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Tag: Russian influence

Combatting disinformation by state agencies: the case of the Swedish Psychological Defence Agency 

Interview with Mikael Tofvesson, head of the operational department of the Psychological Defence Agency. Interviewer: Andrzej Kozłowski.

May 7, 2024 - Andrzej Kozłowski Mikael Tofvesson

The double murder that traumatized North Macedonia

Two recent disappeared person cases in North Macedonia could not have looked more different at first glance. However, further investigations have brought to light connections to an obscure pro-Russian network in the country. Such a shocking turn of events only further shows Moscow’s influence during a time of heightened uncertainty across the region.

North Macedonia, a nation with a rich history and vibrant culture, has, unfortunately, experienced its fair share of distressing incidents, including public shootings, criminal clashes, and cases of femicide over the years. But rarely has Macedonian society been so shaken to its very core as after the double murder of Vanja Gjorchevska, a 14-year-old teenager from Skopje, and Pance Zhezhovski, a 74-year-old retired barber from the town of Veles. What makes this crime particularly horrifying is the unprecedented cruelty inflicted upon a minor and an elderly citizen.

April 11, 2024 - Jovan Gjorgovski

The rise of the pro-Putin Revival party in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian far-right Revival present themselves as “the only patriotic party” in Bulgaria. However, a review of their public discourse uncovers a rather disturbing fabric of their patriotism – a strange mix of anti-NATO rhetoric, unrefined populism, xenophobia, and profanity. Their sudden electoral success raises many suspicions.

From an underdog with merely 37,896 votes in the 2017 parliamentary election, Bulgaria’s Revival party (Vazrazhdane) has managed to gain 358,174 votes in the 2023 election and to secure itself 37 seats in the country’s 240-seat parliament. Its meteoritic rise is often used as an argument justifying the shameful union between the reformists (PPDB) and the establishment (GERB; DPS) in Bulgaria which, in turn, resulted in the election of Nikolay Denkov’s government in 2023. The marriage of convenience between PPDB, GERB, and DPS, which emerged in 2023, is presented as a Euro-Atlantic micro alliance protecting Bulgaria from the malicious influence of Vladimir Putin’s circles allegedly channelled by Revival – an account that feeds into the current dominant geopolitical narrative.

April 11, 2024 - Radosveta Vassileva

Montenegro’s new government: another step closer to Belgrade 

At first glance, the formation of Montenegro’s new government appears to represent a victory for pro-western forces in the country. Despite this, the new coalition is ultimately propped up by groups with close links to both Serbia and Russia.

November 21, 2023 - Kenneth Morrison Srdja Pavlović

Bulgaria must seize the moment and tackle Russian influence

Bulgaria has usually been viewed as one of the most corrupt states in the European Union. This has often been blamed on Russian influence, and it continues to challenge the country’s democracy. Despite this, Sofia now does seem to be making progress in tackling these closely connected problems.

November 13, 2023 - Eguiar Lizundia Graham Scott

Russia’s (fading) influence

Russia’s influence in the Western Balkans is traditionally based on its soft power, the energy sector and its diplomatic support for Serbia’s position on Kosovo. The religious, cultural and historic relationship of Moscow with the Orthodox population in the region has been taken as a reason for Russia’s attractiveness. However, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its consequences, the strength of Russian influence in the region is being questioned.

It is commonly said that the Russian aggression against Ukraine has further exposed the fault lines between Moscow and the West in the Western Balkans and that Russia’s aggressive posture in the region is only set to grow as a consequence of the war. Is this concern legitimate or is the Kremlin’s influence in the Western Balkans going to diminish as a consequence of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine?

September 11, 2023 - Katarina Tadić

It is finally time to counter Russian interference

One year after the onset of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the West’s unity and support for Kyiv still holds strong. However, Moscow’s other, often more covert, operations and interference have still been allowed to run rampant across the globe, with little done to counteract their damaging impact.

March 8, 2023 - Cameron MacBride

American agents of misinformation: Tulsi Gabbard, Russian propaganda and article 88

Kremlin apologists spreading disinformation during the ongoing conflict in Ukraine can be found on both sides of the aisle in US politics.

October 12, 2022 - Alan Cunningham

A vicious circle of marginalisation: the EAPL-CFA’s rhetoric on Ukraine

The war in Ukraine has put many of Europe’s traditionally pro-Kremlin parties in a difficult situation. This is no more clear than in the case of Lithuania’s EAPL-CFA, which has maintained links with Russia as part of its attempts to represent various national minorities.

April 1, 2022 - Kiryl Kascian Vitold Jančis

Time to get tough on Russia

The West’s sanctions against Russia naturally remain a controversial issue. Despite this, Moscow’s current actions suggest that it may be time to expand this strategy.

December 21, 2021 - Mark Temnycky

Belarusian: An extremist language?

In 2008 the Belarusian ministry of information launched a list of extremist materials that are officially banned in the country. Symbolically, the item which opens this list is a CD-ROM disc ostensibly with the recording of a lesson of the Belarusian language. No more details are provided, though some say this entry refers to the 2006 documentary film on the rigged 2006 presidential election. One way or another, what irks the Belarusian government most is the Belarusian language.

October 11, 2021 - Tomasz Kamusella

Do not wait for Peter the Great

The West is incompatible with today's Russia. Rather than to wait for another Peter the Great, it seems the West is in need of reconsidering its policy towards Moscow.

March 22, 2021 - Jakub Bornio

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