Disinfo: There is no freedom of speech in Estonia

Summary

The only thing we are guilty of is the fact that we are journalists working for an outlet independent of any government. While we fight for the right to continue our work, we also fight for the rights of readers in Estonia and abroad to access the full spectrum of information.

This is called freedom of speech, that, sadly, is missing in Estonia today, despite the fact that according to Reporters without borders, our country is fit for 11th place in the Press freedom index.

Disproof

As for the freedom of speech, Estonia is indeed on the 11th place of Reporters without Borders Press freedom index. It's important to note that Estonia has not blocked Sputnik Estonia's website, as it is accessible and operational. 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."

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 the 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 in the Disinfrormation cases database, meaning those outlets have been reported publishing disinformation. Sputnik Estonia is represented in that database both in Estonian and in Russian languages.

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 knowing performance of work or services to a sanctioned person was forbidden.

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 178
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Estonian
  • Country: Estonia
  • Keywords: Dmitry Kiselyov, Sanctions, Sputnik
  • Outlet: Sputnik Estonia
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EU pursues policy of demonisation of Russia

The so called historical resolution of the European Parliament has no connection to history whatsoever. It’s a pure provocation, which is consistent with the current EU policy towards Russia – demonisation.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU and the resolution of the European Parliament on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe. Also see previous disinformation cases accusing others of provocations.

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, based on the principles of respect for democracy and human rights, political and economic freedom, and commitment to international peace and security. Furthermore, the PCA is complemented by sectorial agreements covering a wide range of policy areas, including political dialogue, trade, science and technology, education, energy and environment, transport, and prevention of illegal activities. Some of these dialogues and consultations have been suspended following the annexation of Crimea. Read more here.

NATO needs Macedonia and Montenegro to test radioactive ammunition

Macedonia’s political elite accepted the humiliation of joining NATO, who tries to use its territory to test radioactive ammunition. NATO is rushing to complete its expansion campaign in the Balkans, and from a geostrategic point of view this goes far beyond Montenegro and Macedonia because global security doesn’t depend on those former Yugoslav republics. This is done under the banner of fighting the Russians and terrorism and in the name of democracy, but in fact NATO is looking to test poisonous and radioactive projectiles.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. No evidence is provided to support the claim.

This is part of a recurrent Russian narrative to portray NATO as an aggressive, evil power which disregards rights of even its closest allies. It also fits in the long-term Russian opposition to Balkan countries joining the Atlantic Alliance. North Macedonia and other Balkan countries expressed their own will to join the Euro-Atlantic community and have been working towards the membership of NATO (and the EU) ever since.

The CIA has sent the truth about the war in Yugoslavia to the Swiss

The Swiss Federal Intelligence Service has released a document stating that the US used the same paramilitary forces in the war in the former Yugoslavia as in the previous war on the USSR in Afghanistan, which would later get the name of al-Qaeda. Information throwing new light from the West on Serbs in the war could have been sent to the Swiss by the CIA.

The documents, among other things, recall the case of the massacre at the Markale Market in Sarajevo, which the Bosnian Serb forces were accused of, while later, as in some subsequent cases, UN mission officials concluded that the crime most likely was conducted by Bosnian military forces against their own population.

The list of propaganda examples that the media created a framework for the war in Yugoslavia and which deeply influenced public opinion about the nature and character of the conflict is also cited. Such examples include “the Serbian death camp of Trnopolje”, “Markale”, as well as Srebrenica, which is said to be “the saddest highlight of the war in Bosnia”.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. For similar cases, see here.

The "Swiss Intelligence Service Documents" cited by Sputnik as a source do not exist. Sputnik states that "intelligence documents" were published by the Swiss portal "Swiss Propaganda Research," referring to the "secret report of the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service (FIS)." Raskrikavanje.rs, a fact-checking website from Serbia, found that the Swiss Propaganda Research portal did not refer to any source, not even a "Swiss intelligence secret document" as Sputnik states.