Denmark, Russia lost in translation in the Baltic

Denmark and Russia had a diplomatic clash earlier this year over a report by the Russian public TV channel, NTV. EURACTIV.com looks into the issue as part of the “Fact or Fake” series, in partnership with France 24.

It was a false translation that blew up into a diplomatic row.

That, in a nutshell, is the story of a TV report about Denmark, which was aired by Russian public broadcaster NTV in February this year.

The report’s aim was to denounce the supposed “hysteria” of the Danish authorities, who recently installed a radio mast to intercept Russian military communications in the Baltic Sea.

However, interviews used in the report ended up rather transformed, after they had been through the subtitling services of NTV.

Danish politicians interviewed by the channel did express concern about Russia’s military presence in the Baltic Sea.

But the subtitles shown on Russian TV seriously distorted their words, with some participants later denouncing the entire report as fake news.

The whole affair took a diplomatic turn when the Russian embassy in Denmark issued a statement on Twitter pretending that the interviews had simply never taken place.

And indeed, the interviews had been deleted from a later version of the report, published on the NTV website.

A divergence that some commentators playfully highlighted on Twitter, showing screenshots of the earlier version broadcast in Russia.

Fact or Fake’ is a programme developed in partnership with France 24 as part of the weekly show Talking Europe

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