Disinfo: Estonian regime is publicly persecuting its citizens

Summary

Despite the apparently absurdity of the Estonian authorities’ threats, the criminal prosecution of journalists in Europe today is a reality. The behaviour of the Estonian regime towards its citizens can be considered as public persecution, legal arbitrariness, a phenomenon of totalitarianism and the grossest violation of freedom of speech, which is unprecedented in the European Union.

Disproof

This is part of a recurrent Russian disinformation narrative to portray Baltic states as dictatorial and Kremlin-linked media as sources of alternative views and Russia as a global champion of freedom of the press.

Estonia is ranked as the 11th freest country in the world for press by Reporters Without Borders. Estonia does not persecute journalists or limit freedom of expression. It's important to note that Estonia has not blocked Sputnik Estonia's website, as it is accessible. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu has emphasized that Estonia has not taken any measures against the portal's media content: "They are financial sanctions aimed at economic activity. I believe it to be justified. We have notified the European Commission's Legal Service. European agencies have said in the Commission that steps taken by Estonia in exercising sanctions policy are warranted."

The current problems of Sputnik Estonia stem from sanctions against Dmitry Kiselyov, Director-General of Rossiya Segodnya, the mother company of Sputnik, as a result of Russia’s invasion of Crimea. Article 2 of the Council Regulation (EU) No 269/2014, on the territorial integrity of Ukraine, foresees Kiselyov’s assets to be frozen. As a result, Estonian banks froze the accounts of Rossiya Segodnya and the Financial Intelligence Unit informed persons employed or contracted by Rossiya Segodnya that it is forbidden to knowingly perform work or provide services to a sanctioned person.

The EU vs Disinfo team has found 49 different Sputnik websites from all over the world and 31 of them are in the Disinfrormation cases database, meaning those outlets have been publishing disinformation. Sputnik Estonia is represented in that database both in Estonian and in Russian languages.

Sputnik was created by a Presidential decree with the aim to “report on the state policy of Russia abroad”. Numerous reports have described how top managers from all the large government-controlled outlets and some influential private media attend the weekly meetings where "media managers receive guidelines that “help” them not to overstep the Kremlin’s so-called “double white lines”".

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 181
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, Estonia
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian, Sanctions, Sputnik, Baltic states
  • Outlet: Sputnik web Arabic, mbs, emeknes, masr20, saadaonline, abudhabi-news, elbayan-news, sabq-sa, albidda, uk-arabicnews, miralnews, akhbarten
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Western societies dominated by childish and stupid people

Italy and Western societies, in general, are increasingly dominated by childish and stupid people and are hostile to values such as courage, loyalty and ardor. This type of individual, which is increasingly common in the West in all social classes, political parties and religions, repeats empty slogans and platitudes, rejects war and is convinced that he is the vanguard of a new society.

In Italy, individuals with these characteristics are selling off the country to foreigners and are unaware of the consequences of their actions.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the decadence of Western values, about the moral bankruptcy of the West and about threatened national identity.

According to the narrative of threatened values, the “effeminate West” is rotting under the onslaught of decadence, materialism, gender ideologies and “political correctness”, while Russia embodies traditional values, spirituality and higher virtues.

European Parliament resolution is pure madness

The recent European Parliament resolution which equates Communism and Nazism and claims that the Soviet Union was also responsible for the outbreak of World War II is pure madness. Countries in Europe and North America are attempting to subvert historical facts and to distort the course of events that lead to the Second World War.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative that attempts to portray Russia's role in World War II as non-aggressive and to revise the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, reflecting the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism. This article also contains the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the recognition and denunciation of Stalinist crimes against humanity are Western anti-Russian propaganda.

The European Parliament resolution on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe states that “the Second World War, the most devastating war in Europe’s history, was started as an immediate result of the notorious Nazi-Soviet Treaty on Non-Aggression of 23 August 1939, also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and its secret protocols, whereby two totalitarian regimes that shared the goal of world conquest divided Europe into two zones of influence”.

EU has lost hundreds of billions due to sanctions on Russia

The European Union’s losses from sanctions against Russia are estimated at hundreds of billions of euros.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western sanctions on Russia attempting to make out that they have backfired. Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia. The measures were adopted in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate de-stabilisation of Ukraine.

By the most recent research into the effect of sanctions, the cumulative export loss to Russia during 2014-2018 is estimated at EUR 30 billion (about -0.2% of EU’s GDP in 2018), incurred largely during 2014-2016, as EU exports to Russia recovered in 2017.