“The Russia-Ukraine crisis started at the end of 2013 and culminated in 2014 with a military aggression and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and military-political and propaganda support for pro-Russian paramilitary formations in eastern Ukraine” – said Xhabir Deralla, President of CIVIL and Editor-in-Chief of CivilMedia, at the start of the panel discussion “Russia-Ukraine Crisis and North Macedonia”, as part of the series of events titled “In the focus of CIVIL”, held on 09.02.2022.
“Currently, 7.2% of Ukrainian territory is under occupation, more than 100,000 Russian soldiers and heavy artillery are deployed on the border with Ukraine, while serious diplomatic efforts to deter Russia from full invasion on Ukraine are in progress” – reminded Deralla.
Furthermore, in the introduction of the panel discussion, Deralla said that the Russia-Ukraine crisis has a strong impact on the whole world, with consequences already being felt in North Macedonia, as well as in the Western Balkan countries. First and foremost, the Western Balkan countries are vulnerable in many aspects, especially because they are not under the umbrella of the EU, which has far greater economic and political power to protect its member states. Some of the countries of the Western Balkans are members of NATO, which is a “fortunate circumstance”. But the consequences in terms of the economy, as well as the strong propaganda pressure, make all the countries in the region vulnerable to political instability and crisis.
“Society and the public are divided into pro-Russian and pro-Western. More serious economic and energy shocks are also possible, if tensions remain” – concluded Deralla.
CIVIL as an organization and CivilMedia as a media platform in Macedonian, Albanian and English, publish news from that region on a daily basis. Numerous analyses, statements and interviews have been made by using relevant sources that present the situation as it is to the Macedonian public, without propaganda and manipulation of the facts.
“The sources of CivilMedia are, among else, independent media both in Russia and Ukraine, official websites of the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministries, as well as sources of relevant media, experts and state institutions in the Western Balkan countries, the EU and the United States”, reveals Deralla.
camera: Dehran Muratov
editing: Arian Mehmeti
translation: N. Cvetkovska