Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Search of Sputnik Estonia Office Was Illegal, Local Court Rules

Samizdat – 13.07.2022

Sputnik International’s Estonia-based sister portal Sputnik Meedia was forced to shut down in March amid unprecedented pressure from Estonian authorities and banks, and a wave of personal threats against employees. But the outlet’s persecution by local authorities goes all the way back to 2019.

An Estonian court has ruled authorities’ April search of the former editorial office of Sputnik Meedia and former Sputnik Meedia editor-in-chief Elena Cherysheva’s home illegal, Cherysheva has informed Sputnik.

Cherysheva, who was detained on April 6 for alleged “crimes against peace” and purported “violations of international sanctions,” had her house searched. Her husband was taken to the former office of Sputnik Meedia, and it too was searched. After 16 hours of rummaging, authorities sent Cherysheva to a detention center, but was later released on bail. The ex-Sputnik Meedia employee said the searches were authorized by Estonian State Prosecutor’s Office lead prosecutor Taavi Pern.

“On April 8, the Prosecutor’s Office sent a search warrant and additional documents to the preliminary investigation judge in Harju County Court requesting that the search warrant be recognized as admissible and justified. The judge did not do so. As the court clarified, a person whose activities are related to the processing of information for journalistic purposes can be searched only on the basis of a ruling by a preliminary investigation judge or a court decision,” Cherysheva explained.

She added that the Prosecutor’s Office filed a complaint with the Tallinn District Court challenging the Harju County Court’s decision, but the higher court upheld the ruling.
Cherysheva further revealed the Harju County Court had also ruled in her favor to return her part of the personal property which authorities seized in April, after the State Prosecutor’s Office refused to do so.

“In its decision, the Harju County Court emphasized that given the decision of the Tallinn District Court of May 10 on the groundlessness and illegality of the search, it is not clear to the court on what basis the investigator continues to withhold funds found and seized during the search,” she said.

Sputnik’s Estonian sister agency has been hounded by the Baltic country’s authorities for years. Sputnik Meedia itself was created in early 2020 by former employees of Sputnik Estonia, which was forced to shutter its doors amid threats of criminal charges against its journalists by police, and after Estonian banks suspended Sputnik-related accounts in late 2019.

Sputnik Meedia was forced to terminate its operations in early March of this year, with banks freezing salaries and closing the media outlet’s accounts amid alleged suspicions of “money laundering, terrorist financing and the illegal sale of alcohol.” On top of that, the agency’s editor-in-chief and staff received regular threats against their life and safety.

July 13, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

15,000 NATO troops from 14 nations, including the US, Sweden, Finland and Ukraine, start drills near Russia

Samizdat | May 16, 2022

Large-scale NATO military drills started in Estonia on Monday. The exercise dubbed ‘Hedgehog 2022’ is one of the largest in the Baltic nation’s history, according to the military bloc. The drills will involve some 15,000 troops from 14 nations, including both military bloc members and their partners.

Soldiers from Finland, Sweden, Georgia and Ukraine are among those that will take part in the exercise, Finnish public broadcaster Yle reported. The drills will include all branches of the armed forces and will involve air, sea and land exercises, as well as cyber warfare training, according to the broadcaster.

According to a NATO statement, the drills will also see the US Navy Wasp-class landing ship ‘Kearsarge’ take part in the exercises. Both the military bloc and Estonian Defense Forces deputy commander, Major General Veiko-Vello Palm, have denied that the drills just over 60km from the Russian border have anything to do with Moscow’s ongoing military action in Ukraine.

The drills started just a day after Finland and Sweden officially announced their plans to join NATO, and were planned long before the conflict in Ukraine broke out, Western officials have said.

The exercises in Estonia are, however, just one part of NATO’s large-scale military activities near the Russian border. Another Baltic state, Lithuania, is hosting the ‘Iron Wolf’ exercise, which involves 3,000 NATO troops and 1,000 pieces of military equipment, including Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks.

Two of NATO’s biggest exercises – ‘Defender Europe’ and ‘Swift Response’ – are taking place in Poland and eight other countries, involving 18,000 troops from 20 nations, according to NATO’s statement on Friday.

“Exercises like these show that NATO stands strong and ready to protect our nations and defend against any threat,” the military bloc’s spokesperson, Oana Lungescu, said, adding that the drills “help to remove any room for miscalculation or misunderstanding about our resolve to protect and defend every inch of allied territory.”

The NATO Response Force is currently taking part in the 7,500-strong ‘Wettiner Heide’ drills in Germany. The Mediterranean Sea is about to witness ‘Neptune series’ naval drills involving the USS ‘Harry S. Truman’ carrier strike group that will be placed under NATO command. This will only be the second time since the end of the Cold War that a US carrier group has been transferred under the military bloc’s command, NATO has said.

