Re-Baltica, an investigative journalism group in the Baltics, accused three Russian language speaking news outlets in the former Soviet Baltic republics, collectively called Baltnews, as being linked to the global Kremlin propaganda machine.
According to Re: Baltica, the three news portals’ web addresses are registered to the company Media Capital Holding B.V. It is located in a tiny two-story red-brick building in the mall town of Hilversum, the Netherlands. The company was registered in 2013 with core capital of EUR 1. Media Capital company’s sole owner is a Russian-registered company, Media-Kapital, which is owned by the Russian newspaper Moskovskiye Novosti, which is in turn owned by the state-owned news service RIA Novosti. RIA Novosti is now part of the Rossiya Segodnya state-owned media company, which includes the Sputnik News, reports The Baltic Times.
Baltnews came upon the scene at the same time the Kremlin sidekick to Russia Today (RT), Sputnik News was launched; however, Baltnews ownership was cloaked in secrecy.
The Baltnews sites contain reprints of news items from Inosmi, a RIA Novosti and Rossiya Segodnya site dedicated to translating Western journalism into Russian. The news portals also publish local news in Russian and reprint news from Russia; they display little to no advertising, again from The Baltic Times.
Internet tracking services say the audience of Baltnews continues to be rather small and the connection to Russia has been confirmed by Estonian security services. The editors of the Baltnews sites have been banned from entering Latvia or Estonia.