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Russian Propaganda Portal Sputnik Returning Back to Estonia

March 27th, 2021 16:53

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.

Read the rest here.

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.”