Today, within the framework of its program “Fighting false news narratives – FN” the Citizens Association MOST presented the study on the Russian propaganda, influence and disinformation “One year of the Russian aggression on Ukraine”. The work on the study commenced in February 2022 and finished in July 2023. The study is referring to the period March 2022 – February 2023.
According to the author of the study Rosana Aleksoska, the Russian propaganda, influence and disinformation in North Macedonia are high in volume, multi-channel, repetitive, and lacking objectivity. The study also confirms that Russian influence operations aim at inciting divisions within society, undermining trust in institutions and media, and causing dismay among citizens, added Aleksoska.
The study found the existence of massive coverage and presence of Kremlin officials, utilization of Russian state-controlled media as sources in articles, as well as pro-Russian voices and allies among the politicians in the region, and multiple cases of coordinated mass dissemination of content on Facebook through pro-Russian infrastructure.
Rosana Aleksoska FN
According to Aleksoska the Russian influence in North Macedonia is also in line with the concept of "sharp power", especially through the promotion of the Slavic-Orthodox brotherhood and the utilization of the Church. Russian influence draws the population into this concept and implies that we have nothing in common with the western world – which is not true. This is one of the ways through which opposition to the European Union and NATO is being incited. This narrative was promoted through visits of religious figures and joint religious services, which represents a perfect example of information operation.
he media should be aware that the words are a weapon in the hands of the Kremlin for spreading disinformation,
Rosana Aleksoska FN
Usage of proper language and phrases when covering warfare represents an essential feature in countering propaganda, influence and disinformation. What appears to be the case is that a large number of outlets and portals are simply transmitting the Russian officials or the Russian controlled media outlets, despite knowing that they often lie. This leverages their effort and amplifies the messages that use phrases and language which are creating misconceptions and misperceptions that make the Russian narratives and propaganda more likeable on one side and the audiences more susceptible to them on the other, added Aleksoska.
Please find the full Study on the following link.
This project was funded in part through a U.S. Embassy grant. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the implementers/authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Government.