Baltnews secretly linked to Kremlin-sponsored news agency Rossiya Segodnya, investigation shows
The three Russian-language news sites of collectively known as Baltnews have been found to be connected with Russian state-sponsored news agency Rossiya Segodnya, revealed an investigation by publication Re:Baltica on Friday.
Baltnews operates in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania under three separate domains (.ee, .lv and.lt), all of which are registered with a Dutch holding called Media Capital, which was established in 2013 with an authorized capital of one euro.
The sole owner of the Dutch holding is Russian Media-Capital LLC, which, in turn, belongs to the newspaper Moskovskie Novosti, a part of the Rossiya Segodnya.
Dutch holding Media Capital and Rossiya Segodnya refused to comment.
In 2016, Baltnews producer Alexander Kornilov was detained in Estonia on suspicion of forging tax documents. It was assumed that he had appropriated the money allocated for pro-Russian propaganda. No charges were brought against him.
As noted by Re:Baltica, Baltnews’s impact on Baltic audiences is insignificant. In Latvia, for example, the website’s audience is around one thirtieth of that of the country’s main Russian-language news source Delfi.