check things out. Everything was normal as usual". And Stop Fake contacted the caretakers of the Vinnytsia church and were told everything was normal and no one had taken control of the church. "Over the telephone we could hear singing from the mass that was taking place there at the time", mentions Stop Fake.

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about autocephaly and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. See here for analogous disinformation cases. For other disinformation narratives on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church see here and here.