The north of Kosovo is key to Russia’s interference in Kosovo-Serbia relations
Barricades in the north of Kosovo, placing the Serbian Army in a state of heightened combat readiness on the very border of Kosovo and Serbia, sirens, disinformation, advertising by Russia marked September 2021. A similar scenario happened this year in the north of Kosovo when local Serbs due to the application of reciprocity with Serbia blocked all border crossings and roads leading to them.
Belief in the Russian protective umbrella is fueled by Moscow itself. While Western officials and the European Union called for the calming of tensions to prevent the situation from escalating, Russia sent messages of support to Serbia, to which Belgrade responded with gratitude.
A day after the calming of tensions in the north of Kosovo, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met in Belgrade with Russian Ambassador Aleksandar Bocan-Harchenko. Both of them blamed Pristina for the recent events in the north of Kosovo. Also that Russia wants to involve its “fingers” in the north of Kosovo is also proven by the latest events that took place at the end of this week, when the Kosovo Police arrested the Russian Daria Aslamova, the correspondent of the Russian daily “Komsomolskaya Pravda”. Aslamova worked in Ukraine as a war correspondent for the Russian propaganda channel Tsargrad. She has been seen as a journalist in many war zones, including Chechnya, Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Ossetia, Tajikistan and the former Yugoslavia. During her career, she interviewed former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
She tried to enter Kosovo a few days after the barricades were removed, and according to her editors, she is currently in Rashka (a city in Serbia near the border crossing between Kosovo and Serbia). While the barricades in the north blocked border crossings and traffic, however, misinformation in the Serbian media in Kosovo and in Serbia, financed by the official Belgrade, was not blocked, it circulated all the time… Only in the last few days, in the Serbian media, it could be seen that the Serbs in the north of Kosovo they are “living through” terror from the Kosovo Police, threats, kidnappings, arrests and torture of Serbs were highlighted, however, all these inscriptions were quickly denied.
During the duration of the tensions, the propaganda portal wrote as follows: “A HYBRID WAR IS BEING WAGEN AGAINST SERBIA Tensions in Kosovo are getting even higher, this is what awaits our people from September 1st“, “Albanians are moving with rifles, ROSU special forces have headed to the north of Kosovo, they have water cannons”, “The ambulance driver has lost all traces since he was kidnapped by ROSU units”. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has been causing panic for a month with a “new storm” in Kosovo.
Although it is only about the implementation of the decisions that were signed in Brussels and that have been implemented in the municipalities where the majority of the Serbian population is since 2011, when it comes to the north of Kosovo and the re-registration of vehicles with illegal plates on the RKS, for the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, it was once again – the announcement of bloodshed. That deadline “means that the Kosovo authorities are planning a general attack on the north of Kosovo by October 1 at the latest,” he said at the end of June. Namely, Vucic has a habit of forecasting an armed conflict in Kosovo, but every time the President of Serbia’s forecasts for an alarm turn out to be false. The vice-president of the Serbian List, who was suspected of involvement in the murder of Oliver Ivanovic and who is still wanted by the Kosovo authorities, but also on the US blacklist after the statement by the President of Serbia that a “new storm” is coming, once again repeated the propaganda message that ” the real terror against the Serbs in Kosovo is just beginning”.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader whose military forces are fighting in Ukraine on the side of Russia, also spoke about the tensions in the north of Kosovo. Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram channel, which is followed by 2.6 million people, that he follows the events between Serbia and Kosovo, Kadyrov’s Russian mercenary who supports aggression against the Ukrainian people is a favorite of Putin. Officials in Serbia have been emphasizing friendly and traditional relations with Russia and Putin for years. From the point of view of Russia and its position in international relations, the conflict in Kosovo was very useful for them, so that an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine would remain on the sidelines.