Editorial: strange step by Russia in propaganda war

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Photo: Ekraanitõmmis

Obviously, the unprecedented uncovering of own agent Uno Puusepp in Russian NTV show «Our man in Tallinn» is an information (war) operation aimed to impact the public in Russia, Estonia and partner states of the latter. Explicitly, the Russian security service FSB is behind the move. 

This is interesting information to shed some slight light on the secret world of intelligence. Even so, we need first to consider that whatever is shown is through the distorting lens of propaganda. Coming in contact with propaganda, it doesn’t matter too much what they say – it’s the goals that matter.  

As it is in the very Estonia that lots of pro-Russian agents have been caught and judged, one may assume the damaged pride is attempting to minimise the hurt and magnify the worth of what they have accomplished. Let’s note that the programme says not a word about Herman Simm and Aleksei Dressen, men convicted in treason, who on the basis of all that is known had access to information much more sensitive than Uno Puusepp’s.

In the free world media, lots of influential people have praised the Estonian intelligence and the manner in which the cases have been treated in court. On the one hand, Estonian and partners secrets have indeed leaked; on the other hand, the incidents have been dealt with – decisively. By uncovering a one-time agent, the Russians are obviously trying to suggest that the «big fish» was not caught. Firstly, the message is meant to sow distrust between Estonia and its partners; and secondly to make us believe we have no decent protection.  

Indeed, in the programme the main thread is Estonia, a pawn in the «Russophobic contract tasks» by US intelligence while doing a lousy job for its «masters». This is a story of the world in which Russia’s small neighbours have no will of their own, or should it exist it would be nothing but pursuing their nationalistic elements under the sign of democracy and freedom.

Regarding Vladimir Veitman, a man also convicted for treason, they said Estonian courts jailed him for naught and the information leaked was actually by Mr Puusepp. Thus, the story serves to claim that Estonian intelligence and even courts are stupid and outright criminal for convicting a guy totally innocent for a long term. Unseen by the fools, the real Russian intelligence hero acted unseen for decades and is now safely in Moscow, relating his feats in front of cameras.

In the TV show, for propaganda’s sake, the role of Mr Puusepp has been blown a lot bigger than it ever could have been.