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: Lithuania, Estonia, Baltic states, Latvia
  • Keywords: Russia Today (RT), Freedom of speech, Dmitry Kiselyov, Media, Sputnik, Russophobia, Baltic states
see more

The US made an order for another cultural-historical split between Ukraine and Russia

The US Department of State is ready to pay $150,000 dollars to the Ukrainian organisation which will be creating material with clear Russophobic content. This is evidenced by the tender, which was published by the press service of the US Embassy in Ukraine. According to the document, Washington is ready to pay a relatively large amount of money for the creation of propaganda films. At the same time, the US Embassy in Kyiv does not hide that the goal of the project is the formation of anti-Russian sentiments. This is also evidenced by the fact that the Russian Federation is called an “enemy” state in the text.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western Russophobia. The 'Notice of Funding Opportunity' by the US Department of State and the US Embassy in Kyiv does not contain Russophobic messages. According to the document, grant proposals include producing innovative content at the intersection of public history and digital media, highlighting Ukrainians’ personal stories of the country’s recent history. Applicants are asked to focus "on historical events frequently mischaracterised in Russian disinformation narratives and/or otherwise co-opted by malign foreign actors."

The Fourth Reich is coming

The world can find itself, in front of the “Fourth Reich”, where German law extended its authority to the entire European Union, and the German parliament and the government gained the right to bring the European Central Bank under their control.

Disproof

Disinformation narrative on the so-called Fourth Reich, which has according to Pro-kremlin outlets been plotted by the EU, the Anglo-Saxons and Angela Merkel. The article also contains a second disinformation narrative about Germany aiming to dominate the EU.

Germany is a democratic country. The Bundesrat participates in legislation, alongside the Bundestag, the directly elected representation of the people of Germany. Any parallel to the Nazi Third Reich is unsubstantiated.

George Soros finances the racial justice protests in the US with money won in Ukraine

The Democratic Party, Joe Biden, George Soros are spending money to support the demonstrations in the United States, which they won in a dirty way, among others, in Ukraine. They also finance “pogroms”, that is to say, the violent riots.

Disproof

Recurring narrative on the US protests being organised by George Soros and the Democrat party to take power away from Donald Trump illegally. There is no evidence to suggest that the protests in the US broke out through “top-down mobilisation,” or that someone is financing them. More globally, this narrative portrays any spontaneous disorders and civil uprisings in other states, very often the former Soviet republics, as Western-funded "colour revolutions". The widespread protests against racial injustice and police brutality broke out in the US after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on the 25 May 2020. The protests followed several high-profile incidents involving African Americans and the police, invoking debates about racism in the US. We also note the incorrect use of the word Pogrom to describe some marginal violence in the protests for racial justice. Though the situation was very tense for some days and protests spread to all 50 states of the country, military top officials and police officers worked effectively to de-escalate the situation, and demonstrations became largely peaceful after the first days.