Kosovo Institute for Policy Research and Development (KIPRED) presented on 3 December the research “Kosovo Observer: Russian Diplomatic War and Media Misinformation, August 15 – October 31, 2021”.
Kosovo Observer: Russian Diplomatic Warfare and Media Misinformation – is a quarterly report that aims to analyze the public statements and publications of the Russian foreign policy establishment, and the news features which contain misinformation targeting Kosovo, published by the Russian media in English and Serbian language.
This paper concludes that an important moment for the intensification of Russian-Serbian cooperation against Kosovo’s statehood, stability and security in the Western Balkans may have occurred during the Serbian President’s visit to Moscow and his meeting with Russian President, Putin on November 25, 2021.
“In this regard, it should be noted that the recent clashes between Pristina and Belgrade, as well as those between Pristina and Moscow, coupled with the lack of progress in the EU-facilitated dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, have created a fragile ground for “further intensification of Russia’s diplomatic war against Kosovo and the demolition of the foundations of the West’s efforts to find a lasting solution to the disputes between the two neighboring countries,” the statement said.
Russia’s revisionist policies of de facto non-recognition of the interstate borders of the former Soviet republics and questioning the legality and legitimacy of Western recognition of Kosovo are one of the reasons for their malicious actions in the Western Balkans.
“These revisionist policies of the Kremlin also aim to question the validity of the interstate borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, supporting the separatist tendencies of the leader of the Republic of Serbia, Milorad Dodik, and abusing and maintaining a hostile attitude towards the independence of Kosovo, comparing it to Crimea, in order to destabilize Southeast Europe and the long-term demolition of the foundations of Western involvement in the stability and security of the region.”
The analysis of statements, press conferences, and other documents of the Russian foreign policy establishment from August 15 to October 31, 2021, clearly show the continuation of the narratives’ intention to undermine the foundations of Kosovo’s statehood and Western engagement in Kosovo and the region, as well as accusing Kosovo authorities of using violence against Serb community, and denying them their right to fight organized crime throughout the country.
“The public activities of the Russian foreign policy establishment against Kosovo during this period have intensified since the second half of September 2021, with the beginning of the short-term crisis in the northern part of Kosovo and the expulsion of two Russian diplomats from the Russian Liaison Office in Pristina, at the end of October 2021.
Finally, analyzes of news discourses containing malignant misinformation by selected media outlets, which are an outstretched hand of Moscow, show that, in general, they follow the narratives of Russia’s foreign policy establishment, while “Sputnik Serbia, Russia Today and TASS are at the forefront of these malicious intelligence activities against Kosovo,” the statement said.