The information war between Moscow and the West, including between Russia and Estonia, is heating up, say Russian analysts, commenting on the launch of ETV+, Estonia's Russian-language television channel.
“These types of information wars, where the West is pitted against Russia, took place during the entire Cold War, and they are beginning again,” said ERR's Moscow correspondent, Neeme Raud, adding that there is nothing new to ETV+.
Andrey Sidorov, deputy dean at the Faculty of Politics at the Moscow State University, said the information war is being fought by both sides and it is bound to increase, adding that the information war is the future.
“There is nothing new to this and the new information war is the consequence of the EU being startled when Russia began to set up its own global information channels, in a similar way to the US,” Alexey Fenenko, an associate professor at the Faculty of World Politics at the university, said.
According to Russian experts, Russia's media channels are more prepared for a information war than ever before. Alexey Mukhin, deputy general of the Center for Political Information, said Russia's media outlets became popular as they offered an alternative view to the Western media. “Viewers were then kept glued by balancing news, analysis and entertainment,” Mukhin said, adding that the balance has now been fine tuned to near perfection.
Mukhin added that news and analysis programs use emotions to "solve problems", and this appeals to the public.
“It will be hard to run against Russian media and the Russian state has invested years in long media projects and many top professionals took part,” Mukhin said.
“Russian channels, Russian structures are not dormant, they also develop. For that reason I think the Baltic media channels are on slippery ice,” Mukhin said, adding that the Baltic channels may yet win over the public.
Raud said all Russian experts he spoke to, expressed opinion that Russia will begin to keep a very close eye on the new ETV Russian-language channel.
ETV+ is due to be launched on September 28.
Editor: J.M. Laats