Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet said that if Russia continued to spread slander against Estonia, the ministry would try to refute it. The budget of Russian propaganda machinery inside Estonia is so huge that Estonia can’t even start competing with it.
In spring, Estonia was visited by a group of French television journalists who shot a documentary feature on Estonia. On their request, Google provided them with samples of the Estonian version of eurocents that incidentally showed a part of Russian territory (there is no “Russian” territory in principle at all in this part of Europe, Russia-Moscovia is much deeper in the south).
As the Internet featured several Russian articles of the claim and they found no Estonian refutation, it took a lot of time for the Estonians to explain to the French that the Russians simply lied, as usual.
Urmas Paet, commenting on the situation, says that since the Estonian foreign ministry has neither experts in information technology nor access to the services of such experts, it cannot make suggestions what to do in order to improve Estonia’s image in search machines.
Paet says that Estonia is trying to inform foreign governments about internal news, releasing periodically some English-language articles. But, in his opinion, it should be taken into account that the budget of the Russian propaganda is by far and large bigger. A Russia Today TV channel and other related government news agency are being funded from that budget and Estonia is simply in no position to compete with its size.
Paet said that when it comes to outright lies, Estonia tries to intervene and clarify the situation. However, very often Estonia is being attacked because the Russian propaganda hopes that Estonia would respond and by doing it, it would keep the unwanted subject alive.
For its part, the Kavkaz Center may advise the Estonian foreign ministry how to deal with the Russian propaganda: not to react and to counter attack Russia on the issues that are purely internal-Russian by nature, thereby forcing the Russians to retreat to defensive positions and make them spend resources, time and personnel for rebuttals.
The Russian propaganda would soon realize, of course, what is going on, and will not react further. Lack of response from the Russian side will counterbalance the lack of response from the Estonian side and, in the long run, the Russians will have nothing to gain.
For instance, it is advisable to ignore completely the issue of “Russian-speaking population being persecuted in Estonia” and, instead, to emphasize the issue of the poor plight of Ugro-Finnic peoples inside Russia, the stealing of their natural resources (oil and gas) by Russian colonialists and their struggle for independence from Moscow.
The best defence is always an attack. In the past, it never occurred, for example, to Voice of America and Radio Free Europe to refute the “achievements” of the Russian propaganda such as – “Poor Blacks Being Lynched in America” and the like. The defeat of Russia was taking place on a different plane altogether.
Department of Monitoring