On Tuesday an accident involving a Spanish jet fighter, which fired a rocket for currently unknown reasons, gave plenty of material to the Russian propaganda industry. On the day of the accident, the Russian online channel-monitoring tool, Propamon showed up to 20 units of press releases and on Wednesday, there were 78 more hits added. This is Propamon’s all-time record and significantly higher peaks than have been caused by statements of Estonian politicians.
The first press releases based on official information were fairly neutral, but late in the night a well known figure to Propastop readers, Aleksei Pushkov, Chairman of the Information Policy Commission of the Russian Federation, stated that „When an exploding rocket crashes unexpectedly near the N of a city in Estonia, that has been wrongfully launched from a war plane it is time now to realize in Tallinn from where the rockets come from. Not to keep on observing the Russian Airforce but rather the Estonia „protecting“ NATO aircraft.“
This statement has received a lot of press and the stories that have followed have been directed towards the advent of anti- NATO feelings. On Wednesday, news about how the missile could also have possibly fallen into Russian territory and how there is lack of constant monitoring of NATO aircraft movements. Additional explanations were enforced by the statement that the head of the Estonian Air Force learned about the incident one and a half hours later and comments from Estonian inhabitants that heard the explosion, that it reminded them of the beginning of the war. In the second half of Wednesday the words of the Latvian President, that Russia could take advantage of the rocket accident started appearing.
The common denominator in all of the topics is a perception that there is a questioning of the seriousness of NATO and to create anger and opposition in the population. Anti-NATO topics are created and intensified, such as:
There are incompetents in NATO;
Estonia could have started a war with Russia due to NATO;
Estonia does not control the activities of NATO in its own territory;
Estonian people have a fear of war due to NATO’s presence;
The presence of NATO is causing tensions with Russia;
Estonia is NATO’s war games practice area, where all is allowed;
If the Russian media is gaining momentum in its propaganda campaign in the media, then social media as of the first day is having a frenzied festival of mocking Estonia and NATO. Dozens of postings and commentaries ridicule the incident and ridiculing, spiteful commentaries as well as direct mockery are in use. Statistics show a consistent increase in the number of comments in the evening of Wednesday.
Some examples of comments are: well, yes, they really are organizing another Nagasaki in Estonia; when the rocket is found, Estonia will have its own (first) rocket; It is 100% sure that Putin phoned his hackers and commanded them to hack the Spanish jet fighter and fire out the rocket; Spain worked out a provocative scenario where friendly Estonia can be destroyed by someone else’s efforts; We do not need a war, NATO itself is undermining the Baltics; how many missiles are needed to forget the existence of Estonia; when does hysteria begin in Estonia; Lets say that Estonia is lucky that it still exists; toilet paper is readily available in Estonia now etc.
As you can see, that at the expense of Estonia and NATO, social media is having free reign in its comments.
It can be predicted that in the following days and months, that on the basis of the explosive NATO undermining continued activity as well as the constant propaganda attacks ever-newer focuses on the incident will be promoted and introduced.
Propastop’s editorial office can foresee at least ten different approaches to exploiting the incident for undermining the confidence of Estonia, Baltics and NATO. If your fantasies have been awakening in this direction, you can post your vision of new narratives to Propastop’s Facebook account.