Estonia’s Kremlin Friendly Voices in Russian State Media

An Estonian website has published a list of Estonians who  frequently comment on EU-Russian and Estonian affairs in Russian state media. The website,, is run by the Estonian Defence League.

Below is a translated version of the list from the original Estonian version.

Dmitri Linter

Dimitri Linter frequently appears on Russian television channels whenever there is talk about Estonia. He also provides comments to local reporters and broadcasts his opinions on Skype on Russian television.
Linter is identified in Russian as a rights activist, a political scientist and a journalist. His historical talking points involve the Second World War, The Bronze Soldier and the March of the Immortal Regiment.

He accuses Estonia of “Russophobia”, creating a biased history and the persecution of the Russian minotiry. He presents himself as a classic Kremlin aligned agitator or even a provocateur. Propastop has repeatedly written about Linter. See also his recent appearance on the conservative Russian television channel

Yana Toom

Yana Toom is a frequent studio guest on Russian TV shows; she appears on television as often as Dmitri Linter. Toom’s words have added weight, in that she is a member of the European Parliament. Her topics include EU-Russian relations as well as the ongoing internal affairs of Estonia.

Toom’s positions are more balanced than Linter’s. She talks about the need for good relations with Russia and even defends Estonia (see, for example, a program in which Toom disagrees with Vladimir Zhirinovsky on air). She is noteworthy in her good performance and defensive skills;  she is often the only woman in a circle of male guests.

You can view Toom’s participation in the 22nd of October Rossija 1 channel’s talk show, “An Evening with Valdimir Solove” here.

Rein Müllerson

Rein Müllerson, is a member of the Valdai club and President of Tallinn University faculty of law. His appearances on Russian television are increasing. Müllerson’s topics include geopolitics, multi-polar world order as well as international law. His attitude is anti-American, and considers Estonia a victim of USA interests. For example, he argues that Estonia would be better protected without NATO forces.

Müllerson also speaks on Crimean issues, justifying the annexation of the peninsula by arguing that it spared the peninsula an intervention by Russian military as has happened in Eastern Ukraine.

You can see Müllerson on TVC in the show “Freedom of speech” or on Crimean television.

Vadim Strutšenko

Vadim Strutšenko is an interesting younger generation TV personality and political scientist, who has been featured a number of times in recent years on Russian television channels.

Strutšenko’s views are the most similar to Estonia’s own views of its history, independence and having an aggressive neighbour. His outlooks are so different from other pundits appearing on Russian television, that Strutšenko has become a “whipping boy” whose arguments, pro-Kremlin personalities try to outdo each other to defeat.

Watch Strutšenko argue with the entire studio as well as Dmitry Linter on the NTV talk show „Meeting point“ this August. Also, read about Strutšenko’s overview on the production of Russian-language broadcasts in Russia. (In Russian).


Aleksander Gaponenko Photo

Surprisingly, the most well known “Estonian” for Russia’s television viewers may  be Kremlin activist Aleksandr Gaponenko, based in Riga. Gaponenko is the most viewed Baltic topic speaker, who has appeared at least 16 times on Russian media in the last two years. He accuses Latvia of persecuting Russians and extends the issue across the entire “Pribaltika” drawing Estonia as well into his propaganda messages.




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