Analysis of the News: “Exclusive Russian historian: Invisible forces will help Serbia save Kosovo – when Russia wins”

April 2024.

As part of the program Regional Initiative for combating disinformation “Western Balkans Combatting disinformation Center: Exposing malicious influences through fact-checking and Analytical Journalism“, we present you a new analysis of fake news and disinformation narratives.

Exclusive Russian historian: Invisible forces will help Serbia save Kosovo – when Russia wins

https://sputnikportal.rs/20240420/ekskluzivno-ruska-istoricarka-nevidljive-sile-pomoci-ce-srbiji-da-sacuva-kosovo–kad-pobedi-rusija-1171242335.html

A foreign member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU), historian Natalija Narocnicka, in an interview published on the Serbian version of the Russian state media Sputnik, stated that the West is waging an “existential hybrid war” against Russia, emphasizing that the fate of the Serbian people is linked to the fate of Russia “whose strength always brought stability to Serbian history”.

In the interview, well-rooted emotional narratives about Russia as Serbia’s friend and the West, which pressures and blackmails Serbia, prevail. The dominant narrative is the one widely spread after the start of the Russian attack on Ukraine, that a Russian victory will lead to a redistribution of geopolitical maps and that Serbia will benefit from this and solve the Kosovo issue in a way that suits Serbia.

If Russia had won, the Russian historian believes that the Western blackmail regarding Kosovo would not have been so strong.

“For now, I admire the Serbian leadership’s ability to manoeuvre endlessly and hold on.” Honestly, what else is left for him to do? But, the West is pressing and will press, restrain, and lure you into the European Union, and in fact, they only need NATO – to have troops here. Moreover, in the form of blackmail against the Serbs, accusations of Srebrenica are also made,” said the Russian historian for Sputnik amid the propaganda of the ruling majority in Serbia that the commemorative resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on Srebrenica is another hostile act against Serbia.

She also adds that the West is trying to humiliate and diminish Serbia. “They cannot forgive the Serbs that amid Russophobia, the Russian national anthem is sung only here in front of the American embassy, and in the stadium, a banner reads “Serbia and Russians are brothers forever,” she added.

“We are not surrendering, quite the opposite.” Even the Serbs will not give without colors, even if they do not know that they can lose, they will not give anything without a fight. In 1999, with the Serbs, they were afraid to launch a ground operation because they knew that every stone would shoot at them. That’s why they can’t oppose openly; they can only do it corruptly, so you can’t answer them in the same way,” said the Russian historian, repeating also the entrenched Russian narrative about NATO bombing as a cowardly act by Western countries. What the historian does not mention is that Russia did not provide any military aid to Yugoslavia during the bombing.

RT Balkan also writes that Serbia will return Kosovo if Russia wins in Ukraine. In the author’s text, Vladimir Kršljanin states that Russia will win in Ukraine and will demand justice for the Serbs. “Despite the enormous military aid of the entire West, it is already clear to everyone that Russia’s victory on the Ukrainian front is inevitable and will follow soon.” And this is precisely the time when the historical injustices inflicted on Serbia and the Serbian people could be rectified.”

In the text, the attitude of the West towards Russia is connected with “the breakup of Yugoslavia by the West and the NATO aggression of 1999”. The author states that at that time, “parts of the territory and population were temporarily torn from Serbia” and that it was clear from the beginning that “Serbia will not be able to return it without the help of Russia”.

What this author does not mention is that Russian President Vladimir Putin, even though Russia does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, used this very case in the first months of the attack on Ukraine to legitimize the attack. On April 26, 2022, the President of Russia declared that the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic became independent based on the precedent of the International Court of Justice when deciding on the independence of Kosovo. He added that a precedent had already been set in the case of Kosovo and that these two provinces have the same rights as Kosovo.

Author: Sofija Popović