In June, the Baltic States and Poland will host what NATO describes as “Europe’s largest integrated air and missile defense exercise,” which would involve 23 nations.

In late April, Finland hosted NATO naval drills. Now, it is also hosting a joint land exercise, in which troops from the US, the UK, Estonia and Latvia are participating.

The massive military wargames are taking place amid heightened tensions between Russia, NATO and some of the military bloc’s partners. Finland, which shares a long border with Russia, and Sweden decided to reconsider their long-standing policy of non-alignment following a major change in public opinion after the launch of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

The development sparked a wave of criticism from Moscow, which warned that it would have to respond if Finland and Sweden join NATO. Moscow also maintains that it considers NATO’s expansion as a direct threat to its own security.

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , | 10 Comments

NATO warships arrive to Baltic Sea

Samizdat | April 15, 2022

A group of NATO warships belonging to the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) have started arriving in the Baltic Sea to partake in joint exercises with allied and partnered nations, with some having already docked in a port in Tallinn, Estonia, according to a NATO press release published on Thursday.

The bloc announced the move on Monday, saying “NATO regularly deploys maritime forces in the Blatic Sea in order to maintain a credible and capable defensive capability in accordance with treaty obligations.”

The SNMG1 consists of flagships from the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom, while the SNMCMG1 is composed of Norwegian, Belgian, German, Estonian, British and Dutch mine layers and minesweepers.

These are two of a total of four task groups comprising ships from various allied countries that are continuously available to NATO to perform different tasks ranging from participation in exercises to operational missions.

Four ships from the SNMG1 group arrived at the Port of Tallinn on Thursday, where they were joined by the Canadian frigate HMCS Halifax (FFH 330).

“I am very pleased to welcome the SNMG1 teams in Tallinn,”  said commodore Jüri Saska, commander of the Estonian Navy. “The call is especially important in the current security situation, in which our neighbor to the east has taken up arms against the freedom and independence of the people of Ukraine.”

Saska added that a strong maritime presence on NATO’s eastern border showcased the speed, flexibility and determination of the alliance to defend member states on land, by air and at sea.

The group is set to conduct routine operations and joint exercises with the Estonian Navy next week, which are intended to “improve interoperability among NATO forces and increase shared knowledge of maritime tactics, while promoting professionalism among sailors, cultural understanding and trust,” according to the NATO press release.

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , | 2 Comments

Uninvited foreign troops must leave, African nation says

RT | January 24, 2022

Denmark must “immediately withdraw” some 90 troops it deployed to Mali last week “without [the government’s] consent and in violation of the protocols” allowing European nations to intervene in that African country, the government in Bamako said on Monday.

Some 91 Danes from the Jaeger Corps special forces arrived in Mali on January 18, as part of Task Force Takuba, a French-led counter-terrorism mission in the West African country. According to the Danish defense ministry, their job will be to reinforce the border with Niger and Burkina Faso, train Malian Armed Forces, and provide medical services to the peacekeepers.

While the government of Mali is grateful to “all its partners involved in the fight against terrorism,” it stressed “the need to obtain the prior agreement of the Malian authorities” before sending any troops to the country, says the communique signed by Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, spokesman for the Ministry of Administration and Decentralization.

Announcing the deployment of the force last week, the government in Copenhagen said it had been scheduled in April 2021, as France sought to withdraw some of its troops from Mali.

Their objective was “to stabilize Mali and parts of the border triangle between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, and to ensure that civilians are protected from terrorist groups,” the Danish military said.

The Jaegers are also experienced in “training and educating” local militaries, a job they have previously performed in Afghanistan and Iraq. They were sent shortly after Sweden withdrew its contingent from Mali. The French-led operation also involves forces from Belgium, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden.

Task Force Takuba has operated in Mali since March 2020, when Paris decided to wrap up the previous Operation Barkhane. France has maintained a military presence in its former West African colony since 2013, to help the government in Bamako deal with a Tuareg rebellion in the northwest of the country and subsequent terrorist insurgency loyal to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

Relations between Bamako and Paris have grown chilly since the latest military takeover in Mali in 2021, and France has since closed three of its military bases there, in Kidal, Tessalit, and Timbuktu.

January 24, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Florida and Texas Ban Vaccine Passports

By Stephen Lendman | April 8, 2021

Digital vaccine passports are all-about pushing unwitting people to be jabbed with experimental, hazardous to heath drugs that risk potentially irreversible harm short-or-longer-term when taken as directed.

Already rolled out in Israel, Denmark, and Estonia by late April, they’re coming to the US and other Western states.

Apartheid in new form, they’ll create two-tiered societies — jabbed individuals afforded rights everyone deserves and unjabbed social outcasts denied them.

Where vaccine/health passports are instituted, they’ll likely be required for employment, attending school, air travel, other public transportation, hotel reservations, restaurant dining, in-store shopping, attending sporting events, and other social interactions.

