Estonian cover girls and boys on Russian TV


Today we offer an overview of the people who are representing Estonia on Russian television channels. It can be said that they embody Estonia to our neighbour, shaping impressions on how people here and their views are perceived over there. Let us get familiar with and see how we look to the Russian television viewer.

Dmitri Linter
For a long time the „ on guard – Estonians“ Dimitri Linerit has been invited to studios on Russian television channels whenever there is talk about Estonia. He also gives out comments to local reporters and gives opinions on Skype.

Linter is named in these stories as a fighter for rights, a political scientist, a journalist and an activist. His historical talking points involve the Second World War, the Bronze Soldier and the „immortal regiment’s“ march.

He accuses Estonia of Russo phobia, creating a biased history and persecution of Russians, presenting himself as a classic Kremlin thinking agitator or even a provocateur. Propastop has repeatedly written about Linter. See also his recent appearance on the conservative television channel

Yana Toom
Yana Toom is a frequent studio guest on Russian TV shows; she is on TV as often as Linter. Toom’s words have added weight in that she is a member of the European Parliament. Her topics include EU-Russian relations as well as ongoing internal affairs of Estonia.

Toom’s positions are more balanced than Linter’s. She talks about the need for good relations with Russia and even defends Estonia (see, for example, a program in which Toom disagrees with Vladimir Zhirinovsky on air). She is noteworthy in her good performance and defensive skills; often she is the only woman in a circle of male guests.

You can view Toom’s participation in the 22nd of October Rossija 1 channel’s talk show, „An Evening with Valdimir Solove“ here.

Rein Müllerson
Rein Müllerson, a member of the Valdai club and President of Tallinn University faculty of law is increasingly seen on Russian television. Müller’s topics include geopolitics, multi-polar world order as well as international law. His attitude is anti-American, and considers Estonia a victim of USA interests. For example, he argues that Estonia would be better protected without Allied forces.

Müllerson also speaks on Crimean issues, considering the annexation of the peninsula justified, otherwise a similar military action would have occured there as in eastern Ukraine.

You can see Müllerson on TVC in the show „Freedom of speech” or on Crimean television.

Vadim Strutšenko
Vadim Strutšenko is an interesting younger generation TV personality and political scientist, who has been featured a number of times in recent years on our eastern neighbour’s channels. Strutšenko’s views are the most similar to Estonia’s own views on its history, independence and having an aggressive neighbour. These outlooks are so different from the rest of Russia’s television mindset that Strutšenko has become the „whipping boy“ that kremlin minded guest personalities try to outdo each other in „beating“ him in their arguments.

Watch Strutšenko argue with the entire studio as well as Dmitry Linter on the NTV talk show „Meeting point“ this August. Also, read about Strutšenko’s overview on the production of Russian-language broadcasts in Russia. (In Russian). Additionally to those named are also many personalities in Russian media which are associated with Estonia, such as the actor Kirill Käro, the football player Valeri Karpin from Narva, Marilyn Kerro, a psychic show participant and Anne Veski, although they perform in their individual areas and do not voice any opinions relating to  Estonia.

However, we hope to write an overview on these internet-speaking authors on a future date via the internet. Surprisingly, the most well known „Estonian“ for Russia’s television viewer may well be the kremlin activist Aleksandr Gaponenko, based in Riga. Gaponenko is the most viewed Baltic topic speaker, who has appeared at least 16 times in the last two years. He accuses Latvia of persecuting Russians and extends the issue across the entire „Pribaltika“ drawing Estonia as well into his propaganda messages.

Assuming that finding a reasonable individual (with common sense views) associated with Estonia on Russian television is beneficial to us, we are discussing the possibilities of finding such a person. Certainly, a person with very good Russian language proficiency and the ability to engage in intense discussions is needed for this purpose.

It seems unlikely that critical views on Putin’s politics would be tolerated on Kremlin controlled television. Although  there could be an opinion leader who could be attracted to a more liberal way of thinking on television. For example, digital topics are a trump card to Estonia worldwide and are interesting to sectors in Russia as well.

Therefore, Propastop’s plan is to „conquer“ Russian television.  A specialist in digital subjects with a good performing ability and associated with Estonia, needs to be taught perfect Russian and consequently sent to Russia as a security expert on TV producers’ lists.

Write to our Facebook account, relating your thoughts on this idea and any candidates you may have for this position.

Pictures: screen shots from the referred to broadcasts.