Disinfo: Sputnik Estonia and its employees are being persecuted

Summary

This is the persecution, the real persecution, which is now being conducted against not only the Sputnik Estonia, but specifically, every employee who goes to work. Sputnik Estonia’s reporters did not violate the laws of the country and professional ethics.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation campaign aimed at the Estonian authorities. There is no persecution against Sputnik in Estonia as clarified by a recent interview given by the Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Estonia is on the 11th place of Reporters without Borders Press freedom index. It's important to note that Estonia has not blocked Sputnik Estonia's website, as it is accessible and operational. 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 agency has been forced to move out of its office in Tallinn because of its inability to pay the rent due to sanctions. In October 2019, Estonia-based branches of the foreign banks that operated the accounts of Rossiya Segodnya, the mother company of Sputnik, froze all its transfers, while other banks in Estonia refused to operate with the firm.

Banks in Estonia are not the only institutions to have taken action against Rossiya Segodnya for this reason. In 2015, Barclays bank closed the account used by the agency in the UK. 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, because of the EU sanctions. In mid-2019, a court in Vilnius ruled on blocking Sputnik Lithuania over copyright issues.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Russian media is being discriminated in the Baltic states and that Baltic states’ policies equal to Third Reich. Further information on Sputnik's operations can be read in our article circling-the-earth.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 178
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Estonia
  • Keywords: Dmitry Kiselyov, Sputnik
  • Outlet: Sputnik.az
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Ukraine does not want to buy gas from Russia because its politicians monopolise the gas market

Ukraine does not want to buy gas for the needs of the population from Russia due to the fact that Ukrainian politicians want to maintain full control over Ukraine’s gas market.

Disproof

This case appeared against the backdrop of an interview with the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Dmytro Kuleba, to Interfax-Ukraine. The politician said that Ukraine is not ready to return to direct gas supplies from Russia, because it intends to do this only within the framework of the European energy market and according to its rules. 

According to Kuleba, the introduction of European legislation into the gas sector of Ukraine is necessary so that Russian Gazprom cannot use gas issues as an instrument of political blackmail. “When we create an integrated energy gas market in accordance with EU standards, we cannot ban companies from buying gas from Gazprom in accordance with their agreements, but in Ukraine, Gazprom will exclusively play according to European rules and regulations. It will not have a monopoly, will not be able to impose its conditions by bribing officials, it will be one of the players," said Kuleba.

Ukraine will issue citizenship to murderers

Ukraine allowed citizenship to be issued to murderers and punishers.

Disproof

This is a recurring narrative that Kyiv favours those who support Nazi views and that the war against the people of Donbas is waged by successors of the Hitlerites.

Such fakes appeared in Russian media against the backdrop of the new Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approving the procedure for granting citizenship to foreigners who face political persecution in their homeland for supporting Ukraine. The new decision of the Cabinet of Ministers has nothing to do with the "killers". It refers to the fighters who helped ensure national security and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

NATO Preparing for War with Russia

NATO has begun preparations for a full-scale war against Russia. NATO is getting ever closer to Russia and increasing its presence along Russian borders in order to draw the Kremlin into World War III.

Disproof

The Kremlin’s repeated narrative that NATO is preparing for war.

These claims of NATO’s nefarious plans for World War III stem from reports from a meeting that Russia’s General Staff chief General Valeriy Gerasimov conducted with foreign military attaches accredited in Russia. Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star), the official newspaper of the Russian armed forces writes about the meeting with military attaches and cites Gerasimov, however nowhere does the Russian general actually say that NATO will soon unleash a war against Russia. Gerasimov, however, did say that “NATO’s military exercises show a targeted preparation by the alliance to deploy its troops in a large scale military conflict". When asked about the possibility of hostilities unfolding between Russia and NATO in the next 30 years, Gerasimov said that at present, there are no prerequisites for a large scale war.