Last week, the word rocket in the Estonian media caught the attention of the Russian media. Rockets were written and talked about in connection with Estonia from three different viewpoints during the week with the main message being; Estonia’s membership in NATO is a threat to Russia.
On Monday, a shooting exercise at Tapa in which the firing of a USA multi-rocket launcher system MLRS was practiced, received lively attention in the Russian media.
The title of the story of the Russian publication Vzgljad stated that the USA and Estonia organized a provocation when they test fired the MLRS. The text reiterated that Russia considers such shooting provocative and particularly dangerous. In another news story, in addition to the expressions “provocation” and “particularly dangerous”, the idea that Russian diplomats are concerned because such maneuvers are made in the immediate vicinity of the Russian border, 110 kilometers away, was used.
A day later, on Tuesday, the topic of a missile erroneously fired by a Spanish fighter two years ago was on the Russian aviation portal avia.pro agenda. The story is entitled “The cruise missile launched from Estonia to Russia has still not been found”. The story goes without reference to the source that a NATO jet fighter mistakenly fired a rocket at the Russian border, which allegedly flew across the border and would have almost led to a war between Russia and Allied forces.
The text combines vague accusations, the opinions of an anonymous expert and quotations from the commander of the Estonian Air Force, making it difficult to distinguish between facts, opinions and official statements.
Several versions of the original article have been published on various channels, with perhaps the most provocative headline being entitled “Estonia fired a rocket at Russia. This is confirmed. ”
On Friday, stories about a third rocket topic related to Estonia began to appear in the Russian media. For example, EADaily published a news item entitled “USA Air Force Bombers Practiced firing on Russia from Every Direction.” The story is based on the comment of Sergei Surovkin, the commander of the Russian Air Force, that on August 28, USA bombers B52H practiced firing rockets targeting Russia over the territories of the Black Sea, Estonia and Canada. TASS published a story on the same topic entitled “Russian Air Force Commander: US Bombers Practiced Air Strikes against Russia from Estonia and Canada”.
One of the main messages of this topic is that Russia considers such exercises in the immediate vicinity of the Russian border to be hostile and provocative.
The overarching feature of all three issues is the desire to intimidate Estonia with the dangers of being a NATO member and to direct Estonia to passivity in military exercises.
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