Analysis of the News: “The British Ambassador, genocide and Srebrenica: How many millions of people did the United Kingdom kill?”

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.

The British Ambassador, genocide and Srebrenica: How many millions of people did the United Kingdom kill?

In an interview for Politika, the British ambassador to Serbia, Edward Ferguson, referred to the issue of the United Nations resolution on the commemoration of the genocide in Srebrenica and sent a message that knowledge of the past and reflection on it should be used to move forward. He said that Britain “does not play politics” when it comes to Srebrenica and that the relevant courts qualified what happened in Srebrenica as genocide.

In the author’s text of Boris Nad on the portal RT Balkan in response to the British ambassador, it is stated that there are many events in British history that “can without a doubt be qualified as genocide”. “Unfortunately, we do not remember that Britain condemned itself for that genocide, that it repented or that it recognized its past so that it could move forward.” Also, Britain has not sent a single word of apology to these nations,” the author states.

The text enumerates the “slaughter” committed by the British all over the planet, from America, India, China and Africa, to Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. Little is said about these crimes, and some are completely suppressed or forgotten.”

As an example of such genocide, the author cites crimes against the Indian population. Although the terrible crimes of the British during the colonization of America undeniably happened, what the author does not say is that genocide as an international crime against humanity only emerged after the World War II. The term genocide was adopted at the session of the UN General Assembly in 1946.

What is not mentioned is that in the judgments of international courts, the responsibility of individual persons and entities, and not of collective entities and nations, is determined exclusively for genocides.

In the text, Great Britain is presented as a country that was created as a result of genocide, and the dominant narrative is that such a country is now “bringing Serbia to its senses” about the genocide in Srebrenica. Russian state officials often talk about the hypocrisy of the West, which arose from crimes, and in the text of RT, the statement of the spokeswoman of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, who claims that “Great Britain is the world record holder in genocide” stands out.

In addition, the text repeats the old false news that in 2015 Britain proposed a resolution in the UN Security Council condemning the Serbs for genocide and that its adoption was prevented at that time by Russia. Although Russia did veto the resolution, against whose adoption Serbia actively lobbied, it does not say that the Serbs are a genocidal people.

In the document that was proposed at the time, which, in addition to Britain, was also sponsored by Jordan, Lithuania, New Zealand and the USA, neither the state of Serbia nor the Serbian people is mentioned. At the beginning, the first points of the resolution state that there were innocent victims on all sides during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This text is only one in a series published by the Russian state media, as well as other pro-government mainstream media, in which the UN resolution on Srebrenica is presented as a document whose aim is to mark the Serbian people as genocidal, even though the Serbs are not mentioned in any of the documents in that context. Such a qualification is not even found in the judgment of the International Court in the Hague.

Author: Sofija Popović