2. Russian disinformation in
Lithuania: Context and objectives
Television remains the main information source: a 2020 survey suggested that 66 per cent of the population watch TV daily, while an additional 13 per cent watch it two to three times a week.4 Five per cent of respondents reported that they watched Russian TV daily, and another six per cent claimed to watch it two to three times a week. A 2016 survey
conducted among Lithuanian Russians and Poles suggested a sharp contrast to the general population: 57 per cent of Russians and 42 per cent of Poles said that they watched Russian television on a daily basis, while 26 per cent of Russians and 23 per cent of Poles said that they watched it several
times a week.5
4 Kojala (ed.), Geopolitikos ir tarptautinės politikos bei grėsmių suvokimo tyrimas, 46-48.
5 Vaišnys et al., Rusijos propaganda: analizė, įvertinimas, rekomendacijos, 155.
Even though the Lithuanian Russian minority is much smaller compared to the other Baltic states (around 6 per cent in Lithuania compared to around 25 per cent in Latvia and Estonia), it is still quite a sizeable target audience. As suggested, the Polish minority (around 6 per cent of the population) fall under the same target group, due to historical consequences and their media consumption habits.
Four main objectives of Russian disinformation
in Lithuania could be identified:9
- To create tensions between different groups in
Lithuanian society (primarily the Lithuanian
majority and national minorities).
9 Lietuvos Respublikos valstybės saugumo departamentas, ’Grėsmių nacionaliniam saugumui vertinimas’ Assessment of the national threats by the State Security Department, 9, https://www.vsd.lt/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Gresmiu-vertinimas-2014.pdf. Last accessed 20 April 2021.
Hybrid CoE Paper 6. April 2021. ISBN (web) 978-952-7282-70-0 Link: https://www.hybridcoe.fi/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20210427_Hybrid-CoE-Paper-6_Deterring_disinformation_WEB.pdf