Disinfo: There is no freedom of speech in Estonia, but an absolute censorship

Summary

Total chaos is happening in Estonia. There is no freedom of speech in this European country. There is absolute censorship, although it is banned in Estonia. Authorities do not react to the situation. At the same time, a significant part of Sputnik Estonia employees are citizens of this country.

Disproof

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 is on the 11th place of Reporters without Borders Press freedom index. Regarding censorship, 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 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 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.

The EU vs Disinfo team has found 49 different Sputnik websites from all over the world and 31 of them are in the Disinformation cases database, meaning those outlets have been reported publishing disinformation. Sputnik Estonia is represented in that database both in Estonian and in Russian languages.

Similar cases about Sputnik Estonia can be read here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 182
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Estonia
  • Keywords: Censorship, Freedom of speech, Dmitry Kiselyov, Sputnik
  • Outlet: Sputnik Armenia
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Calling German-Soviet non-aggression pact as Ribbentrop-Molotov pact is re-writing history

The rewriting of history began during the Cold War when the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact and its secret protocols started to be called after the names of the leaders of these states (Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact or Hitler-Stalin Pact). At the same time, the infamous Munich Agreements have not been called after the names of the countries, which signed them.

Many other non-aggression pacts and agreements signed by the European countries with Nazi Germany are perceived as regular international agreements, which did not have any importance for the war plans of Hitler. Meanwhile, with time, the German-Soviet non-aggression pact was proven to stand in one line with the Gleiwitz incident.

Disproof

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 stating that other European countries signed various international agreements with Germany throughout 1930s.

This message contains two disinformation claims – first of all, it perceives the calling of the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact or Hitler-Stalin Pact as re-writing of history. Secondly, it suggests that the issue of the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact is similar to the Gleiwitz incident, suggesting that there are many fake historical messages connected to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

Istanbul convention will drive Armenia on the brink of civil war

Armenia wants to ratify the Istanbul Convention, which will become a national catastrophe for the country. Armenia will turn into the “Netherlands of the South Caucasus”. Gays and transgender people from all over the world will be able to move and reside in Armenia. As a result, this will create a situation close to civil war, because an overwhelming majority of the Armenian population is traditional and conservative.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about the Istanbul Convention. This message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the morally corrupt West and threatened traditional values.

The Istanbul Convention (the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence) is a treaty of the Council of Europe that opens the path for creating a legal framework at a pan-European level to protect women against all forms of violence, and prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence.

The German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact of 1934 assumed the partition of the USSR

Polish leaders repeatedly met with Hitler, Göring and Ribbentrop. In 1934, the Piłsudski-Hitler pact was signed. This agreement was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany and the Polish Ambassador to Germany Józef Lipski, known for his anti-Semitic views. Among other issues, this agreement assumed the partition of the land of the USSR, in which Poland could also have taken part.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to erode the disastrous historical role of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact by stating that other European countries signed various international agreements with Germany throughout the 1930s.

It is impossible to compare the German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact of 1934 with the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact as the former was a standard international agreement aimed at the mutual recognition of borders and a declaration that existing political contradictions would be solved through diplomatic tools. There is no historical evidence that this pact contained any secret protocols, which assumed common aggressive actions of Germany and Poland against the USSR or other countries. Moreover, the pact did not include any agreements on advanced political, economic and military relations between Poland and Germany. Secondly, in 1934, the plans of Hitler were still unknown, so all European countries carried out normal diplomatic relations with Germany.