On October 1, Tallinn television (TTV) was closed by decision of the Mayor of Tallinn, Mikhail Kõlvart. The closure was due to the channel’s high costs and low ratings, with the city absorbing 4.5 million € in costs per year with according to Kantar Emor’s analysis only a share of viewers in August 2019 of 1.3%.
Russian propaganda channels, however gave a new meaning to the closure of TTV, calling it „the closure of the broadcasting of a Russian television program“ and Estonian authorities’ expression of Russophobia.
RIA Novost announced in its news that a television channel wanting to broadcast PBK’s TV products had been shut down. They also announced that the Estonian President, Kersti Kaljulaid had criticized the PBK move. Neither statement is true. The fake information about PBK is likely based on Tallinn City government’s plan to purchase shows and broadcasting time directly from the propaganda channel.
Vzgljad also mistakenly stated that TTV was broadcasting Russian language shows.
Izvestija added to their story a reference to a fake news article in the Spring, as if President Kersti Kaljulaid called the Russian language a threat to Estonia. As Propastop showed in April, it was a Kremlin media lie. In addition, according to Izvestija, the closure of TTV demonstrates a restriction in freedom of speech in the Baltic States.
Riafan.ru added a propagandistic comment to the news, as if the Baltic nations are taking a definite strong stance against Russia. The allegation was made in reference to the detention of the head of Lithuanian Sputnik at Vilnius airport in the Spring.
Gazeta.ru described the termination of TTV as „a forced ban on the broadcasting of Tallinn City television“.
According to Propastop, these reports are classical propaganda activities, which initially add false, distorted information and estimates to the event, which sheds the right light on the event for Kremlin propaganda. In this case, the story seeks to include a message of persecution of Russian-speaking people.
The domestic political aspect of this case makes it exciting. In the news, it can be read between the lines that the Centre political party led city government, whose election success is based on Russian-speaking voters, shut down TTV. At the governmental level of the European Union and NATO member states, however the same party cooperates with Estonian vibrant nationalists, consequently betraying its Russian-speaking voters.
Pictures: Screenshots of articles cited in the story.