Propastop noticed that at the beginning of the week, the Russian media had a spreading news story referring to Estonian Defence Forces singing about killing Russians while marching. These headlines began surfacing on Monday and continued to spread on Tuesday.
On Monday, February 26. information began to be circulated that the „Forest Brothers Song“ was being used in the Estonian Defence Forces as a marching song, where one version has lines that are insulting to Russians living in Estonia. The story began with the Facebook postings of Mstislav Russakov, director of the Kitež Center for Human Rights in Estonia. He later also prepared the posting for the news website of rubaltics.ru. Russakov has also been a lecturer at the NGO Russian School in Estonia and has previously gained attention by Propastop.
On the same day the story spread to TVZvezda, Ria.ru, Lenta.ru, Life.ru TV channels as well as several social media channels throughout Monday. The titles of the stories essentially described how Estonian Defence Forces marching songs have lines about killing Russians.
On Monday, news releases were also published in Estonian newspapers about how Kitež had sent a formal appeal to the Ministry of Defence, as well as sending a copy to the Chancellor of Justice and the Equal Opportunities Commissioner.
On the same day in the morning, the commentary of the Estonian Defence Forces issued to the Russian language section of Delfi began to spread. It was published by Vzgljad, which referred to the RIA.ru channel, which in turn cited the article by Delfi, which was supplemented with commentary.
The first stories published in the Russian media referred to the original message of the Center, outlining the words of the song and explaining the meaning of „tibla“. The main message is that Estonian Defence Forces sing songs about killing Russians. On Tuesday, the tone of the news began to argue that the Russian-speaking members of the Defence Forces have refused to sing this song because they consider it offensive.
Propastop will keep an eye on the developments of this story.
Photo: Screenshot of MK.ru homepage and Russakov’s Facebook posting