Disinfo: FLAGGING The persecution of the Russian media in Latvia is a punitive action of Russophobic nature

Summary

The persecution of the Russian media in Latvia is nothing more than a punitive action of Russophobic nature which violates the norms of a democratic society, restricts press freedom and freedom of speech.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation message about the Baltic States.

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 Ukraine's territorial integrity. In July 2019, Latvian authorities blocked access to the online portal baltnews.lv, owned by Rossiya Segodnya, citing EU sanctions against Russia. In 2020 Latvia has banned the state-owned Russian television channel RT, saying it is controlled by an individual - Dmitriy Kiselyov, who is under EU sanctions. According to the Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP), Latvia's national media watchdog, RT and the network of channels operated by it are under Kiselyov's "effective control" and has attempted to present Latvia as a failed state.

Sputnik was created in Russia by a Presidential decree with the aim to “report on the state policy of Russia abroad”. Sputnik is a regular source of pro-Kremlin disinformation. Baltnews site tries to represent itself as an independent media but in 2017 an investigation showed that it is linked to the Kremlin’s global disinformation network. Baltnews is connected to the Rossiya Segodnya state-owned media company, which includes Sputnik News.

Read similar cases claiming that Russian media are being discriminated in Baltic states and that the Baltic states are persecuting the Russian media.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 225
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/12/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Latvia, Russia
  • Keywords: Freedom of speech, Media, Russophobia, Sanctions, Sputnik, Baltic states

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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Disproof

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Disproof

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