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Disinformation in Southeast Europe

Fighting Russian Lies

October 2021, Number 11.04

“Since the end of the Cold War, the countries of Southeast Europe have pursued Euro-Atlantic integration with varying degrees of success. In recent years, however, that process has lost momentum as prospects for further NATO and European Union enlargement appear to have stalled. Even countries that achieved membership in those organizations face challenges for which they seem ill-prepared, ranging from entrenched corruption to irregular migration and demographic decline.

Russia and other non-Western outside actors have grown increasingly assertive in employing hard- and soft-power measures with negative consequences for regional security. Central to these efforts is the spread of anti-Euro-Atlantic narratives using what would have previously been called propaganda but is now more commonly referred to as disinformation. While specific methods vary, this predominantly manifests itself within the online sphere on the traditional internet, web portals and social media networks.

There is a mismatch between efforts to disseminate disinformation and efforts to counter it in the region. Increasing awareness of the prevalence of such campaigns is a necessary step toward the holistic policy changes needed to reverse this imbalance...”

Excerpt from Nikola Brzica et al., “Fighting Russian Lies,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 11, No. 4, 2021: 26-33.

Dr. Nikola Brzica is a strategic risk advisor to the board of a large Croatian private enterprise. He is a United States Military Academy graduate and completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in the fields of international relations and national security. He has served as assistant minister for defense policy in the Croatian Ministry of Defense.

Dr. Olivera Injac is the minister of defense of Montenegro. She has served as associate professor in the Department for Security Studies at the University of Donja Gorica (Montenegro), where she was department chair from 2011 to 2016. She has also served in the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro.

Endrit Reka has served as director for security policy at the Albania Policy Center and head of the national security department of the Albanian Democratic Party. His education and research focus on international security studies.

Dr. Vasko Shutarov has 20 years of experience in the security sector of North Macedonia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in public policy and management, and a doctorate on the interplay of religion and ethnicity. His professional interests include countering violent extremism and strategic communications.

Nikola Veličković is a strategic communications and government relations advisor for Canadian and Australian natural resource companies. After serving in defense policy with the Serbian Ministry of Defense, he worked with Serbian communication agencies and media outlets with a focus on corporate positioning, crisis communications and reputation management.



This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.