A pro-Kremlin website in Lithuania tries to undermine the credibility of the country’s mainstream media.
On 1 January 2017
, the pro-Kremlin, Lithuanian-language website ekspertai.eu mocked delfi.lt
, Lithuania’s mainstream news site, for “seeing off the old year with Putin
” because on 31 December 2016 the latter published
the Russian president’s New Year’s Day address to the Russian people.
The false facts and narrative: Ekspertai.eu described delfi.lt as “a permanent provider and multiplier of information about Russia.” It ironically questioned whether Putin’s remarks were “of particular relevance to the people of Lithuania.”
Reality on the ground: On 31 December—a few minutes after Moscow celebrated the New Year— delfi.lt published the summary of Putin’s speech. One hour later, a New Year’s address by Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite was published as the new year arrived in Vilnius. Delfi.lt provided no context for Putin’s address, nor was it apparent why it was published, since the website did not report on the New Year’s speeches of other European leaders.
- creating context;
- sowing distrust.
Target audiences: Lithuania’s population.
Impact and analysis: With this case, a Kremlin-backed website ekspertai.eu seeks to discredit the biggest mainstream news website in Lithuanian, to sow distrust about the site’s independence and to show that both sites are very similar. It also demonstrates how pro-Russian media use information to increase the Kremlin’s visibility and multiply information through mainstream news media.