The media scene in Serbia is quite monolithic and homogenous, in that uniformity there is room for many new types of media that would bring a little freshness and a different view of the world. The same rules apply to the media field as to any other segment of the market, for example, the hospitality industry. If in one neighbourhood there are twenty restaurants of traditional Serbian cuisine and only one pizzeria, it is logical that a restaurateur should open a kebab shop in that area, and not a tavern with Greek cuisine, an inn that offers Indian food or, by far, those vegan perversions.
The Serbian media sky has long been entwined with the cobwebs of Russian propaganda, so it was quite logical that the portal RT Balkan, a local branch of the Kremlin machinery known as RT (ex Russia Today), should also start its work. There were not enough televisions with a national frequency, tabloids, various newspapers under the progressive command, and dozens of portals to which Vladimir Putin is the way, the truth and the life, so now we also have RT Balkan.
Russian attitude and Russian point of view
The house in question is under the sanctions of the European Union as one of the leading platforms for spreading Kremlin propaganda, but this does not worry the hospitable Aleksandar Vučić at all. Defying the democratic world, showing the finger to European partners and proving that Serbia has become part of the Russian world has long been our president's favourite discipline. Since RT is also a tool of the Kremlin's war propaganda, here is another opportunity for Vučić to proudly show that he stands steadfastly on the side of the executioner, mocking the victims of criminal aggression.
RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonjan explained the reasons for the friendly visit to the Russian governorate: "We launched RT in the Balkans. Because Kosovo is Serbia". This probably means that the portal will deal with the preservation of Kosovo as part of Serbia, quite an ambitious undertaking, they immediately decided to try the impossible, which is commendable. The editor of RT Balkan, Jelena Milinčić, announced in the introductory column that this media brings a "Russian attitude and Russian point of view". So, we finally have a chance to hear the original version of Kremlin propaganda (in addition to the local Sputnik, which is edited by Jelena's mother, Ljubinka Milinčić), and not some pale domestic copies and epigones of unattainable phantasmagoria from mother Russia. The only thing that is unclear is whether the Russian point of view is the same as the Serbian point of view or whether there are differences in nuances, but I have no doubt that this too will be clarified for us soon.
Stalin, a liberal with a soft heart
Indeed, a person can find out anything by reading RT Balkan, various unconventional views, and non-conformist views on the world and the environment are revealed to him, a whole universe of alternative truths and unusual facts carefully hidden from the public. For example, we learned that Stalin "compared to an average conscious feminist from the United States is a soft-hearted democrat and liberal." It is little known that sanctified feminists organized a system of camps in Alaska where the bones of millions of innocent people were left, as well as that they carry out terror on the entire population of the USA. Many members of the literary section in Heavenly Russia, including Danil Harms, Osip Mandeljštam, Pavle Florenski, Boris Piljnjak, Isak Babelj and other writers who were killed in Stalin's gulags, were delighted by this extraordinary knowledge.
In a special statement for Žurnal.info, the ghost of Varlam Shalamov said that he only now realizes how lucky he is that the Soviet Union was ruled by Josif Visarionovich, a good man with a soft heart, and not some terrible American feminist, because under her rule he would not have survived two decades of hell on Kolyma. Shalamov reminded our readers of the story of Svečnikov, a former lieutenant who was his neighbour in the story. “He was caught eating human flesh from the morgue; he cut it off the corpses, 'of course, nothing fatty', as he calmly explained", he wrote in "Priče sa Kolime" or “Kolyma Tales”, to conclude: "You can't choose your neighbours in the detention centre, although there are worse things than eating human beings corpses". Shalamov's spirit has now become clear about what is worse than the cannibal neighbour: the rule of conscious feminists from the decadent West.
Everyone is equal before Russian grenades
RT Balkan also informs us that "the main themes of the anti-Serbian and anti-Russian media campaigns are basically the same: they are cultural racism and religious prejudice." Unlike Western propaganda agents, the Russian troops in Ukraine are completely free of religious prejudices, it doesn't matter to them whether they are demolishing Orthodox churches belonging to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine or theirs, the Moscow Patriarchate. They also don't care whether they kill Orthodox, Buddhists, Muslims or atheists and agnostics: before Russian shells, all civilians are equal, and everyone deserves to be two meters underground. They also crossed paths with cultural racism, so they destroy artefacts of all artistic styles, regardless of whether they are Russian or Ukrainian.
