Analysis of the News “Anna Filimonova: By supporting Vučić, Russia has turned towards the implementation of the Albanian project”

March 2023

As part of the program Regional Initiative to Combat Disinformation, we present you a new analyses of fake news and disinformation narratives.

Anna Filimonova: By supporting Vučić, Russia has turned towards the implementation of the Albanian project

Website Stanje stvari translates from Russian the text of Anna Filimonova, a journalist and docent at Moscow University. She is known in Serbia for topics related to Russian influence in the Balkans. Her articles were often published in various Serbian media, where Filimonova presents herself as a respected expert on Russian foreign policy. Her articles, like this one, are often critical of the way the current government in Russia conducts its foreign policy in the Balkans. She suggests that Russian foreign policy should be much more proactive.

In the text published on the website Stanje stvari, Filimonova analyzes what the Serbian recognition of Kosovo will mean. As stated, this will, among other things, eliminate the last instrument of Russian Balkan policy – the right of veto on the admission of Kosovo to the UN.

“Russia is moving further and further away from being a world power to becoming a peripheral country, which has no influence even on the affairs of its only ally with the most Russophile-oriented population. Serbs – both in Kosovo and in Serbia itself and throughout the region, will remain even without hypothetical protection”.

It is further stated that the nature of Vučić’s power is in the “unconditional conduct of pro-Western policy” which is the same as implementing the “Albanian project”.

“The essence of this historical process boils down to the fact that Serbia and Russia have done a favor to the great project of reformatting the Balkan region in the interest of their strategic opponent. Russia appears here as uninformed at best, but no less helpless and weak,” writes Filimonova.

She adds that because of Aleksandar Vučić, Serbian-Russian relations, as well as Russia itself, have become hostages of a politically “illiterate populist orientations towards individual personal connections”.

Given that the text is the author’s opinion of Anna Filimonova, it does not contain specific disinformation, but it is imbued with an anti-Western narrative. She suggests that Serbia, as well as Russia, is being manipulated, all in the interests of the West. In the article, Aleksandar Vučić is portrayed as a willing participant in ousting Russia from the Balkans, as he is preparing to completely hand over Kosovo to the Albanians.

The author claims that Russia’s support for Vučić’s policy is a sign of Russia’s diversion from its strategic interests. It is suggested that because of this, Russia would have to have a much greater influence in Serbia, which also means finding partners in Serbian politics who would represent Russian interests in power, because Serbs are a Russophile people. The prevailing narrative is that Russia is a victim of Western aggression and manipulation in the Balkans.

In the text, the independence of Kosovo is connected with the creation of an “Albanian project” supported by the West, which is an unsubstantiated claim and a narrative often presented in the Serbian media.