23 Oct 17 / 13:36:40

Reaction to Article: Pro-Russian Montenegrins Publish New Anti-Western Media

Yesterday the website “Vijest” published an article entitled "New Media Block in Montenegro: То Russia with Love" with the header “Five Pro-Russian Dites Launched This Year in Podgorica”. This text was created, as it says at the end, as part of the project “I'm Investigating for M[e]NE and EU, implemented by the Center for Investigative Reporting of Montenegro (CIN-CG) in cooperation with BIRN (Balkan Investigative Reporting Network) Serbia , with the financial support of the EU”.

As this research was being prepared, I was contacted by Dusica Tomovic, who introduced herself as a journalist for BIRN Serbia. She posed several questions about Russia's influence on the media space in Montenegro and about the editorial policy of “Sedmica”. From the entirety of my written page, she published one sentence: “We are more culturally oriented towards Russia and generally towards the East, but in the political sense, we are equally critical towards Moscow and the EU and the United States.”

A key sentence is censored in the subsequent line, where I provided arguments for what I said. They were: “We had more comments in which we expressed a negative attitude towards nurturing a cult of personality, primarily thinking about the love [displayed] towards Putin, and we criticised the recent installation of a monument to Stalin in the center of Moscow, as well as [those to] Lenin and other autocrats from Russian history, [and] especially the red star, which is still a favorite symbol in Russia.”

Therefore, the web magazine “Sedmica” cannot be considered pro-Russian, especially not in terms of how the research placed all websites that are not necessarily to the taste of Euro-Atlantic mercenaries in the Montenegrin and Serbian media, in the same basket.

“Sedmica” primarily relies on the foundations of historical Montenegro (Orthodoxy, Cyrillic, Crnojevici, Njegos, Stefan Mitrov Ljubisa, Marko Miljanov ...), but also on the cultural heritage of the entire Orthodox world, especially Byzantium, upon the values of which, until recently, Europe also relied.

In the spirit of the worst communist propaganda from 1948, author Dusica Tomovic made a tendentious text – it’s better to say a pamphlet – in which she dealt with the alleged pro-Russian media in Montenegro, to which she also added “Sedmica”. She was led by Broz’s reasoning from the time of the Informbiro: “Who is not with us, must be for Russia.”

But the only true answer to the primary research question is that Russian influence on the media in Montenegro is minor, and can in no way be measured against Western media influences, which materialises in different forms, as you know best.

Donko Rakocevic
Editor of website “Sedmica”

Click here to read the original letter in local language.

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investigation 18 Oct 17

Pro-Russian Montenegrins Publish New Anti-Western Media

Russian news outlets have increased their presence in the Balkans, but anti-Western news sites launched this year in Montenegro are run by locals who oppose NATO membership and EU integration.

Dusica Tomovic