Normal daily lives and routines will likely be denied without proof of covid jabs.

What was inconceivable not long ago already became the new abnormal.

Refuseniks will become untouchable social outcasts.

Draconian brave new world conditions will be more intolerable, unsafe and unfit to live in than already.

Nothing remotely justifies lockdowns, quarantines, face masks that don’t protect and risk harm from longterm use, PCR tests not designed to diagnose viral infections, social distancing that destroys normal human interactions, and hazardous experimental drugs that risk contracting diseases they’re supposed to protect against, but don’t.

What’s happening in real time is all-about replacing free and open societies with dystopian ones.

It’s about transforming world community states into ruler-serf societies.

It’s about instituting social control — enforced by police state harshness.

It’s about powerful monied interests owning everything, exploited ordinary people nothing.

It’s the worst of Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World combined.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott banned the transformation of their states into two-tiered ones.

On April 2, DeSantis banned businesses from requiring customers to show proof of covid jabs (by executive order) to enter their premises and be served.

Barring government agencies from requiring proof of jabs, he said “vaccination passports reduce individual freedom and will harm patient privacy.”

His order doesn’t prevent businesses from establishing screening protocols and other policies recommended by state and federal public health officials.

On Tuesday, Texas Governor Abbott banned state agencies, political organizations receiving public funds, and some private entities from requiring vaccine passports or other proof of jabbing for covid to receive services.

His executive order overrides local ones that call for mandating what infringes on civil liberties.

“We will continue to (jab) Texans (for covid) and protect public health, (but) will do (it) without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms,” Abbott said, adding:

The US Constitution does not permit the federal government to mandate proof of inoculations.

The Biden regime ruled out establishing a national mandate to show proof of covid jabs — so far.

At this time, it’s up to states and local communities to set their own standards.

That policy isn’t written in stone and could change ahead — notably if millions of refuseniks refuse jabs to protect their health and well-being.

Pre-2020, no one could have imagined what’s going on now.

Draconian policies may harden ahead. Guidelines being developed by the White House could be stiffened after in place.

Free and open societies in the West are being replaced by draconian ones.

Based on what happened since early last year, what remains of personal freedoms may disappear entirely ahead — full-blown tyranny replacing them.

A Final Comment

Since Texas scrapped mandatory mask-wearing in public weeks earlier, seasonal flu-renamed covid outbreaks and deaths declined in numbers.

Days earlier, MSNBC noted that Texas today resembles 2019, adding:

“(R)estaurants are full. Ballparks are full.” Yet covid outbreaks declined.

Asked for an explanation, pro-mass-jabbing huckster, fraudster, profiteer, chief Biden regime medical adviser Fauci — a doctor who never treated a patient — failed to explain what’s clear to truth-telling medical and scientific experts.

Policies imposed since early last year did infinitely more harm than any number of serious diseases combined — notably by creating deeper Main Street Depression conditions than in the 1930s and deceiving the public to self-inflict harm from toxic covid jabs.

Former Trump regime trade representative Peter Navarro slammed Fauci, saying the following:

“From the first time I met him, he just did not make a lot of sense.”

“We’ve seen all of his flipflops.”

“My new theory is that he’s simply a sociopath. He just lies to advance his own interest.”

Navarro wants him held accountable for serial lying that contributed to inflicting enormous harm on millions of Americans and countless others abroad.

For what I call crimes against humanity, US and other Western political hardliners, their public health handmaidens, Pharma and media press agents for all of the above share guilt.

April 8, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Unvaccinated” Question

By CJ Hopkins | Consent Factory | March 29, 2021

So, the New Normals are discussing the Unvaccinated Question. What is to be done with us? No, not those who haven’t been “vaccinated” yet. Us. The “Covidiots.” The “Covid deniers.” The “science deniers.” The “reality deniers.” Those who refuse to get “vaccinated,” ever.

There is no place for us in New Normal society. The New Normals know this and so do we. To them, we are a suspicious, alien tribe of people. We do not share their ideological beliefs. We do not perform their loyalty rituals, or we do so only grudgingly, because they force us to do so. We traffic in arcane “conspiracy theories,” like “pre-March-2020 science,” “natural herd immunity,” “population-adjusted death rates,” “Sweden,” “Florida,” and other heresies.

They do not trust us. We are strangers among them. They suspect we feel superior to them. They believe we are conspiring against them, that we want to deceive them, confuse them, cheat them, pervert their culture, abuse their children, contaminate their precious bodily fluids, and perpetrate God knows what other horrors.

So they are discussing the need to segregate us, how to segregate us, when to segregate us, in order to protect society from us. In their eyes, we are no more than criminals, or, worse, a plague, an infestation. In the words of someone (I can’t quite recall who), “getting rid of the Unvaccinated is not a question of ideology. It is a question of cleanliness,” or something like that. (I’ll have to hunt down and fact-check that quote. I might have taken it out of context.)

