How to reach out to people in times of war?

Propaganda, censorship and casualties among journalists: a war over public opinion is also being fought on various levels. Europe's press investigates - and asks what role interpretations of the present and the past play here.

Open/close all quotes (ES) /

Online through the war praises the advantages of digital communication:

“The war in Ukraine has shown us how access to a public information network for almost every citizen also helps to document crimes. ... The surprising resilience of internet communication in Ukraine is a key factor in ensuring that the voices of Ukrainians who are witnessing what is happening are not silenced. ... Understanding and verifying the flood of information remains the essential task of journalists and human rights specialists on the ground. ... The dark and threatening side of the internet should not make us forget the good that it can also do.”

Eesti Päevaleht (EE) /

Create alternatives to propaganda

Russian-Estonian actor Kirill Käro tours the north-east of Estonia to explain the situation in Russia to young Russian-speaking people. Eesti Päevaleht praises the initiative:

“In addition to limiting propaganda, you also have to offer information, inspiration and entertainment without getting too pushy and political. The best way is through personalities who attract the attention of the Russian-speaking community. Vladimir Putin declared everyone who disagrees with his regime enemies a few weeks ago. Hopefully, there are only a few in Estonia who have been irretrievably lost to the Kremlin's brainwashing.”

Lrytas (LT) /

Dangerous Soviet nostalgia

Ronaldas Račinskas, historian and executive director of the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, reflects in Lrytas on how Putin uses the past to justify present actions:

“The West has responded to Russia's bloody aggression against Ukraine by taking tough steps against strategic sectors. But the sanctions package overlooks Putin's most important weapon, which he is very happy to use both domestically and internationally. That is the Russian or pro-Soviet view of the causes and consequences of World War II. ... The myths about the victorious Great Patriotic War and nostalgia for the Soviet empire are Putin's ideological weapons.”