Sarajevo hosts panel discussion on evolution of propaganda narratives on Ukraine

On the occasion of one year since the start of the Russia’s full-scale invasion on Ukraine, the European Union External Action Service (EEAS) and EU Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, organized a panel discussion “Evolution of propaganda narratives on Ukraine”, on 24 February 2023 in Sarajevo. The discussion brought together panellists from the Western Balkans, Ukraine and the Middle East.

Ambassador Johann Sattler, Head of EU Delegation and EU Special Representative to BiH said: “This war is not just taking place on the battlefield. The war is also taking place in many other fields, including information space. The mechanisms to manipulate information that Russia has created, including in the years prior, have become a powerful instrument of war, used at a global level.  Integrity, professional journalism and strong civil society are crucial during war times, when information manipulation takes place and disinformation spreads.”

Foto: Vanja Čerimagić

Tijana Cvjetićanin, Editor of the Raskrinkavanje fact-checking platform, presented analyses of disinformation narratives related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “Raskrinkavanje identified six dominant disinformation narratives in the public space in BiH and in the region during 2022. Social networks and certain media played a key role in spreading these propaganda narratives. Shifting the blame for the war from Russia to Western countries is one of the most prevalent narratives. Closely related to this is the narrative of Ukraine as a state that poses a nuclear threat to Russia. The remaining narratives relate to the glorification of Russia as a military power, the denial of Ukraine’s statehood and the presentation of the current government as a ‘Nazi regime’, and the impact of sanctions on the economy. There is also a narrative in which Western media are accused of publishing untruths about Russian actions.”

Foto: Vanja Čerimagić

“We cannot fight disinformation in one specific place, you cannot do that only in Ukraine. Now it is a huge global problem and we need to work together to find it globally together”, said Yevhen Fedchenko, Editor in Chief of the fact-checking platform StopFake from Ukraine. “What Ukrainians are looking for at the end of this war is justice as well, not only victory. Justice implies that those who manufacture the system of disinformation would be also punished.”

Panellists who discussed the topic today were Yevhen Fedchenko, Editor in Chief of StopFake Ukraine, Marija Vučić, Journalist of KRIK, Tijana Cvjetićanin, Editor at Raskrinkavanje in BiH, Iyad El-Baghdadi, Director of Jamal Khashoggi Disinformation Monitor and Sead Turčalo, Dean of Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo.

Foto: Vanja Čerimagić

The panel discussion is part of a wider EU activity „Connecting Media Communities in the Age of Disinformation“, that is taking place on 24th and 25th February in Sarajevo. It gathers journalists, fact-checkers, media professionals and academics from the Western Balkans, Eastern Partnership countries, Middle East and North Africa and beyond. The aim of the activity is to increase synergies across borders, as well as to map the needs of the media communities and support their work.


Open Call: 9th Fellowship Program for participants from the MENA region

Did you hear, 9th Fellowship program for participants from the MENA region, organized by UG Zašto Ne, will be held...

Alisa Karović

Announcement regarding the accusations from the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

A post on the official Facebook page of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in which Raskrinkavanje is accused of “media spin”, “spreading false information” and...

Sofija Tovarovic

Regional conference “Solutions and Innovations in Media”

Mediacentar Sarajevo and the Association of Citizens “Zašto ne”, supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bosnia and Herzegovina, are pleased to invite you to a regional conference,...

Sofija Tovarovic