The Channel One Russia television channel’s news broadcast, Vremja on the evening of November 20th spoke about Estonia. In an episode lasting approximately a minute, attempts were made to pass on a propaganda message alluding to a supposed massive Ukrainian labour force, which has been aggressively pushing themselves into Estonia and has led locals to go abroad enable to find work.
A female reporter reported the claims on camera, without giving any proof of truth or giving any sources. Instead, the message was confirmed by an interview from Vsevold Jürgenson, of the Estonian Center Party. „Ukraine has unemployment, they have a catastrophe. Now this catastrophe is being brought to Estonia. Estonia will not get anything from them coming. Only business people who earn off the backs of slave labour are getting something, „says the man to the camera“
Are Vremja’s description of the situation true?
Notices of the number of people from Ukraine are being circulated at between five and twenty thousand. In any case, it can be said that there are many. In this part, Vremja is telling the truth. However, absurd numbers have been claimed, as if massive hordes are emigrating. The migration balance between Estonia and Finland has been reversed; Estonian population growth is rising due to returning migration, and unemployment, which is low. We did not find any sources backing up Vremja’s claims; consequently, we have to rule this news as falsely biased. How can the words of a member of the Prime Minister’s political party send out such a propaganda message of social catastrophe in Estonia? Such propagandist do not appear on the channels of our eastern neighbour randomly. We are dealing with a person who has spoken on Kremlin channels previously and for example, has also published stories on the propaganda website, Baltnews.
The propagandistic news section as a whole is targeting more against Ukraine, trying to give it the reputation of a failed State. However, Propastop is increasingly seeing Russian media stories that try to connect Ukrainians working in Estonia with all sorts of problems. For example in October, we wrote about an article that intimated that there are many terrorists among the workers from Ukraine.
We are anticipating the continuation of propaganda stories on foreign workers and migration in Estonia. In this way, the Kremlin seeks to make its own contribution to the disruption of the pre-election debate and perhaps even towards a government crisis.
In the Baltic nations, Vremja is broadcast by PBK, whose hostile content has been lively discussed in the Estonian media. We have put both PBK as well as Channel One Russia on our propaganda channels blacklist.
The Vremja program can be viewed at this link. The section about Estonia is broadcast as of 21:57.
In the picture: a screenshot of the program.