This thesis was spread on social networks and in the propaganda media. The reports say that Estonia is a follower of “Nazi Germany” because the country's leadership has banned “certain ethnic groups” from carrying weapons. This is manipulation.
The fact-checkers of the “Beyond the News” project drew attention to the case, who investigated that the basis for creating this manipulation was amendments to the law on weapons, according to which, from March 15, 2023, permits for the issuance of weapons will be invalid for citizens of countries outside the EU and NATO. The changes will affect not only ethnic Russians or Belarusians living in Estonia. However, these categories will also cease to issue new permits. Innovations will affect about 1,300 residents of the country, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Estonia notes.
Estonian Minister of Internal Affairs Lauri Läänemets does not hide the fact that the restriction is a direct consequence of unprovoked Russian aggression in Ukraine and, in general, the policy pursued by Russia against countries that do not support the so-called “special operation”. In the appeal from the ministry, they do not hide the fact that there are indeed quite a few Russians or Belarusians among the 1,300 people. However, the restrictions will apply to these people not because they are Russians or Belarusians, but because of the countries' aggressive policies towards Ukraine.
By spreading this manipulation, propagandists feed the narrative about the existence of so-called “russophobia” – hatred towards Russians and everything Russian. Allegedly, xenophobic sentiments are professed in countries that do not support the aggressive policy of Russia. However, the so-called russophobia is a response to the actions of the Russian army, leadership and people, because the Russians are collectively responsible for the aggression against Ukraine, which they supported with appropriate statements or silence.