RT Balkan informs us about what certain "more impartial observers" saw. They were told "the movement of NATO troops towards Russia, which, despite the promises made by the highest Western officials, began with the entry of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary into this military organization in 1999". What else do more impartial observers see, how was the situation on the eastern front developing? "After that, by occupying Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, and Bulgaria, NATO will continue its march towards the Russian borders (2004)," it was said to anonymous observers to whom objectivity is both father and mother.
Somewhat more biased observers who believe their eyes more than propaganda hallucinations saw that NATO troops did not occupy any of the mentioned countries, but that they voluntarily joined the military alliance, mostly out of justified fear of Russia. The so-called "occupation" usually looks like a representative of a country and a representative of the NATO pact sitting at the table and signing the agreement and then taking a picture in front of the flags of that country and NATO. On the other hand, when Russia spreads brotherhood among nations, the scenes of brotherly love look completely different: burned cities, mass graves, dead civilians by the roadside, torture chambers, children without arms and legs, Russian trucks loaded with stolen goods, corpses of Russian soldiers left in the fields to be eaten by birds. And when Russia defends its territorial integrity, it ends with 30 per cent of the fraternal population ending up in a graveyard, like in Chechnya.
RT Balkan does not only deal with worldly phenomenons, but also addresses an audience eager for spiritual strengthening in this ungodly time. The portal broadcasts the intellectual discourse of the patriarch of Russia, Mr Kirill, who explains the essence of Putin's special metaphysical operation in Ukraine. This is not about some banal war of conquest, about a terrorist campaign against a peaceful neighbour, or about efforts to commit genocide against the Ukrainian people whose existence Russia does not recognize. Such a banal performance can appear only in the sinful mind of a biased observer, immersed in worldly beings and profane pleasures, unenlightened by the Orthodox Kremlin KGB spirituality.
Patriarch Kirill reveals the true, spiritual essence behind superficial phenomena and seemingly obvious events, available only to the consecrated. Kirill says that his "fatherland today defends those values that set a barrier to apostasy, that is, the movement towards the end of time under the rule of the antichrist". That is why the future of the world "in the full sense of the word" depends on the future of Russia. The patriarch recalls the words of God regarding the coming of the antichrist, and says that "Russia is the one that is stopping it today", but this also means that "all the forces of the antichrist will be thrown" at Russia.
In this holy war of the sons of light against the sons of darkness and perdition, the shepherds of the Russian Orthodox Church are leading the way, as the "core of spiritual resistance", they stand on the front line "against worldly evil, against this leprosy, against this antichrist movement that can destroy the whole world and Russia". When he talks about the barrier and what hinders (a more correct translation would be - holds back) the arrival of the antichrist, the patriarch actually means the katechon, a term that the Nazi jurist Karl Schmidt took from the Apostle Paul's Second Epistle to the Thessalonians. Andrej Nikolaidis wrote about it here in the brilliant text "The Nazi who delayed the apocalypse".
Division of labour
Russian propaganda has been referring to this concept for a long time and portrays Putin's empire as a katechon, a barrier to the Western antichrist and godlessness. Putin's close associate, billionaire Konstantin Malofeyev, even founded an organization called "Katehon", and Malofeyev himself preaches that Russia is an "Empire, Katechon, which protects the world from evil", from the new global Hanan, from the "Western civilization of money". And who would better protect the Russian poor from the civilization of money than a billionaire who got rich thanks to his closeness to the dictator?
As they would say in Montenegro - every truth is like that. Behind this story about the conflict between the ages and evil, about Russia as the protector of spiritual values, there are scenes of immense suffering inflicted on innocent people by the Russian army in its villainous campaign. We cannot see the scenes of pits with buried corpses of civilians, dead children and the elderly, maimed people, and destroyed residential areas on RT Balkan. And we can't even hear the intercepted conversations of the Russian soldiers who were rampaging around Buca. "So we have an order. It doesn't matter if they are civilians or not. Kill everyone," says one. And the other says: "Hide the weapon from me. I think I'm going crazy. I have already killed many civilians".
There is no place for such stories on the RT Balkan portal, the role of this media is not to inform us about what is really happening, but to hide the Kremlin's evil with the above-mentioned nonsense that the deluded audience here swallows as the absolute truth. Russian soldiers who continuously commit war crimes against innocents and Kremlin propagandists are part of the same machine, only their roles are different. Someone shoots with a rifle, and someone with a keyboard; some fire grenades, and some propagandistic platitudes. In any criminal enterprise, the most important thing is a good division of labour.