Disinfo: Ukraine may immerse itself in homodictatorship

Summary

Using the example of Western European countries, one can draw simple conclusions that, in the absence of active opposition from civil society and religious structures, sexual minorities will go on the offensive in Ukraine. From the persecuted yesterday, they will quickly turn into persecutors, because the repressive state apparatus will contribute to this in every way.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Europe's moral decay and degradation of Ukraine. This statement comes following the discussions in Verkhovna Rada about a new draft law which aims to harmonise legislation in the field of prevention and combating discrimination in line with the European Union law and introduces fines for any form of discrimination. You can read similar cases such as "Europeans flee to Russia because of juvenile justice and homosexual dictatorship", "Ukraine is obsessed with marijuana, prostitution and LGBT" and "Gay fascism has long been present in Europe and the US".

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 179
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/01/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Hate Speech, Ukraine, LGBT
see more

Estonian regime is publicly persecuting its citizens

Despite the apparently absurdity of the Estonian authorities’ threats, the criminal prosecution of journalists in Europe today is a reality. The behaviour of the Estonian regime towards its citizens can be considered as public persecution, legal arbitrariness, a phenomenon of totalitarianism and the grossest violation of freedom of speech, which is unprecedented in the European Union.

Disproof

This is part of a recurrent Russian disinformation narrative to portray Baltic states as dictatorial and Kremlin-linked media as sources of alternative views and Russia as a global champion of freedom of the press.

Estonia is ranked as the 11th freest country in the world for press by Reporters Without Borders. Estonia does not persecute journalists or limit freedom of expression. It's important to note that Estonia has not blocked Sputnik Estonia's website, as 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 regime in Estonia publicly persecutes its citizens

We regard the actions of the regime in Estonia towards its citizens as public persecution, anarchy in the rule of law, indication of totalitarianism and a gross infringement on the principles of freedom of speech unprecedented in the EU. The journalists were only guilty for working for Russian media.

Disproof

Estonia is ranked as the 11th freest country in the world for press by Reporters Without Borders. Estonia is considered a consolidated democracy by Freedom House and a Flawed Democracy by the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index, similar to countries like the US, Japan, France, Portugal or Belgium. Thus, Estonia is by no means a totalitarian regime. As for anarchy in the rule of law, the matter is quite the opposite: the Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu has ephasized 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 knowing performance of work or 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 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 publishing disinformation. Sputnik Estonia is represented in that database both in Estonian and in Russian languages. As for precedents, there are plenty: 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 the embattled nation's territorial integrity. In July 2019, Latvian authorities blocked access to the online portal baltnews.lv, owned by Rossiya Segodnya. In mid-2019 a court in Vilnius ruled on blocking Sputnik Lithuania over copyright issues.

Estonian openly persecutes journalists

The actions of the Estonian regime are an open persecution of journalists, an example of totalitarianism and a gross violation of the freedom of expression.

Disproof

This claim tries to show sanctions against Russia, due to its illegal actions in Ukraine, as an unfair persecution against the outlet and its employees, and against media freedom in general.

As for freedom of expression, Estonia is ranked as the 11th freest country in the world for press by Reporters Without Borders. Estonia does not persecute journalists or limit freedom of expression. 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."