-There is definitely an information war, which is not new, it existed before as well. But what is different is that the West came out of that rigidity towards the Russian propaganda. I think that the West is now winning that war not only with the Russian propaganda, but also with the war against democracy, says Marjan Zabrchanec, National Coordinator for Open Balkan and Regional Initiatives, in Morning Briefing on the situation in Ukraine in regards to the information war.
Analyses show that Russia hasn’t prepared very well on that information-propaganda front as well. Military analysts, on the other hand, say that Russia has not yet carried out hacking attacks because they are aware that it could cause a counterattack and crash their platforms.
-I agree that is the reason. Hacking was not invented by the Russians. For the first time, the West is demonstrating a clear repeating message, has focused and demonstrated precise information. Democracy is nevertheless stronger than anti-democracy, but was dispersed until now. The Russian invasion has united democracy. Now everyone is saying support for the sovereignty, condemnation for the war and a call for peace. On the other hand, the propaganda from Russia is rather confusing. There are accusations that Ukraine has chemical weapons, and if it had them, it would have used them, says Zabrchanec.
Zabrchanec says that Macedonia is part of the Western communication system and coordinates itself with the Western communication messages. He adds that various platforms are followed on the Internet that spread Russian propaganda and say that Russia is threatening Macedonia with some funny headlines.
-Pictures are posted of the leader of Levica with Putin with the heading “Finally someone normal”. If that’s normal, then it turns out that the majority is abnormal, says Zabrchanec.
Zabrchanec says that he has no doubt that in the medium term the fight against propaganda will be lost, since the positions are clear.
Makedonski Telekom just two days ago removed the Russian propaganda television channel RT (Russia Today), where the owner is also the government.
-The result is that North Macedonia managed to turn off RT. I don’t think that such examples will come to be tiring. I think that the Russian propaganda will get tired. The Macedonians are predominantly for NATO, the EU and democracy. The Macedonian people have sentiments for Russia, but are against the war, says Zabrchanec.
In terms of the websites that conduct pro-Russian propaganda and which certainly don’t do that for free, Zabrchanec says that the Government has a clear strategy for combating disinformation and for introducing media literacy. In the area of the criminal law, the rules are clear – if you have a threat, then the Prosecutor’s Office acts, says Zabrchanec.
-The propaganda for creating panic that there will be no gasoline or food also didn’t succeed. The panic lasted for a day or two and that was it. There are attempts for attacks on the communication systems in the country, this in the virtual world is an everyday thing, but the defense functions, says Zabrchanec.
We don’t see NATO as something foreign, we are part of it. We have prepared for that system and have been praised in the area of communications, says Zabrchanec for Morning Briefing.
Follow the whole conversation in the video