During the recent propaganda attacks against Estonia, Propastop has noticed the activity of the Russian Embassy in Estonia in sharing and amplifying the Kremlin’s messages. In order to better understand the activities of the embassy, we surveyed its activities on Facebook between November 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020. The figures show a significant increase in the activity of the embassy.
Many active days
The embassy published a total of 794 posts during this period, an average of 2.6 posts per day. The most posts, totalling 18 were on May 9, 2020. Next in order were July 17 with 13 posts and June 12 with 11 posts. Record days all fall within the last four months.
In recent months, there have been few days with no posts at all.
The trend is growing
The average number of posts has also increased. Looking at the average of the last 14 days, it can be seen that it has risen since the beginning of this year, then again since May, June and July. As of the end of August, the average number of posts is almost as high as in May.
The Red Army and Soviet nostalgia
We compiled a word cloud that gives an overview of the topics of the posts. In the first place are keywords related to Russia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the citizens of their country, as an embassy should have.
However, a large proportion of propaganda topics related to history can be noticed in keywords such as “USSR”, “patriotic war” and “victory” which are indicative of their direction.
Key words in the Russian Embassy’s Facebook postings
Monuments are currently in the spotlight for the embassy. As a rule, every topic related to monuments in Estonia are mentioned, be it the discussion around Maarjamäe, the opening of the forest brothers’ memorial or graffiti on some of the monuments. A lot is also contributed to the restoration of the Red Army monuments in Estonia, the events are stirred up with the support of the club Front Line and then a big show is made at their reopening.
The second direction of propaganda posts is Soviet nostalgia in general: the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Moscow Olympic Games or a series of posts reminiscing on prominent Soviet celebrities who are related to Estonia. Strange events are also celebrated, such as the anniversary of Estonia’s accession to the Soviet Union. The topic reference # ЭССР80 has been created to mark it.
The embassy will probably continue to spread and amplify the same propaganda topics in the remaining months of the year, both the so-called “liberation” of Tallinn and several renovated Soviet monuments will be main focus. With all its attention and excitement for the Soviet period, it would appropriate for the paper to rename itself the Embassy of the Soviet Union in Estonia.
Infographics: Propastop, screenshots from the embassy’s Facebook page.