Corporals Ilves, Laar and Ansip received a medal


Russia’s Ministry of Defence has created a web-based database called “People’s heroics”, that gathers all the people who were awarded in the Red Army during the Second World War. The database was opened in 2015, 70 years after the end of the war, and everyone can do the searches.

At the beginning of this year’s April, Propaganda portal “Baltnews” started to publish an article series “Soviet Estonians”. It publishes articles about people, who have been sought out from the abovementioned database, and who happen to have Estonian names. For some peculiar reason, the portal has decided to publish stories about people, whose surname are the same as today’s Estonian politicians.

Following corporals have been awarded:

Eduard Ilves (as Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Estonian president);

Alfred Laar (as Mart Laar, previous Prime Minister and an active politician);

Gustav Ansip (as Andrus Ansip, former prime minister);

sergeant Arnold Ligi (as Jürgen Ligi, a prominent politician, has held several minister posts);

staff sergeant Robert Kallas (as Siim Kallas, a senior politician, previous prime minister, an EU commissioner; and as Kaja Kallas, her daughter, who is also a well-known politician)

private Eduard Ratas (as Jüri Ratas, present Prime Minister)

and private Johannes Mihkelson (a prominent politician).

Propastop decided to draw attention how Kremlin propaganda machine tries to present the Second World War as something very present, that unites the “Soviet people”. “Soviet people” are ones who were occupied by the Soviet Union, but now Russia wants to show them as always having been part of the Russian sphere of influence. For them to be connected to the Western value system is just a misshaping. Similar thoughts have been presented in Russian tv-shows and also by Dimitri Linter (a local Kremlin-minded activist), who has now come up with the idea to build another memorial statue into Tallinn downtown. This time for Estonians who fought in the Red Army.

What is Baltnews? The portal is part of the Kremlin’s media projects by an overseas network and targeting the in Russian-speaking people living in the Baltic states. Estonian Baltnews portal is being led by Aleksandr Kornilov, who has also been mentioned in the same context in local Estonian media and the Estonian Internal Security Services annual review . There is also an article in English, describing the connection between propaganda channels Baltnews, Sputnik, RT and RIA Novosti, that is owned by Russian government.

Photo: Monument of Red Army ‘liberators’ in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, which got in 2011 a new look from modern street artists.