Disinfo: Russian Media are being discriminated in Baltic states

Summary

Sputnik Latvia regularly talks about discrimination against Russian media in the Baltic countries. Since January 1, Estonia has actually banned the work of the Sputnik editorial office in Tallinn, threatening employees with criminal prosecution. In Latvia, Sputnik employees are also pressured not only in the form of “conversations” with representatives of the special services, but also through an informal ban on opening bank accounts for them. This (ban on broadcasting of RT) is another case of violation of freedom of speech and freedom of information. The decision to ban RT in Latvia on the basis of false information is an indicator of the stupidity of the Latvian authorities blinded by Russophobia.

Disproof

This claim tries to portray EU sanctions on Russia, the result of its illegal actions in Ukraine, as unfair persecution against Sputnik and its employees, and against media freedom in general. In all of the mentioned countries Sputnik and RT are being accused of spreading disinformation, violating copyrights, acting as a propaganda instrument.

In Estonia, Sputnik is wrongly represented as a victim of unprecedented persecution. This kind of statements were debunked several times. Read here. The steps taken by Estonia are based on the Article 2 of the Council Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine that foresees freezing the assets of Dmitry Kiselyov, the Director-General of Rossija Segodnya.

Lithuania is falsely claimed to follow totalitarian laws, while Sputnik fights against intolerance. This came as in mid-2019 a court in Vilnius ruled on blocking Sputnik Lithuania over copyright issues. Broadcasting service (LRT) approached the Radio and Telecommunications Committee and pointed out in a statement that Sputnik had illegally used LRT materials at least 1464 times in violation of copyrights. Lithuanian Sputnik had continued to distribute illegal material and had not reacted to repeated requests by the National Broadcasting service to stop the abuse of copyright infringement.

In Latvia, 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, citing EU sanctions against Russia. In 2020 Latvia has banned the state-owned Russian television channel RT, saying it is controlled by an individual - Dmitriy Kiselyov, who is under EU sanctions. According to the Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP), Latvia's national media watchdog, RT and the network of channels operated by it are under Kiselyov's "effective control" and has attempted to present Latvia as a failed state.

Similar cases about Sputnik Estonia, claiming that High rating given to Estonia by “Reporters without borders” is fiction, that When it comes to Russia, Europe does not adhere to values, or There is no freedom of speech in Estonia, but an absolute censorship. More cases can be found here.

 

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 204
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Latvia, Baltic states, Estonia, Lithuania
  • Keywords: Russia Today (RT), Freedom of speech, Media, Dmitry Kiselyov, Russophobia, Sputnik, Baltic states

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 systematically rewrites the history; the aim: to weaken or destroy Russia

The West systematically rewrites history. And succeeds.

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This is a gradual, phased, systematic rewriting of the history of WWII in the mass consciousness.

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Black is called white, the losers are equated with the winners, and calls for preservation of historical memory are presented as “historical revisionism”. Their specialisation is a fierce struggle against Russia on all fronts (ideological, political, and historical). The ultimate goal of all such campaigns is to weaken Russia, or even destroy it.

Disproof

This is part of the Kremlin’s campaign on historical revisionism on WWII in order to boost its legitimacy and deny the USSR’s responsibility in the outbreak of WWII. This message is also consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narrative about anti-Russian policies of aggressive West. According to Kremlin's policy, the official Russian historiography is the only “true” way of interpreting the historical events about WWII.

The European Parliament called the war the bloodiest tragedy of the century, which resulted in millions of victims of authoritarian regimes both of fascist Germany and the USSR. The European Parliament adopted a resolution, describing the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 23 August 1939 as a key element paving the way for the outbreak of the World War II. The European Parliament also paid tribute to the victims of Stalinism, Nazism and other totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. Regardless of this, the Western historians acknowledge the role played by the USSR in defeating Nazism and do not question the Soviet contribution to the victory in WWII and the status of the USSR as a country which had won in WWII.

The Elites want to end the emotional ties of the family

Elites have severed the emotional bonds of the family by isolating parents from children and putting grandparents in residences for the elderly.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. The article provides no evidence to support its claim that “élites” are deliberately undermining family bonds. The article contains a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative portraying the West as a decadent and immoral society  in which the family institution is collapsing and claiming that Western governments and “global élites” seek to deliberately undermine and destroy traditional family values,  patriarchal societies and religion.

The notion of "threatened values" is one of the master narratives used in pro-Kremlin disinformation, in order to suggest that those committed to decency and traditional values are under attack from liberal “global élites”.

Russophobic forces will clash with each other in the second round of Presidential elections in Poland

[At the upcoming second round of elections], two parties of Polish Russophobia will clash with each other. The first one is aggressive – it undermines the very right of Russia to implement its own policies or even to exist. It respects the Russian strength, but only because it would like to destroy Russia with the help of American soldiers. The second force even likes Russia and for sure, from time to time, it listens to Tchaikovsky – although, it wants the Russian Federation to turn into the same “Third World of the West” as Poland.

Disproof

This message is a part of the Kremlin’s widespread narrative about Russophobic Poland. The Kremlin-controlled media regularly accuses the political elites of Poland of Russophobia and the implementation of anti-Russian policies. Within this narrative, the “Russophobic” policies of Poland are often explained by the claim that the United States fully controls the domestic and foreign policy of this country (presenting Poland as an American “puppet-state” or a “banana republic”).

The claim that the mainstream political forces of Poland want to “destroy Russia with the help of American soldiers” or to turn this country into the “Third World of the West” is a conspiracy theory.