The Institute for Global Analytics – together with its partners the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Media Programme South East Europe and the European Council on Foreign Relations, have released a new report: Authoritarians on a Media Offensive in the Midst of War. The Informational Influence of Russia, China, Turkey, Iran and the Gulf States in Southeast Europe.
The publication analyzes the emerging trends of foreign authoritarian-state disinformation in the context of the war in Ukraine in a comparative manner focusing on 7 states of Southeast Europe (Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania). It examines the continuities and evolution in Russia’s strategies, channels and narratives for disseminating disinformation since the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine and the extent to which other foreign authoritarian states -Turkey, the Gulf states, Iran, have amplified Russian propaganda. The research further traces the personal and institutional pathways through which China has been able to establish its media foothold in Southeast European countries. The report offers policy recommendations for safeguarding democracy and media freedom in the Balkans against the ever-increasing pressures from authoritarianism.