Russian information warfare in Estonia, and Estonian countermeasures
Volume 19, Issue 1 (2021), pp. 69–98
Pub. online: 15 June 2022 Type: Article Open Access
15 June 2022
15 June 2022
The Russian federation uses several tools to allow it to place pressure on the western world in an asymmetric manner, among them being cyber-attacks, economic tools, and information-influence campaigns. These instruments are especially strongly felt in Estonia. This article uses Estonia’s example in order to delve into Russia’s political goals and strategic conduct. Specifically, analysis is provided in regard to the political context, instruments which form part of the ‘information war’, and any effective counter-measures, with all of this being carried out within the theoretical framework of constructivism. As will be argued, the shift from European to Eurasian power and Russia’s carefully crafted management process of not exceeding red lines, as well as its process of exploiting the socio-economic weaknesses of the west all play a relevant role in understanding the political context. As for instruments, Russia has developed tools which can be analysed in terms of strategic conspiracy narratives, while it has likewise used several channels which lie next to the usual media tools, along with policy tools such as Pax Russica and the compatriot policy.