As part of the Regional Initiative in Combating Disinformation “Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub: Exposing Malign Influences through Watchdog Journalism”, we present you a new analysis of fake news and disinformation narratives.
The unification of Serbia and Russia!? Moscow says “YES”! Duma: This can happen after the referendum that the Russian Federation considers necessary, here’s why
The news from the Russian radio station “Govorit Moskva” in which the deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee for International Affairs, Aleksey Chepa, said that Serbia and Russia could unite after the referendum was headline news on almost all pro-Russian and pro-government media in Serbia.
According to Raskrikavanje, it is an interview of Chepa for the Moscow radio “Govorit Moskva” in which he “considers” the possibility of joining Serbia to Russia, which was reported by the local media. He said that he didn’t know how realistic such a possibility is, but that in such a case, the decision would be up to the citizens of Serbia and it would have to be decided on in a referendum, so that no one could later say that it was a Russian occupation.
Chepa spoke about this in the context of the geopolitical pressures to which Serbia is exposed due to non-imposition of sanctions against Russia, which is why he believes that Russia could, in the last resort, “annex” Serbia in order to protect it.
He added that Russia would support Serbia “in any case” because it is a friendly country, and that he hopes that Serbia will be able to “deal with provocations”. The fact that Chepa said in the same interview that he is not sure how realistic such a possibility is, was not the news for Serbian tabloids.
It might also be noted that a large number of Russian portals also reported this arbitrary statement of the Russian deputy, and many of them have similar incorrect claims in the headlines suggesting that it is an official initiative of Russia – some wrote that in the Duma “talks about the annexation of Serbia have started”, that the Duma “determined the conditions for the annexation of Serbia”, that the Duma “proposed” this idea, or even that it was “passed”.
It is an arbitrary statement by a Russian deputy, and a large number of Serbian mainstream media and pro-Russian portals reported this news as if it were an official decision of the Russian Duma to annex Serbia to Russia. That is why these texts are a classic example of manipulation of facts, and at the same time “clickbait” content that attracts a huge number of readers.
Author: Sofija Popović