The ERR TV program „Pealtnägia“ (Witness) aired a story on the US Special Forces in Estonia and the planned training centre here, which became a leading story in the Russian media, as does any topic related to war or military exercises.
Estonian Baltnews and Sputnik published several articles on the subject, seeking new perspectives for further reports. They also used in large numbers many „security experts“ known to Propastop readers such as Iljashevits, Koshkin, Velman and Besedin. The stories served as a basis for scores of coverage on Russian information channels.
In addition to republishing the Sputnik and Baltnews stories on various news channels, numerous new materials were also created.
Based on the choice of focus, most of the published stories were news presentations on the main message, which spoke about Estonian journalists who accidently discovered secret US Special Forces stationed in Estonia. They also talked about the size of investment for the planned center and pointed out that US Special Forces have been here since 2014.
Many of the story’s headlines were „ US Special Forces near the Russian Border,“ and many of the stories highlighted that Pealtnägija did not uncover anything secret, as Russian intelligence has long known about US Special Forces stationed in Estonia.
Rossia Today questioned the journalists’ discovery part of the story, believing it to be a Pentagon approved and initiated story.
Many stories have included „experts,“ who have given their appraisal of the situation and have helped expand the story. For example, Rus Vesna’s article included Dmitri Linter, notorious for his Bronze soldier night involvement. He is listed as a renowned human rights activist. One of his statements regarding the Special Forces is that eventually, NATO forces will be deployed to Narva, where provocations and sabotage against Russia will begin. The article was illustrated with USA soldiers posing with USA flags in front of Narva castle.
PolitEkspert published an interview with „military observer,“ Victor Baranets after the story, who said Russia had long known that an US military base was near the Russian border. Baranets believes that the base is an intelligence and logistics center that collects and transmits intelligence on the one hand and prepares logistical capabilities on the other.
Ria.ru has included as its expert the former MEP from Latvia, Miroslav Mitrofanov. He is well known to Propastop readers. Miroslav’s main message is that the USA may use the Special Forces in Estonia against Russia.
The strangest news came from the Vladivostok publication, 125region.ru, which published the news with a headline „Estonia is preparing for an attack from Green Men“. The short story begins with a plan presented by the Estonian Minister of Internal Affairs in the summer to create a 1,500-member rapid reaction group for internal security purposes. The rest of the story says that ETV had previously published a story about a secret US Special Forces base near the Russian border. In this way, two mutually exclusive and incompatible topics are combined into one piece of Kremlin narrative propaganda news.
All the tonality and direction of the coverage is well summed up by the blog, Karaulov’s Life, which has published an article entitled „US Special Forces already near the Russian border“.
All of the above clearly illustrates how the story of Pealtnägia has succeeded in shaping the Russian propaganda narrative that „Estonia provokes NATO against Russia“ and perpetuates the fear mongering propaganda wave. This narrative is one of the main myths circulating about Estonia that is disseminated through the Kremlin media.
Photo: Screenshot of news on websites