In IsraelEstoniaDenmarkGermanythe USA, and other New Normal countries, they have already begun the segregation process. In the UK, it’s just a matter of time. The WEF, WHO, EU, and other transnational entities are helping to streamline the new segregation system, which, according to the WEF, “will need to be harmonized by a normative body, such as the WHO, to ensure that is ethical.”

Here in Germany, the government is considering banning us from working outside our homesWe are already banned from flying on commercial airlines. (We can still use the trains, if we dress up like New Normals.) In the village of Potsdam, just down the road from Wannsee (which name you might recall from your 20th-Century history lessons), we are banned from entering shops and restaurants. (I’m not sure whether we can still use the sidewalks, or whether we have to walk in the gutters.) In Saxony, we are forbidden from attending schools. At the Berliner Ensemble (the theater founded by Bertolt Brecht and Helene Weigel, lifelong opponents of totalitarianism and fascism), we are banned from attending New Normal performances.

In the USA, we are being banned by universities. Our children are being banned from public schools. In New York, the new “Excelsior Pass” will allow New Normals to attend cultural and sports events (and patronize bars and restaurants, eventually) secure in the knowledge that the Unvaccinated have been prevented from entering or segregated in an “Unvaccinated Only” section. The pass system, designed by IBM, which, if history is any guide, is pretty good at designing such systems (OK, technically, it was Deutsche Hollerith Maschinen Gesellschaft, IBM’s Nazi-Germany subsidiary), was launched this past weekend to considerable fanfare.

And this is only the very beginning.

Israel’s “Green Pass” is the model for the future, which makes sense, in a sick, fascistic kind of way. When you’re already an apartheid state, what’s a little more apartheid? Here’s a peek at what that looks like …

OK, I know what the New Normals are thinking. They’re thinking I’m “misleading” people again. That I’m exaggerating. That this isn’t really segregation, and certainly nothing like “medical apartheid.”

After all (as the New Normals will sternly remind me), no one is forcing us to get “vaccinated.” If we choose not to, or can’t for medical reasons, all we have to do is submit to a “test” — you know, the one where they ram that 9-inch swab up into your sinus cavities — within 24 hours before we want to go out to dinner, or attend the theater or a sports event, or visit a museum, or attend a university, or take our children to school or a playground, and our test results will serve as our “vaccine passports!” We just present them to the appropriate Covid Compliance Officer, and (assuming the results are negative, of course) we will be allowed to take part in New Normal society just as if we’d been “vaccinated.”

Either way, “vaccine” or “test,” the New Normal officials will be satisfied, because the tests and passes are really just stage props. The point is the display of mindless obedience. Even if you take the New Normals at their word, if you are under 65 and in relatively good health, getting “vaccinated” is more or less pointless, except as a public display of compliance and belief in the official Covid-19 narrative (the foundation stone of the New Normal ideology). Even the high priests of their “Science” confess that it doesn’t prevent you spreading the “plague.” And the PCR tests are virtually meaningless, as even the WHO finally admitted. (You can positive-PCR-test a pawpaw fruit … but you might want to be careful who you tell if you do that.)

In contrast to the “vaccine” and the “test” themselves, the forced choice between them is not at all meaningless. It is no accident that both alternatives involve the violation of our bodies, literally the penetration of our bodies. It doesn’t really matter what is in the “vaccines” or what “results” the “tests” produce. The ritual is a demonstration of power, the power of the New Normals (i.e., global capitalism’s new face) to control our bodies, to dominate them, to violate them, psychologically and physically.

Now, don’t get all excited, my “conspiracy theorist” friends. I haven’t gone full QAnon just yet. Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab are not sitting around together, sipping adrenochrome on George Soros’ yacht, dreaming up ways to rape people’s noses. This stuff is built into the structure of the system. It is a standard feature of totalitarian societies, cults, churches, self-help groups, and … well, human society, generally.

Being forced to repeat a physical action which only makes sense within a specific ideology reifies that ideology within us. There is nothing inherently diabolical about this. It is a basic socialization technology. It is how we socialize our children. It is why we conduct weddings, baptisms, and bar mitzvahs. It is how we turn young men and women into soldiers. It is how actors learn their blocking and their lines. It is why the Nazis held all those rallies. It is why our “democracies” hold elections. It is also basic ceremonial magic … but that’s a topic for a different column.

The issue, at the moment, is the Unvaccinated Question, and the public rituals that are being performed to make the New Normal ideology “reality,” and what to do about those of us who refuse to participate in those rituals, who refuse to forswear “old normal” reality and convert to New Normalism so that we can function in society without being segregated, criminalized, or “diagnosed” as “sociopathic” or otherwise psychiatrically disordered.

