In November 2020, we wrote about the news agency EADaily, which is notorious in the number of their anti-Estonian stories.
Along with EADaily, the portal Regnum.ru, owned by the information agency Regnum, also stands out for similar hostile stories. Regnum is both a producer of original stories as well as re-publishing and amplifying messages from other sources of Russian media. Regnum is always among the first to publish stories on topics that can be used to attack Estonia.
Among the latest major topics, Regnum has reflected how Estonians want to get the Sputnik V vaccine, which was developed in Russia and spread Mart Helme’s statements about the falsification of the US elections. They have also been involved in covering conspiracy theories on the ferry liner Estonia and contributed to ridiculing statements made by the speaker of the house, Henn Põlluaas about the Tartu Peace Treaty.
Regnum Information agency
Modest Kolerov and Boris Sorkin, one of the well-known co-owners of EADaily, founded Regnum’s information agency in the summer of 1999. In 2014, there was a change of ownership and, according to Kolerov; Gazprom Media acquired an unknown share of the company. Since then, Julia Križanskaya became the head of Regnum.
Modest Kolerov has worked as the editor-in-chief of Regnum, three times in different periods. In addition, Konstatin Kazenin and Vigen Hakobjan, who later joined EADaily, have also served as editors-in-chief. Today the editor-in-chief is Modest Kolerov.
One of the owners of Regnum, Modest Kolerov, is a colourful character. Constantly among the owners of the information agency, he has held various positions over the years, being active at Regnum, in the Russian state system, as well as in other media projects.
From 1999 to 2000, for example, he was an adviser to the Mayor of St. Petersburg, Vladimir Jakovlev, but also to the President of Chuvashia and the Mayor of Krasnoyarsk.
From 2005 to 2007, Kolerov was the head of the Agency for the Development of Interregional and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries under the Russian President.
Kolerov’s background also gives an idea of the reasons for Regnum’s anti-Estonian rhetoric. Through Regnum, Kolerov has repeatedly tried to bring more hostility to Russia’s relations with Estonia than has existed before.
In 2010, the Security Police Board (Kapo) wrote in its yearbook, “Proponents of the rigid line, led by Modest Kolerov, head of the news portal Regnum.ru, made efforts to influence the Russian government to continue its usual unfriendly policy towards Estonia.” Kapo also wrote, for example, about how Regnum, with the help of the Night Watch, organized an attack in 2010 on the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Tallinn and personally, against diplomat Vjatšeslav Tutšnin, who, according to Kolerov, was too pro-Estonian.
In August 2012, Modest Kolerov was declared a persona non grata in Estonia, Lithuania and Georgia.
Regnum’s information agency publishes approximately 700 news items a day by 150 correspondents from Russia and neighboring regions. For example, Regnum has subsidiaries in Vladivostok, Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Smolensk, St. Petersburg and elsewhere.
Apparently, close to 6.3 million readers visit the Regnum news portal in one month, and the daily number of readers is about one million.
According to Similarweb, Regnum ranks 208th on Russian websites, and the average number of visits in recent months has fluctuated around 15 million. According to Izvestia, these numbers rank 117th, respectively, with an average of 30 million visits per month.
According to the Rusprofile.ru environment, the company’s turnover in 2019 was 91 million rubles, or about 1 million euros.
Regnum’s portal can also be found in Propastop’s black list, which brings together media publications that cannot be considered well-balanced press agencies and that are hostile to Estonia. In the case of the Russian media, the criteria for inclusion in the list are the content of the publications, the connection of important people with the Kremlin’s system of power, as well as the restrictions imposed on them by Estonian allies.
Photos: screenshots from the Regnum page