|Last but not least, pro-Kremlin media tried to disinform about the dispute over the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church claiming that the whole process is a pre-election trick and “tomos”, i.e. the document with the decree of Ukrainian autocephaly, is not entirely real. Both of those narratives are used to undermine the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and at the same time discredit the upcoming presidential elections in the country.
On 13th of January, Lithuanians commemorated the night in 1991 when Soviet troops attempted to crush the country’s re-established independence. That night Soviet troops killed 14 unarmed civilians who were amongst the crowd standing as a human shield to protect the TV tower and the country’s only TV station. Pro-Kremlin disinformation has consistently tried to put these events into a completely different and cynical light, claiming that the 14 people were killed by fellow Lithuanians.
As if attacking the memory of 14 innocent people was not enough, pro-Russian media also had a problem with the annual Freedom Prize, which the Lithuanian parliament gave to seven freedom fighters – the Forest Brothers, who took up armed resistance against the Soviet occupation at the end of WW2.
The pro-Kremlin media has long slandered the Baltic Forest Brothers as Nazi collaborators, in attempts to discredit the Baltic States’ independence struggle and whitewash the history of Soviet occupation. This year the rhetoric was updated to reflect more current trends, as the Forest Brothers were also labelled as terrorists.
Disinformers also used the occasion to praise Stalin’s regime as “not bloody and very humane”. A regime, which, according to estimates, killed around 20 million people.
The planned emergence of a new Republic of North Macedonia (FYROM) inspired pro-Kremlin media to come up with claims that the country has been forced into its name change and NATO accession by other countries and that there are mass protests against the new name. Those with a keen eye will probably notice that the accusation of being a puppet of the west is something that has been heavily used by the Kremlin media against Ukraine as well.