For us “conspiracy-theorizing reality deniers,” there is no getting around this dilemma. This isn’t Europe in the 1930s. There isn’t anywhere to emigrate to … OK, there is, temporarily, in some of the US states that have been staging rebellions, and other such “old normal” oases, but how long do you think that will last? They’re already rolling out the “mutant variants,” and God only knows what will happen when the long-term effects of the “vaccines” kick in.

No, for most of us denizens of the global capitalist empire, it looks like the New Normal is here to stay. So, unless we are prepared to become New Normals, we are going to have to stand and fight. It is going to get rather ugly, and personal, but there isn’t any way to avoid that. Given that many New Normals are our friends and colleagues, or even members of our families, it is tempting to believe that they will “come to their senses,” that “this is all just a hysterical overreaction,” and that “everything will go back to normal soon.”

This would be a monumental error on our parts … very possibly a fatal error.

Totalitarian movements, when they reach this stage, do not simply stop on their own. They continue to advance toward their full expressions, ultimately transforming entire societies into monstrous mirror-images of themselves, unless they are opposed by serious resistance. There is a window at the beginning when such resistance has a chance. That window is still open, but it is closing, fast. I can’t tell you how best to resist, but I can tell you it starts with seeing things clearly, and calling things, and people, exactly what they are.

Let’s not make the same mistake that other minorities have made throughout history when confronted with a new totalitarian ideology. See the New Normals for what they are, maybe not deep down in their hearts, but what they have collectively become a part of, because it is the movement that is in control now, not the rational individuals they used to be. Above all, recognize where this is headed, where totalitarian movements are always headed. (See. e.g., Milton Mayer’s They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45.)

No, the Unvaccinated are not the Jews and the New Normals are not flying big Swastika flags, but totalitarianism is totalitarianism, regardless of which Goebbelsian Big Lies, and ideology, and official enemies it is selling. The historical context and costumes change, but its ruthless trajectory remains the same.

Today, the New Normals are presenting us with a “choice,” (a) conform to their New Normal ideology or (b) social segregation. What do you imagine they have planned for us tomorrow?

#

March 29, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Crew Behind New Film About Estonia Tragedy Charged With Violating Sanctity of Underwater Grave

By Igor Kuznetsov – Sputnik – 01.10.2020

Recent underwater footage of the Estonia ferry resting on the bottom of the Baltic Sea has uncovered extensive damage on the starboard side, including a previously unknown 4-metre hole, fuelling renewed interest in the case and demands for a new investigation.

Two Swedes that were part of a crew that worked on a new documentary about the 1994 death of the Estonia ferry have been charged for violating the Estonia Act, which specifically prohibits citizens from the signatory counties to even approach the wreck.

The film team included Swedish, Norwegian, and German citizens, while the boat’s crew included German and Polish citizens as well. The purpose of the documentary was to try and find out the truth about the tragedy, which is the largest peacetime maritime catastrophe in the Baltic Sea.

“The grave peace at the Estonia has been violated by the incident”, chamber prosecutor Helene Gestrin at the National Unit against International and Organised Crime, said in a press release. “The Estonia is located in international waters, but to protect the wreck, there is special legislation in place based on an agreement between several Baltic Sea states that Sweden has signed”, she reminded. The law of the the sanctity of the sea grave has been signed by Estonia and Finland as well.

The filming took place in September 2019, when a German-flagged boat sent an underwater drone to the wreck of the Estonia in a bid to uncover new details about its sudden and tragic death. Significantly, Germany is not among the signatories of the Estonia Act. The penalty for the crime is a fine and imprisonment for up to two years.

“The law has never been tried by a court before. The question is whether Swedish law outweighs the fact that the underwater activities took place in international waters and by a German-flagged boat”, Helene Gestrin said.

37-year-old shipwreck expert Linus Andersson from Gothenburg is one of the accused. He maintains that he hasn’t done anything wrong.

“Sweden cannot assert its own legislation in international waters”, he told national broadcaster SVT. “I understand that the law is meant to protect the Estonia wreck. The ethical and moral aspects were also important to me. But when I heard that the relatives’ association almost encouraged us [to perform a new survey], I felt safe”, Linus Andersson said.

He criticised the previous surveys as “deficient” for not being methodical enough and not following the same pattern and expressed hope that his finds, which include a previously unknown 4-metre hole in the starboard side, will pave the way for a new, thorough investigation.

​The find also rekindled the old criticism of the previous investigation, which placed the blame on a faulty bow visor that allowed thousands of tonnes of water to flood in, as hasty and insufficient. It also rejuvenated popular alternative theories, such as the massive ferry, which, as former Estonian public prosecutor Margus Kurm speculated, could have carried a “sensitive consignment” of sorts, sinking after a collision with a submarine. These theories were also fuelled by the Swedish government deciding to drop thousands of tonnes of pebbles on the site while the previous inquiry was still underway.

