Disinfo: NATO has created “spy affair” to disrupt Russia-Serbia relations

Summary

NATO has created a “spy affair” to disrupt Russia-Serbia relations. The affair was put into circulation through a Bulgarian journalist, a contributor to Bellingcat and the Atlantic Council of Bulgaria, which is the NATO Institute for spreading anti-Russian propaganda and spins around the world.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory, there is no evidence that NATO created a "spy affair" to disrupt Russia-Serbia relations. The controversy centres around a video showing a purported Russian spy handing a bag of cash to another man uploaded to YouTube by an anonymous user on 17 November 2019. The video shows the Russian diplomat giving the Serbian agent (whose face is blurred) a bag during a meeting in Belgrade. Serbia’s state television reported that Serbia’s intelligence agency has confirmed the authenticity of the video.

This was even mentioned by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in an official statement: "The video showing a Russian intelligence officer handing over money to one allegedly highly positioned official of Serbia was not made by our agency." He added that the video recording was made on 24 December 2018 and that it shows the meeting between the Russian Lt. Col. Georgy Kleban with the retired Lt. Col of the Serbian Armed Forces whose initials are Z.K.

This is part of a recurrent Russian effort to discredit the highly respected investigative site Bellingcat, which uncovered many elements in cases such as the downing of the MH17 flight or the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergey Skripal that contradict and expose Russian disinformation narratives. In our database, you can find other examples of false accusations against Bellingcat, such as it being anti-Russian, its instrumentalisation by governments to contradict proof of Russia's innocence or its alleged fabrication of evidence against Moscow.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 178
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Serbian
  • Country: Bulgaria, Serbia, Russia
  • Keywords: Intelligence services, NATO, Secret services
  • Outlet: Sputnik Srbija
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Disproof

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Disproof

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Disproof