“Dear readers, Sputnik offers updates only in English in your region.”
The news left the Swedish part of the Sputnik News on Twitter on Friday. Attempting to enter the Swedish part of the site sent it on to the English main site. Similarly, it looks in the Danish, Norwegian and Finnish parts of the site, which is now defunct.
– Sputnik is part of the state media company. It is definitely Voice of Russia, and it makes no secret of it. It is part of a well thought out strategy where it’s supposed to be improving the image of Russia, says Carolina Vendil Pallin, a researcher who leads Russia program at the Swedish Defence Research Agency.
Sputnik news, along with several other state-controlled Russian media, has repeatedly been criticized for disseminating hard angled and sometimes completely false information.
– If not, this is propaganda so I do not know what it is, says Carolina Vendil Pallin who believe that there are several reasons for the Swedish part of the Sputnik now closed.
– I do not think it has had any impact. One reason that people have not read it is enough that it has often been very poor Swedish and what has been published is so obviously biased, she says.
Russia has invested large amounts of tightly controlled media to be spreading the Russian regime’s message. But last year were hit including the television channel RT and the international news agency Rossiya Segodnya, where Sputnik is part of stringent savings requirements.
– This is a further step in it, they are short of money, says Carolina Vendil Pallin.
analysts have described the efforts of the regime loyal media and “magic plants” – big propaganda organizations online praises Putin and smear domestic and foreign political opponents – as part of an information war between Putin’s Russia and the West. But also as a way to control their population.
– It is the most important, to maintain control over the formation of opinion within the country, says Carolina Vendil Pallin.