Estonian media is reporting that Sputnik Estonia, the Estonian branch of Russian state media Sputnik, is resuming its activities in Estonia after it had suspended its activities in January 2020. According to a Propastop article:
February 5, 2021 On Tuesday afternoon, RIA Novost published news from the news portal sputnikmeedia.ee launched in Estonia and created by the former editor-in-chief of Sputnik Estonia, Elena Cherysheva (Tšerõševa). The story is based on Cherysheva’s Facebook post, which promises to stand up for good neighborly relations and historical truth with our eastern neighbor, especially in the context of World War II. The post also announces that the activities of the portal are supported by the Law Protection and Support Fund for Russian Compatriots Living Abroad (pravfond.ru).The webpage looks like the good old Sputnik. The domain of the site is registered in the name of MTÜ SprutMeedia, which was founded on November 24, 2020. The board of the NGO consists of Elena Cherysheva, former editor-in-chief of Sputnik Estonia, and Mati-Dmitri Terestal, a realtor. The NGO is registered in Tallinn at Paavli 1. The former Sputnik Estonia’s operations and press center were also located there.
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The article notes that Sputnik Estonia suspended its activities in January 2020 at sputnik-news.ee due to the sanctions imposed on Dmitri Kisseljov, the head of the media group that owns Sputnik, In January 2020. US media reported that Sputnik closed its operations in Estonia after nearly three dozen of its employees resigned following what they said was pressure from Estonian police.
Sputnik is a Russian state-owned news agency established in 2014 and operating in over 30 languages. It has been frequently accused of spreading disinformation and is monitored by the strategic communication divisions of the EU and NATO. Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) coverage of Sputnik includes:
- In January, we reported that Sputnik had hired a Washington, DC production company incorporated by a Russian influence operative.
- In December, we reported that Russian-backed media outlets RT and Sputnik spread conspiracies about the US election in Germany and France.
- In October, we recommended a study examining Russian coverage of the US presidential debates, concluding that Sputnik’s coverage was mostly negative and that the issue of Russian interference was used to slander the US over alleged “Russophobia.”
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