By XHABIR DERALLA
Today I will give you a concrete example of how the Russian propaganda works, which can help both readers and those who inform the public every day and create the public opinion. Let’s start in order.
In the three-day Israeli – Palestinian “exchange of fire” from August 5 to August 7, in the air strikes of the Israeli military aviation and artillery, 46 Palestinians lost their lives, 16 of which were children, according to the report of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The Ministry of Health in Gaza reported 360 injured Palestinians, including 151 children, while Israeli authorities, without much detail, reported that 70 people were injured in the rocket attacks of the Islamic Jihad from Gaza. That is the summary of this short episode of the endless bloody series in the Middle East, which leads us to the example of the Russian propaganda on the Macedonian media ground.
On August 6, a title appeared in a few Macedonian media outlets saying that “The EU and Russia are deeply concerned and call for restraint in the Gaza Strip.” Most of the posts refer to MIA as the source. An almost identical headline is present on ten Serbian portals as well. The text in the Serbian and Macedonian media outlets to this and similar headlines are the same.
It is a matter of Russian propaganda. How so?
It is true that both the EU and Russia came forward with statements about escalation of violence between Israeli forces and Palestinian Jihadists. But it is also true that there were reactions and appeals from all over the world, from big and small countries, relevant and not-so relevant world organizations and institutions. The UN, OSCE, EU, the US, the Arabian League and many more reacted. But this title especially brings the EU and Russia in relation and equates them in value and importance.
What is the purpose of the headline and the text? The purpose is to equate the importance of the EU and Russia on important issues, and especially because an armed conflict is in question. To portray Russia as an important factor in the world that can be “concerned” about a crisis.
The public should get the message that Russia’s “concern”, has, no more and no less, equal weight as that of the EU. What’s more is that the accent of the statement of the spokeswoman of the Russian MFA, Maria Zaharova, was about the potential worsening of the already difficult humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.
MIA’s desk most likely only mechanically downloaded content from news outlets in Serbia. Such are the headlines in N1, Novi Magazin and Danas. But the person who composed the news, and especially the headline, was on a mission that was not (only) journalistic.
Still, if downloading was necessary, the desks at our country had a choice. And in the media in Serbia and much wider, there are headlines that talk about the reactions in the world and they are published in special contents. Such is the case with Srpska info and HappyTV, which report on the EU’s reaction, Slobodna Evropa and the Serbian edition of Euronews, which report on the UN’s reaction.
Many Serbian media outlets don’t even mention Zaharova’s statement. Because it’s manipulative, and in the context of the brutal aggression against Ukraine, and it’s also grotesque.
CIVIL’s monitoring team recognized the propaganda of Russia in the statement of the spokeswoman of the Russian MFA, Zaharova, and published the headline “Russia is trying to assert itself as a factor in resolving the Gaza Strip conflict.”.
CIVIL’s report clearly locates Russia’s propaganda manipulation, which at the same time with the military actions in Israel and Gaza endangered the security of the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, the biggest one in Europe. In the same direction is the comment of my colleague Muratov – “Russia is acting ‘being concerned’ about Palestine while it’s shelling civilians and nuclear plants in Ukraine”.
We live in a wartime when propaganda is fierce and has many different forms. It’s said that the information content in the media serves for unbiased and neutral informing of the public. But this example shows how they impact the public opinion.
Every day, in many media outlets, one can see that “silent” propaganda, Russian, nationalist, party, commercial… Hidden behind “objectivity”, “neutrality” and “impartiality” of information articles in the media, propaganda of any kind and on any topic has a stronger effect than advertisements. Think a bit, read carefully and you will see what I am writing you about, dear readers.
Translation: N. Cvetkovska