In the aftermath of the film, Estonia survivors also penned an open letter demanding the Swedish government hold a new investigation.

While Prime Minister Stefan Löfven finally broke the silence and responded to the criticism by saying that he didn’t rule out new dives at the Estonia site, prosecutor Gestrin stressed this is virtually impossible with current legislation. She emphasised that it is “completely forbidden” – even for the Swedish Accident Investigation Board – to carry out dives at the wreck site.

The Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea on 28 September 1994, on its way from Tallinn to Stockholm, killing 852 people.

October 1, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Was the Estonia Downed by Submarine? Huge Hole in Hull Kindles New Theories About 1994 Tragedy

MS Estonia model

By Igor Kuznetsov – Sputnik – 29.09.2020

The Estonia catastrophe 26 years ago that claimed 852 lives is the worst peacetime tragedy in the Baltic Sea and the second-deadliest peacetime sinking of a European ship, second only to the Titanic.

The foreign ministers of Finland, Estonia, and Sweden have agreed to jointly assess new evidence regarding the Estonia ferry that sank in 1994.

New underwater footage of the shipwreck from a Swedish documentary about the disaster shows extensive damage on the starboard side, including a previously unknown 4-metre hole.

The find has since fuelled renewed speculations and theories about the massive cruise ship’s tragic fate.

Margus Kurm, former public prosecutor and former chairman of the Estonian government’s investigation into the disaster, suggested that the Estonia probably collided with a submarine, a Swedish one at that.

Based on the new information, Kurm speculated that there could have been a “sensitive consignment” on board the ship that needed to be monitored. The botched surveillance operation was likely performed by a Swedish submarine, he mused in an interview with the Estonian newspaper Postimees, suggesting that Sweden “lied straight to our face”. Kurm stressed that 400,000 cubic metres of sand and stone had been transported there and a decision to declare the sanctity of the site was made very quickly in 1995 when the inquiry was still underway.

​Former Estonian Defence Minister Enn Tupp, active when the disaster occurred, also argued that the ship sank after a collision with a submarine, but didn’t point out Sweden specifically.

Lars Ångström, a former member of the parliamentary defence committee for the Green Party who has been involved in the issue for several years, believes that the hole was probably caused by another ship, most likely a military one.

However, ex-Swedish Defence Minister Anders Björck has dismissed the claims as “rather incredible”. “Had it been so, we would have immediately received a report about it, and it would have been noticed”, he told Swedish national broadcaster SVT. He also stressed that it would have taken a huge blackout operation to perform anything like that and then try to hide it.

None of Sweden’s other top ministers who in the 1990s were responsible for the Estonia investigation, including Prime Ministers Carl Bildt and Göran Persson, have commented on the matter.

The hole discovered in the hull of the Estonia can be explained in several ways, suggested Jørgen Amdahl, a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, who ran a computer simulation of the disaster. He dismissed the results of the official 1997 investigation that the sinking was caused by a broken bow visor.

Two other explanations are more likely, Amdahl mused to SVT. One is that the ship was damaged when it hit the bottom. Another possibility is that an object hit the ship from the side with a force of up to 600 tonnes.

Survivors Demand Justice

Meanwhile, an open letter by Estonia survivors has been published by the daily Aftonbladet, demanding a new investigation.

“It is the Swedish government’s responsibility to immediately take the initiative for such a diving operation with full and open presentation of the results to the public and the media in all countries affected by the disaster”, they wrote.

Kent Härstedt, survivor and former MP for the Social Democrats, supported the demand for a new investigation as the current one doesn’t feel “complete and credible”, he said.

“I am not conspiratorial, but with what has emerged today, there will be further questions – why is the hole not included in the official investigation”, Härstedt told SVT.

Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas has called for a new Estonian investigation since the findings were presented in a new documentary. He suggested that the new information raises questions that must be answered in a “clear, dignified, and transparent way”.

Second Only to the Titanic

The sinking of the Estonia in the Baltic Sea between Sweden, Åland, Finland, and Estonia is seen as one of the worst maritime disasters of the 20th century, second to only the Titantic in peacetime. Some 852 people died in the disaster and only 137 survivors were rescued. The official version has so far been that the bow visor separated and the ship’s bow door opened, whereupon it immediately took on a heavy starboard tilt, as water flooded into the vehicle deck.

Based on a suggestion by the Swedish government, thousands of tonnes of pebbles were dropped on the site to bury the whole ship in situ. The subsequent 1995 Estonia Agreement prohibits citizens from the signatory counties to even approach the wreck, which has long fuelled various speculations. The wreck is monitored by radar by the Finnish Navy.

September 29, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Lithuania’s Television Commission Bans Broadcasting of Five RT Channels

Sputnik – 08.07.2020

The Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission (LRTK) has banned the broadcasting of five RT channels in the country, following the example of neighbouring Latvia, commission chairman Mantas Martisius said on Wednesday.

