Disinfo: Kosovo’s independence is an illusion


Kosovo’s independence, declared in February 2008 but only recognised by the US and its allies, was an illusion.


Pro-Kremlin disinformation about countries controlled by the West and their statehood.

There was a civil war in Kosovo, with thousands of casualties and hundreds of thousands of refugees, and which Western countries stopped.  Negotiations on Kosovo's status lasted 10 years. In 2008 the EU Council stressed that in view of the conflict of the 1990s and the extended period of international administration under Security Council Resolution 1244, Kosovo constituted a sui generis case.

On February 17, 2008, ​the Kosovo Assembly unanimously (109 members present) voted to declare independence from Serbia. Serbia declared that the independence of Kosovo was illegal and Russia supported Serbia in that decision.

The basis for Kosovo’s independence was the prevailing view in international law that minorities who suffer systematic discrimination have the right to secede.  This provided the basis for Kosovo’s recognition by a majority of UN member states.

Within four days of Kosovo’s declaration of independence, fifteen countries (including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Australia) recognised the independence of Kosovo.  As of February 2019,  108 member states of the United Nations, including 23 of the 28 members of the European Union, had recognised Kosovo as independent.


  • Reported in: Issue145
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/04/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Kosovo, US
  • Keywords: Territorial dispute, Western Balkans, Civil war, The West


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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