Disinfo: Suspension of Sputnik Estonia is censorship

Summary

Residents of Estonia decided that the suspension of Sputnik is censorship. These were viewers who watched a discussion program on the Estonian TV channel ETV+ on sanctions against the agency. Political and economic sanctions against journalists are censorship.

 

Disproof

Estonia is on the 11th place of Reporters without Borders Press freedom index. Estonia has not blocked Sputnik Estonia's website and 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 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. According to the articles of association of the company, the Director-General has the right to decide upon opening bank accounts and carry out invoicing. This corresponds to the condition "having the right to use all or part of the assets of a legal person or entity" in the EU Best Practices for the effective implementation of restrictive measures.

Furthermore, claims that the Estonian laws only foresee asset freezing for people on an EU personal sanctions list is incorrect. "This means that if Rossiya Segodnya, which is controlled by Dmitry Kiselyov, against whom sanctions have been imposed, has assets in Estonia, they must be frozen and access must not be given to funds or economic resources, that is provide services that would enable Rossiya Segodnya to do business. When it comes to Estonia, this prohibition applies to people operating in the territory of Estonia," head of anti-money laundering authority the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Madis Reimand, said.

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'."

The EU vs Disinfo team has found 49 different Sputnik websites from all over the world and 31 of them are represented in the Disinformation cases database. Sputnik Estonia is represented in that database both in Estonian and in Russian languages.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 181
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Estonia
  • Keywords: Censorship, Dmitry Kiselyov, Sanctions, Sputnik
  • Outlet: Sputnik Armenia
see more

Poland is avoiding discussion on difficult historical issues by refusing to take part in World Holocaust Forum

On the one hand, Poland tries to react to the historical statements made by President Putin. On the other hand, it does not want to communicate its message at the World Holocaust Forum, which will unite so many representatives of the key states. This situation is rather an escape from the discussion on difficult topics from Polish history.

Disproof

This message is part of the ongoing Russian information attack against Poland, which includes several false messages (such as alleged responsibility of Poland for WWII and the Holocaust).

The Polish President Andrzej Duda announced his decision not to attend the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem due to the fact that Poland will not be allowed to address the event. The Polish President expressed concern about Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent accusations that Poland was complicit in the outbreak of World War II. If Putin chose to follow up on his rhetoric at the Holocaust Forum, Poland would have no possibility to react to his words.

Poland tries to impose its vision of the Holocaust on the West

Poland tries to impose its vision of the Holocaust on the West. Poland is trying to convince the Western participants of the Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel to present the Polish position, which opposes the Russian point of view.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and part of the ongoing disinformation attack by Russia on Poland. There is no such “Polish vision of the Holocaust” as Poland fully shares the mainstream historical view about the history of the Holocaust.

It is an undeniable historical fact that the authorities of Nazi Germany were responsible for the Holocaust and the functioning of the German concentration camps constructed on the territory of the occupied Polish state. The German authorities continue to underline their responsibility for the extermination of Jews and other peoples during WWII. It is important to remember that Poland has the highest number of Righteous Among the Nations (people saving Jews from Nazis) in the world.

Poland created a fertile ground for Holocaust because of its pre-war anti-Semitism

The largest portion of Jewish people in Europe was exterminated in Poland, and it’s no coincidence. Hundreds of concentration camps were located in this country. In many aspects, this situation was caused by the pre-war atmosphere in Poland and its government’s position which stoked anti-Semitic sentiment in society, creating fertile ground for the subsequent genocide and the Holocaust. The current Polish authorities should apologise to the Jews and the entire world for what happened in Poland during the pre-war years.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and part of the ongoing disinformation attack from Russia on Poland. This statement goes against all historical facts and opinions of mainstream historians concerning the history of the Holocaust.

The Auschwitz Museum reacted to this statement with an appeal to Vyacheslav Volodin to consult a set of online lessons dedicated to the complicated history of the Holocaust in order to prevent shameful falsifying and distortion of history. The authorities of Nazi Germany were responsible for the Holocaust and the functioning of the German concentration camps constructed on the territory of the occupied Polish state. The German authorities continue to underline the responsibility of their country for the extermination of Jews and other peoples during WWII.