“Yes, we can confirm this. The decision will come into force after being published on the LRTK website,” Martisius said.

The ban is applicable to RT, RT HD, RT Spanish, RT Documentary HD and RT Documentary, and will go into effect on Thursday, LRTK chairman explained.

Last week, Latvia banned the broadcasting of seven RT channels (namely RT, RT HD, RT Arabic, RT Spanish, RT Documentary HD, RT Documentary, RT TV), saying they are all owned by Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency Director-General Dmitry Kiselev, who is under EU sanctions. Notably, Rossiya Segodnya and RT are two different legal entities, RT is not chaired by Kiselev, and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan is not under any EU sanctions.

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, has slammed Latvia’s decision to ban seven RT channels as a disgraceful and illegal move.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said on Tuesday that the government was mulling the possibility to ban RT broadcasting in the country.

July 8, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

Baltic countries seek relevance on the international scene

By Lucas Leiroz | March 20, 2020

In 2017, RAND Corporation published in its associated media Small Wars Journal an article by the researchers Marta Kepe and Jan Osburg, outlining a strategic defense plan for the Baltic countries in the event of a Russian invasion. The authors claim that Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia will manage their weaknesses to face the Russians, overcoming their population and military deficit through the participation of civilians in the conflicts, working with the armed forces to create a “total defense” plan that would make the invasion too costly and laborious for Russia. Subsequently, the RAND Corporation article was mentioned in a paper by the National Interest magazine, authored by Michael Peck, in which the author studies the Baltic defense strategy, speculating about “total defense” and its efficiency in a possible case of Russian invasion. The researcher, finally, takes a pessimistic conclusion, stating that, despite all efforts, nothing will change the fact that Russia is a large country and the Baltic States are small and weak.

In March last year, the renowned American magazine Foreign Policy published an article by Mikheil Saakashvili, former president of Georgia, claiming that Russia’s next “targets” would be European nations. In the text, Saakashvili considers the possibility of a Russian attack on the Baltic countries, saying that President Vladimir Putin sees them as real threats because they are “functional democracies on the Russian border”. After developing his reasoning, the author comes to the conclusion that this invasion will not occur, pointing other countries as future “targets” of Russia. However, even though Saakashvili does not believe in the possibility of a Russian invasion, rumors about a Russian plan to invade and annex the Baltic nations have generated unfounded tensions in the region.

The height of media alarmism regarding relations between Russia and the Baltic countries was, however, an article published by the American expert Hall Brands on Japan Times website, whose title is “How Russia could force a nuclear war in the Baltics”. Referring again to the studies of the RAND Corporation, the author considers the possibility of a nuclear escalation on the frictions between Moscow and NATO in the Baltics, concluding that the geographic condition of these states would hinder rapid action by the West in the event of Russian action, raising the risks of forced annexation.

Apparently, media agencies aligned with the liberal establishment are working together to spread the idea that there is a Russian interest in invading and annexing the Baltics. For these agencies, the interest is so great that it would even justify a nuclear action. However, when we investigate the reasons for such despair, we found no concrete argument to justify such speculations. The great Western think tanks, such as the RAND Corporation, are spreading this myth with the specific purpose of instilling fear and tension in the Baltic States, so that, in the face of “Russian terror”, they will increasingly align themselves with Washington and NATO.

The concrete data indicate exactly the opposite of the rumors spread by RAND analysts. In January last year, Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas publicly expressed an interest in improving relations between his country and Russia, with a view to pacifying bilateral tensions and envisioning a future of peace and cooperation, despite divergent interests. Also, Latvia remains the only member country of the European Union that is totally dependent on Russian gas – a situation Lithuania has only recently withdrawn from. So why Moscow would be interested in invading and annexing such countries, when the threat they pose to the Russian political structure is absolutely nil? In a way, it is much more logical to think that for the Baltic countries it is more profitable and interesting to maintain good relations with Russia than to embark on unfounded conspiracies by Western experts who are extremely ideologically involved. However, there is a second hypothesis.

It is still likely that the Baltic States are simply acting in the interest of increasing their role on the international scene. Unable to form a solid political, military and economic force, even if united, capable of facing the great world powers, these States may be anchoring themselves in NATO’s military apparatus to seek the affirmation of their own interests in Europe and in the world. By this logic, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia would be voluntarily adopting the alarmist discourse of the West and reaffirming it in order to, increase the western military presence on its borders, try to increase its regional and global influence, moving from being small European States to becoming potencies in the global geopolitical game.

