Disinfo: Estonia is totalitarian country

Summary

Not even in Arab states we have ran into such a totalitarian system as in Estonia. There you have it: your Europe and the European democracy you praise!

Disproof

The repeated disinformation narrative that there is no freedom of speech in the Baltic countries and that censorship flourishes there. Estonia is a country in which democratic institutions are strong and political and civil rights in Estonia are widely respected. In the 2019 Freedom House report, Estonia scored 94 points out of a possible 100. Russia, in terms of democracy, is near the bottom of the rating and scored 20 points out of 100. Freedom of speech in Estonia is guaranteed by the Constitution, laws and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In the world ranking of "Reporters Without Borders", Estonia ranks 11th for freedom of speech out of 180 countries. At the same time, Russia is in 149th place. See previous disinformation cases about Estonia here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 172
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Estonia
  • Keywords: fake news, Democracy, Freedom of speech, Baltic states
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The US considers the EU as a kind of protectorate

The US has long regarded the EU as a kind of protectorate. The Balkans are used as a “trigger” to set Europe on fire at any time. It is obvious that any attempt by any [European] political leader to present himself as an important actor will be met with discontent in Washington. The US perceives the EU as an association under its military, political and, in part, economic influence. That was also after Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron tried to push through the idea of a European army, which is a thorn in the side of the Americans. The US imposed a military organisation in the form of NATO on Europe, and it does not benefit the EU. The US has such a dominant position and does not want its influence on the EU to diminish. The Balkans are being used for this purpose.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about US presence in Europe, portraying Europe as a vassal of the USA and trying to undermine the sovereignty of Western Europe. Pro-Kremlin disinformation sources often claim that the EU is trying to break out of Washington’s control and occupation and that the US intends to “discipline the EU” from the position of a senior partner. In fact, the EU Member States are sovereign countries and make sovereign decisions about their own security and policies. US/ NATO military presence and support in the EU Member States is possible only on the basis of the clear request/ consent of the hosting nation. The US is an important ally to the EU but EU policy is not determined by the US, as explained by the EU High Representative. Each country, including Albania and North Macedonia, could make their sovereign decision to host NATO/US military forces on their land. NATO membership is open to any European state in a position to further the principles of the North Atlantic Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area. All NATO members have made sovereign decisions to join the alliance so far. NATO decisions are made by consensus, after discussion and consultation among member countries.

Russia on MH17: Until today, no evidence is provided - only empty claims

Allegations towards Russia in the downing of flight MH17 are groundless. Even to this day, no evidence has been provided – only empty claims. Dutch prosecutors say that an investigation is underway, while Russia has already been asked for compensation. If we ask where the data from Ukrainian radars are, where the airlines’ communications data are, where the American satellite images are, we get no answers. However, Russia still gets the blame.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the downing of flight MH17. Actually, the JIT has provided concrete evidence of Russia's involvement. On the 28th of September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile – was transported back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion that the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation. On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, with the participation of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands, the Dutch Public Persecution service will prosecute Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinskiy, Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov and Leonid Volodymyrovych Kharchenko for causing the MH17 crash and murdering all 298 persons on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges that the four individuals cooperated to obtain and deploy the BUK TELAR at the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft. For that reason, they can also be held jointly accountable for downing flight MH17. The JIT conclusions were further corroborated by the Bellingcat Investigation Team. For the full Bellingcat report see here.

Ukraine is governed from outside and doesn't interest anybody

Ukraine does not interest Abromavicius [the general director of the state company Ukroboronprom], it does not interest the people who rule our country from the outside, because they only care about their own interests.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukraine, which they claim is under the external control of the US or EU. It also implies that Ukraine has been abandoned. Ukraine is a sovereign state, not controlled by any foreign government or international organisation. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world, including the EU. The pro-Kremlin media have produced other disinformation claims where they insist Ukraine is under foreign control. Finally, Ukraine is far from abandoned. The EU and the US continue to provide support to Ukraine. Ukraine is regarded as an important partner in economic, financial, political, military and other sectors. See more about Europe's support to Ukraine's defence reform here.