The people on the Facebook page Za Budushee (for the future) have made it their mission to question the measures taken in Estonia to fight the coronavirus. The site was launched on February 11. 2020 and as of today has 813 followers and 749 likes.
Some examples of the messages spread on the webpage: There is no mass deadly virus infection in Estonia! Quarantine should end immediately! Anti-virus measures are overstretched! The government has pushed the Estonian economy and society into chaos with its own actions! All rights and freedoms that have been taken away due to the special crisis situation must be restored immediately! The borders must be immediately opened!
These appeals are published in the form of text messages and for example in the form of a reader survey (are you for or against the quarantine) as well as in the form of video broadcasts viewed by several thousand people. They are calling for readers to actively spread the messages as well as joining their community.
In addition, they are trying to increase their popularity by advertising, for example, an application has been purchased from Facebook for an ironic meme of President Kersti Kaljulaid.
Links with Kremlin networks in Estonia
The names of the administrators of Za Budushee are not public, however a number of individuals have signed on to the appeals of the postings: Oleg Gogin, Stanislav Pupkevitch, Svetlana Razumnova, Eino Ingerman, Karina Schirokova, Maksim Ivaniv, Oksana Kogut, Natalja Kruglaja, Ivan Vassiljako, Liana Snezchko and Aleksandr Fedjukov.
Links with the Kremlin networks are evident through Stanislav Pupkevitch.
Pupkevitch is a United Left party activist with anti-NATO and pro-Russian views. He runs the Facebook webpage Aera Vulgaris and was part of the administrator group of Narodnoi zakon (e people’s law), which is now called Novosti Estonii (e Estonian news).
Pupkevitš, has been among the group of administrators of Novosti Estonii, along with Mstislav Russakov, Sergei Seredenko as well as Allan Hantsom, whose ties with the Kremlin have been written by Propastop in a five-part series of postings. They are frequent speakers on Kremlin propaganda sites such as Baltnews or the now defunct Sputnik. The views of the Putin regime are actively disseminated with groups on Facebook.
Freedom of speech and opinions is adhered to in Estonia. Dissemination of one’s views is perfectly normal, even if they run counter to the country’s official coronavirus policies. The indirect connections of the Za Buduštšeje community with the Kremlin’s networks of influence suggests that the agenda of this webpage is also orchestrated from behind our eastern border, with the aim of dividing Estonia’s unity, calling into question the legitimacy of power and sowing discontent.
Propastop thanks the anonymous reader who drew attention to this Facebook webpage.
Images: screenshots of the webpages referenced in the story.