Indeed, the Baltic countries are making a big mistake in adopting either of these two stances. Unlike Moscow, for whom the interest in “invading” the Baltic is nil, Washington has clear interests in occupying the region, so as to face Russia. That is the main reason for the presence of NATO troops in the Baltic expected for the Defender Europe 2020 drills – now canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Baltic States are adhering to the discourse of Western think tanks, however, under no perspective can this opposition to Russia be profitable for them. Following the interests of Washington, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have too much to lose.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

March 20, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

Sputnik Estonia Journalists to Terminate Employment Over Threats – Rossiya Segodnya

Sputnik – December 31, 2019

Sputnik Estonia journalists are forced to terminate their employment starting January 1, 2020, over a fear of criminal prosecution in the country, Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency said, slamming the Estonian government’s pressure on the journalists as a totalitarian campaign violating the freedom of speech.

“Due to the threat of criminal prosecution by the Estonian authorities under an article envisioning up to five years of imprisonment, Sputnik Estonia employees have been forced to make a decision to terminate their employment with the agency starting January 1, 2020. Sputnik Estonia and Rossiya Segodnya support this decision of their employees”, Rossiya Segodnya said in a statement, adding that it does not find it possible to put the journalists’ freedom at risk.

“We consider the Estonian regime’s actions targeting the citizens of our country as overt bullying, lawlessness, a manifestation of totalitarianism and a gross violation of the principles of freedom of speech, which has no precedents in the European Union. The only thing the journalists are ‘guilty’ of is working for a Russian media outlet,” the agency added.

Harlem Desir, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s representative on freedom of the media, has already said that EU sanctions on Dmitry Kiselev cannot be extended on Sputnik Estonia journalists, the news agency added.

“We will take all the necessary steps, legal and others, to enable Sputnik journalists to work without fear of criminal prosecution by Estonian security structures”, Rossiya Segodnya said, adding that the operation of the Sputnik Estonia website will be resumed later, although it will take time.

The information agency called on all the international and European organisations to express their position regarding Tallinn’s steps, and thanked global politicians and journalists for their support.

The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board warned Sputnik Estonia earlier in December that its journalists could face criminal prosecution unless they severed their ties with the Moscow-based parent news agency, Rossiya Segodnya, by 1 January. The Estonian authorities cited the 2014 European Union’s sanctions, imposed on a range of entities and persons in light of the events in Ukraine, as a pretext for the possible legal action.

December 31, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | | Leave a comment

Journalist groups call to protect Sputnik reporters from police harassment in Estonia

RT | December 20, 2019

The International Federation of Journalists urged Estonian authorities to stop threatening journalists working for Russian news media Sputnik Estonia with criminal prosecution over EU sanctions on Russia’s media chief.

“Media professionals should be allowed to freely carry out their duties, without threats from higher authorities,” IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said while commenting on the harassment of Sputnik journalists by Estonian police. At the same time, the organization’s Vice President Timur Shafir stressed that the threat of criminal proceedings “goes beyond all existing norms,” especially taking into account the fact that the majority of Sputnik Estonia office employees are Estonian citizens.

Sputnik Estonia’s editor-in-chief Elena Chernysheva said that journalists have been receiving letters from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Estonian Police and Border Guard Board, in which they were threatened with “criminal liability” unless they cut work ties with the Russian state-owned media agency Rossiya Segodnya, Sputnik’s parent company, by January 1.

“In other words, they want to jail us for simply working for Russian state-owned media.”

The head of the FIU, which primarily deals with money laundering, Madis Reimand, confirmed that the journalists were getting “notices” because Rossiya Segodnya’s chief Dmitry Kiselyov is currently under EU sanctions.

Reimand told Estonian ERR media company that sanctions against Kiselyov mean that certain individuals “are banned from working for him,” even if they have not been placed on a sanctions list themselves.

Rossiya Segodnya reported earlier that several foreign banks, operating in Estonia, have unexpectedly frozen transfers of money used to pay taxes and rent for Sputnik’s office in the country. The transfers of salaries to employees, the vast majority of whom are Estonian nationals, have also been frozen.

The company argues that Sputnik itself is not subjected to any sanctions. Sputnik and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan has already asked the Estonian president to not allow the journalists to be arrested.

A veteran journalist and media producer, Kiselyov, was sanctioned in 2014 after Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia. He blasted the sanctions as “a shame for the European Union” and argued that they “can be equated to the sanctions against the freedom of speech.”

Secretary General of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) Ricardo Gutierrez told RIA Novosti that Estonia’s actions are based on “an excessive interpretation of the European sanctions” and is “absolutely unacceptable.” He added that the actions of authorities lack transparency and “remain unclear.”

“The EFJ urges the Estonian authorities to reconsider applying restrictive and selective measures to foreign journalists working in Estonia.”

On Friday, Valery Fadeyev, the head of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights called the situation around Sputnik Estonia “highly disturbing.” He sent letters to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic asking both to investigate the case.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Stephane Dujarric, said that he is looking into the case.

During a Q&A session on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned Estonia for pressuring Sputnik. They are “afraid of the truth you are telling your viewers and listeners,” he told reporters.

December 21, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | | Leave a comment