Disinfo: Western countries are persecuting Russian media


Russia will seek the reaction of OSCE to facts of oppression of Russian media in the Western countries. Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs many times brought to the attention examples of violation of the principles of democratic society in these countries. Such Russian media as RT, Sputnik, RIA-Novosti, and Baltnews are facing oppression in some OSCE countries, including Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, France, and Germany.


A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about discrimination against Russian media in the West.

In the “2021 World Press Freedom index” (by Reporters Without Borders) Germany is on 13th place, Estonia is on 15th place, Latvia on 22nd place, Lithuania on 28th place, and France is on 34th place. This illustrate a free environment. For comparison: Russia holds in this ranking 150th position (between 180 countries).

In the “Freedom in the World” ranking (by Freedom House) Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany and France were evaluated as free countries. Russia belongs to the group of non-free countries.

The mentioned outlets RT, Sputnik, RIA-Novosti, Baltnews are well-known channels for the spread of Kremlin-backed disinformation; several directly financed from the Russian Federation state budget. Many cases of disinformation published in these media outlets are debunked in the EU vs DISINFO database.

See similar cases claiming that the Baltic states continue the persecution of Russian publications and Russian-speaking journalists; or that Ukraine and Baltics use restrictions against Russian media for the achievement of geopolitical goals against Russia; or that Poland started another wave of Russophobic political persecution on the Russian journalists; or that the campaign to combat the Russian media in the Baltics is part of the West’s large geopolitical strategy.


  • Reported in: Issue 242
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/05/2021
  • Article language(s) Lithuanian, Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Germany, France
  • Keywords: Media, Freedom of speech, Russophobia, Anti-Russian, Censorship
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Disinfo: People killed in Odesa on 2 May 2014 are victims of political terror

People killed in Odesa on 2 May 2014 are victims of political terror. Time passes, but Ukrainian authorities are indifferent to the grief of the victims’ relatives, and the perpetrators and their political sponsors remain unpunished.


This is a pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about violent clashes that happened between pro-Russian activists (also known as anti-Maidan) and Ukrainian patriots in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa on May 2, 2014, and the ensuing fire in the House of the Trade Unions. In reality, these tragic events have nothing to do with political terror. A total of 48 people died that day, most of them being pro-Russian activists. About 200 were wounded. Pro-Kremlin forces accuse Maidan leaders of instigating the clashes, claiming also that far-right nationalists burned dozens of people alive, while Ukrainian patriots say that Moscow and its agents of influence in Ukraine are to blame for these violent events.

On that day, about 300 well-organised pro-Russian supporters attacked a march of about 2,000 Ukrainian patriots, including local residents and a large number of football fans who had arrived from Kharkiv for a football game. Both groups used firearms in the clashes. 6 pro-Russian supporters and 2 Ukrainian patriots were shot and killed as a result. Pro-Russian activists began throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at their opponents. The situation went out of control as the police failed to respond effectively to violence. The investigation is still underway. Several individuals prosecuted in relation to these events have managed to flee abroad. Some of them took refuge in the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, now occupied by the Russian Federation, while others fled to the separatist-held territories in Donbas.

Disinfo: Odessa tragedy was a pre-planned massacre of people who disagreed with the coup in Kyiv

It was a pre-planned, prepared massacre of people who disagreed with the coup d'état that took place on February 21, 2014, in Kyiv.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Odesa tragedy alleging that the Ukrainian government was planning the killings of people in the House of Unions. This narrative is combined with another recurrent claim about Euromaidan as a coup.

There is no evidence that the Ukrainian government was involved in the Odessa tragedy. No trial has yet established the responsibilities of the different actors before a court. A total of 5 cases on trials and 3 investigations are currently ongoing. Media reported about the tragedy in May 2014: the BBC, the Guardian, the DW. A chronology of the events has been established (1 and 2) and a non-partisan documentary film by Ukrainian Channel 7 has collected testimonies: May 2nd without Myth.

Disinfo: The West is pursuing an absolutely unfriendly and hostile policy towards Russia

Russia has imposed sanctions against the heads of the European Parliament and the prosecutor's office in Berlin. This is a response to those absolutely unfriendly and sometimes even hostile actions that we see from the collective West. The West is pursuing one seditious thought, accusing Russia of increasing escalation, saying that it was through Russia's actions that the deterioration and degradation of bilateral relations began. But this is not true. We have not done anything that could provoke such actions on the part of our Western partners. This is purposeful, as we now understand it, and, apparently, a long-planned policy towards the Russian Federation.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West's aggressive Russophobic policy and allegedly belligerent and hostile agenda against Russia.

The EU and Russia have committed to upholding and respecting the fundamental values and principles of democracy, human rights, the rule of law and the market economy. Russia remains a natural partner for the EU and a strategic player combating the regional and global challenges. The EU’s approach to Russia is guided by five principles agreed in 2016 and reaffirmed, most recently, by EU Foreign Ministers in October 2020. Read more about the EU-Russia relations here.