Analysis of the News: “Europe is tired of Ukraine, it will fall apart like a house of cards”

October 2023.

As part of the program Regional Initiative to Combat Disinformation “Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub: Exposing Malign Influences through Watchdog Journalism”, we present you a new analysis of fake news and disinformation narratives.

Europe is tired of Ukraine, it will fall apart like a house of cards

“The unity of the European community on the issue of Ukraine is slowly collapsing,” writes the Serbian version of the Russian state media Sputnik. The portal states that more and more EU countries are opposed to supporting Ukraine and that “the disaster is intensifying”. “Various issues are starting to be raised. Hungary was the first swallow, Washington will not forgive Orban for that, and everything will fall apart like a house of cards,” writes Sputnik.

The text states that Europe has growing financial problems and that the population can no longer be fed with stories about the terrible Russia. “Every sane European citizen understands that Russia has no reason to attack any of the European countries,” writes Sputnik and adds that the reasons for Russia’s attack are very “obvious and clear to everyone.”

“Moscow started a special military operation after asking the US and NATO for security guarantees for Russia and Europe, but they did not receive them. NATO continued to expand to the East, while Ukraine officially expressed its aspirations to be a member of the NATO alliance and even to return the nuclear status,” the article adds.

The article contains several narratives that have existed practically since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Like the West and Ukraine’s aspirations for NATO membership are the reasons for Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The text states that Europe is getting tired of Ukraine and that economic data shows that sanctions against Russia are causing enormous damage to the EU economies. They prove such a claim that Hungary and Slovakia vetoed the amendment to the EU budget, which proposed an additional 50 billion euros for Ukraine.

The new Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán are described as firm leaders who did not give in to pressure from Brussels, and the example of Slovakia and Hungary will be followed by other member states.

“The recent election victory in Slovakia by Robert Fico and his Social Democratic Party has created another crack in the pillar of the EU and NATO. Now, a recalcitrant Slovakia has joined a recalcitrant Hungary, and Fico has already made statements causing discomfort in Kyiv and Washington. And this is just the beginning because, in addition to these two countries, there are countries of ‘old Europe’, such as Austria, which have a favorable attitude towards the iron curtain that is now coming down. And the more time goes on, the more the circle of EU and NATO countries advocating for the continuation of the dialogue with Russia will expand,” says Sputnik.

The portal RT Balkan also writes that the European Union is looking for new sanctions that it can impose against Russia. However, as before, it is not an effective way of fighting because Moscow manages to neutralize the hostile actions undertaken by Europe. The facts, however, show that since the introduction of sanctions against Russia, the number has grown to about 11 thousand (sanctioned individuals, legal entities and products), and more than a thousand foreign companies have left Russia. The consequences are most felt when using advanced technologies because Russia depends on Europe in that area.

Another example is the slowdown of the automobile industry because specific components that were imported from the West were missing. As the German DW writes, car production in Russia has fallen by almost 70%, and European sanctions are working in the oil industry because the Russian state budget had a 23 billion deficit in the budget due to European sanctions.

The war between Israel and Palestine, for the pro-Russian media, showed all the weakness of Europe. RT Balkan writes that Europe is so divided that a conflict in the Middle East could cause civil strife in the EU, while the Iskra portal writes that Europe is irrelevant and powerless. “Of the countless geostrategic illusions – which have been destroyed in recent days – those staying on the Old Continent should be most sobered by the following: nobody cares what Europe thinks anymore.” In several different focal points, from Nagorno-Karabakh and Israel – Europe has been reduced to the role of a more benevolent non-governmental organization, whose humanitarian aid is welcome, but which is ignored in every other sense”, writes Iskra, completely forgetting the enormous “soft” power of Europe reflected in that benevolent but very economically successful approach.

Author: Sofija Popović