Disinfo: The EU practises censorship and war propaganda against Russia


The EU practises censorship and war propaganda against Russia.

There is “censorship” and “war propaganda” in the EU and it is suspected that a “scheme” behind it is to be tested first in Estonia. (…) What’s going on right now is real censorship. But censorship is prohibited in Estonia by the constitution. (…) In January, the biggest NATO manoeuvre since the end of the Cold War began, Defender Europe 2020. This too is justified by the danger from the East. “This is war propaganda. We (Sputnik Estonia) do propaganda too, but in a way that we propagate good neighbourly relations between Russia and Estonia.”


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the undemocratic EU and European values. It also contains recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about the West's deliberate anti-Russian activities, double standards and about Russophobia in the Baltic states. This claim tries to show sanctions against Russia, due to its illegal actions in Ukraine, as unfair persecution against Sputnik and its employees and against media freedom in general.

Estonia ranks 11th in the Reporters without Borders Press freedom index. Estonia has not blocked Sputnik Estonia's website. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Urmas Reinsalu has emphasised 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."

Article 2 of the Council Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine foresees freezing the assets of Dmitry Kiselyov, the Director-General of Rossiya Segodnya. As a result, Estonian banks froze accounts of Rossiya Segodnya and the Financial Intelligence Unit informed persons employed or contracted by Rossiya Segodnya that knowingly working for or providing services to a sanctioned person was forbidden.

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 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.

Moreover, there is no "war propaganda" against Russia in Western media; Exercise Defender-Europe 2020 poses no threat to Russia. Western media represent a wide range of opinions and do not follow a single editorial policy on any given topic. The freest countries in terms of press freedom are predominantly European countries, including Norway, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Estonia, Portugal, Germany.

See similar cases alleging that suspension of Sputnik Estonia is censorship and that the West wages information war against Russia.


  • Reported in: Issue 184
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Russia, Estonia
  • Keywords: Defender Europe 2020, Censorship, European Union, Propaganda, Dmitry Kiselyov, Russophobia, Sputnik


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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UK and France allowed Hitler to revive a strong army while Poland was a Nazi partner in 1934

It is necessary to remind about the events taking place before the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed. Western European countries, primarily, the UK and France, allowed Hitler to revive a strong army and a mighty industrial military complex. And already in 1934, after signing the Non-Aggression Pact with Germany, Poland had become a silent partner of Berlin in its aggressive actions.


This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to erode the disastrous historical role of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact by making statements that the USSR was forced to sign this pact; that other European countries signed various international agreements with Adolf Hitler, that the Munich Agreement triggered WWII and various historical conspiracies saying that the Western democracies wanted to inspire a war between Nazism and Communism.

Military cooperation with the USSR was the main way that Weimar Germany could overcome the Versailles’ restrictions. The military technologies developed on the territory of the USSR in the 1920s and beginning of the 1930s became the foundation for Hitler’s industrial-military complex in the 1930s. The Soviet-German military cooperation started after the signing of the Treaty of Rapallo in 1922, allowing Germany to overcome the Versailles’ restrictions on the development of the German Army and the industrial-military complex. The facts of the Soviet-German military cooperation throughout the 1920s and beginning of the 1930s are well-documented, despite the attempts of the authorities of the Weimar Republic to hide it.

The West considers Russia an enemy and does not intend an equal dialogue

Russia today is considered an alleged enemy of the European Union. There is a prejudice about Russia’s role and place in the world. No one is raising the question of the withdrawal of American tactical weapons from their territory. In practice, there are no measures [to that end] – neither from Germany nor from Italy. Furthermore, Poland is prepared to receive and use American arsenals. This is the modern world without illusions. It is hardly worth expecting a convergence of positions if one of the parties does not want it. In this situation, Russia can only rely on itself.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia and about Western belligerence towards Russia.

Russia is the EU's largest neighbor, which has always been reflected in extensive cooperation and exchange for over 25 years. The current legal basis for EU-Russia relations is the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) which came into force in 1997, initially for 10 years. Since 2007 it has been renewed annually. It established a political framework for regular consultation between the EU and Russia.

Neo-Nazi attitudes in Ukraine have been stoked up since the times of the Habsburg Empire

Unlike Ukraine, [in Belarus], there are no neo-Nazi and anti-Russian attitudes, which have been stoked in Ukraine since the times of the Habsburg Empire.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Nazis in Ukraine.

From the historical point of view, it makes no sense to connect neo-Nazism to the “times of the Habsburg Empire” as this state collapsed in 1918, long before the emergence of Nazism and neo-Nazism.