Propastop started a new „Propaganda Horoscope“ in August which will be making its next predictions today. The blog’s editors will actively monitor any writing of Estonia in the Russian information space and from time to time will be monitoring issues with potential for further developments. In November 2017, we will present four topics that may receive more attention in the coming months:
Estonian economic problems
Propastop has on several occasions referred to articles and news stories in which to a more or less extent Estonia’s poor economic status and dependence on Euro subsidies are brought out. With these statements, the topic „ The time during the Soviet era was better in the Baltic countries“ is usually added. Further to this the idea that „The Baltic States owe Russia“ is also introduced occasionally.
We posted the development of this topic for the first time in July and it has been continuously used ever since. The editorial board thinks that this topic will continue to grow on its own and will be seen more and more in the media. Its aim is to portray the worst image of Estonia as possible to the Russian people and influence the feelings of politicians and residents of the European Member States with the desire to break the unity of the EU member states. The Latvian academic Gatis Krumins has convincingly proven that during the Soviet period there was a decline in Baltic economies. The strength of Estonia’s economy can be viewed best in statistics.
The new wave of compatriot policies
In recent months, activation of Russia’s compatriot policy has become evident. The issue was highlighted at the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution conference held at the beginning of November, where opponents of Estonia known as „ commentators on guard“ voiced those sentiments. In the same way, there are stories about discrimination against Russian speaking people in Estonia, which the Kremlin media is trying to have redirected to channels broadcasting in other European languages.
The Spy story keeps going on
The case of a Russian citizen detained at the beginning of November on charges of espionage has gained large attention in the Russian media in the week following his arrest. For example during the publication of Horoscope, the Russian media monitored very exactly whether the detainee was allowed to meet with the ambassador and how the Estonian State authorities commented on the case. A special note was made in the media that the Estonian Foreign Ministry’s reply to the Russian ambassador was that they would reply to their inquiries in 30 days.
The abundance of this news story is much higher than other articles on Estonia and it can be expected that this topic will not show signs of dying down in the near future. Propastop recommends that the topic be actively monitored and that that the authorities concerned try to refute any false information in the media. The Russian media is already making efforts to alienate any connections to the FSB and portray the image of an innocent, hard working young man unfairly in jail.
Izabella’s story is loosing momentum
In the summer, the much reported in the Russian media case of a child who had been temporarily taken from her Russian parents has disappeared from the media since November. A second wave was created by the arrival of the girl and her mother in Russia, which was seen in many publications. The last article was published on October 30th. Propastop has been actively monitoring the topic and is not predicting further developments on this topic.
Russia’s influence activities in the Finnish Presidential election
There was a lot of excitement in the Finnish media for a specialist memo on possible Russian influence during the January presidential election. The memo described various opportunities for influence activities and the goals and dangers of interfering in the electoral campaign.
The publication of the memo in the Finnish media has caused a lot of mischief and misunderstanding as well as already becoming a discussion topic in the quiet Presidential campaign. Propastop estimates that it is unlikely that during or after the campaign any large traces of Russian activity in Finland will be found. Assuredly, Russian influence activities will be a possible political tool that will find active use in campaigns.
Photo: Tom Roeleveld/Flickr /CC