Disinfo: The campaign to combat the Russian media in the Baltics is part of the West’s larger geopolitical strategy

Summary

In the Baltic countries and in particular in Latvia they have been trying to neutralise the alternative opinion for a quarter of a century. These are methodical actions to oust any Russian influence…

The campaign to combat Russian media in the Baltics is part of the West’s larger geopolitical strategy.

The reason for the Russophobic policy is primarily due to the fact that the collective West supports those who support this same Russophobic policy and carry out their tasks. The Baltic countries have been assigned to create a “cordon sanitaire” around Russia, which they call a geopolitical adversary. Actually, that’s why all this is happening. And the floor is given to those who are just sharpened for such an anti-Russian policy.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about the Russophobic West, painting Western governments as hostile toward "alternative voices" in the media, particularly Russian ones. Relevant disinformation claims can be found here, here and here.

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 Latvia as well as in Lithuania and Estonia, Sputnik and RT are being accused of spreading disinformation, violating copyrights and acting as propaganda instruments. Different parties based their accusations on publicly available results of investigations conducted by relevant authorities and regulatory bodies as follows.

Latvia has banned the state-owned Russian television channel RT, referring to Article 2 of the Council Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine that foresees the freezing of the assets of Dmitry Kiselyov, the Director-General of Rossija Segodnya, who is on the sanction list of the Council of the European Union. He has full control over RT's (formerly known as Russia Today) TV programmes, according to the Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP), Latvia's national media watchdog. For further details, read NEPLP's full position here and also see the Insider.

The accusation of Russophobia from the political elites of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia is baseless. The Baltic states have security concerns, linked to cases of Russian aggression against neighbouring countries, namely the illegal annexation of Crimea and war in Ukraine. In 2018, a NATO summit declaration also stated that:

"Russia’s aggressive actions, including the threat and use of force to attain political goals, challenge the Alliance and are undermining Euro-Atlantic security and the rules-based international order."

See similar cases of disinformation: Russian media are being discriminated in Baltic states; There are clear violations of the principles of freedom of speech in Estonia; Suppression of media freedom is norm in the Baltic states.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 229
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/01/2021
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Latvia, Baltic states
  • Keywords: West, Anti-Russian, Freedom of speech, Media, Russophobia

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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Lithuanian Conservatives forming state ideology and justifies people who participated in the Holocaust

Lithuanian Conservatives justify everyone who fights against the Soviet Union – even people, who killed Jews during the Holocaust.

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This political party (Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christians Democrats) has a monopoly for state ideology. All other political powers adapt to the position of this party. Lithuanian politicians, especially Conservatives, see the world as black and white. Even people who killed Jews during the Holocaust are “white” if they fight against the USSR. Lithuanians were especially active in killing Jews because there was a big population of Jews in Lithuania. (Today’s position of Lithuanian politicians) shows the inability to separate the wheat from the chaff and their vision of the black and white world.

Lithuanians actively participated in the mass killings of Jews. Unlike the Germans, the inhabitants of the Baltic States never regret this crime.

Disproof

This articles attacks the Lithuanian Conservatives (Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christians Democrats) and manipulates the history of the Holocaust in Lithuania.

The Holocaust was one of the biggest tragedies in Lithuanian history. During the Nazi occupation, in the years 1941-1943 about 90 per cent of the Lithuanian Jewish population was killed (more than 200 000 people). Local collaborators also participated in the events of the Holocaust. It is not known exactly how many Lithuanians participated, it could be up to 6 thousand collaborators. But many Lithuanians also tried to save Jewish people. In 2020, the list of The Righteous Among the Nations contained the names of 917 people who rescued Jewish people during the Holocaust in Lithuania.

Belarus is implementing an independent policy when Ukraine and Baltic states live under external control

The West wants to see a “compliant” Belarus with a different foreign policy course but Minsk, unlike the Baltic states, has not accepted external control.

The West cannot forgive Belarus for implementing an independent policy unlike Ukraine and the Baltic states, which lives under external control.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative undermining the sovereignty of Ukraine and the Baltic states and presenting them as a puppets of the West.

Ukraine and the Baltic states are independent states and members of the Organisation of the United Nations. Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are also full members of the European Union and NATO. The statement that these states are under external control is groundless.

Joe Biden was part of the Obama administration which fomented a Nazi coup in Ukraine in 2014

Joe Biden was part of the Obama administration which fomented a Nazi coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2014.

Disproof

The article contains two recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives: the claim that Euromaidan was a coup d’etat and a disinformation narrative aimed at discrediting Joe Biden.

There was no coup d'état in Ukraine. The Obama administration and Joe Biden did not control the protests in Ukraine in 2013-2014. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former president Viktor Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013.