Disinfo: Radical Islam in Kosovo and the Balkans exploited by the US and UK to weaken Russia


The US and Britain are using the trend of radical Islam in the Balkans to encircle and weaken Russia. Kosovo, situated in the heart of the Balkans, is the centre of radical Islam in Europe and is a crucial instrument of the West’s strategy against Russia.

Since the British and Americans have failed to create an Islamic caliphate in Syria, their strategic goal now is to support the growth of radical Islam in the Balkans, with the ultimate aim of establishing a caliphate that will then be able to threaten the Caucasus. For this purpose, the US and UK have moved some Syrian jihadist groups to the Balkans.



This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US and the West creating and/or supporting radical Islam and Islamist terrorism in the Middle East, as well as working with ISIS/Daesh. The West has been fighting an intense and multidimensional global terrorist threat since 9/11. There is no evidence whatsoever that the US, NATO, or the EU have supported Daesh or other jihadist groups in Syria. The US-led military campaign in Syria and Iraq has clearly targeted Daesh and other jihadist organisations. More disinformation cases can be consulted here and a recent case can be found here.

Although there have been several instances of terrorist foreign fighters who travelled from Kosovo to Syria and Iraq, the notion of Kosovo as the "centre of radical Islam in Europe" does not reflect reality. Kosovo's population is overwhelmingly secular or otherwise practises an open and tolerant version of Islam. According to the Kosovar Centre for Security Studies, only around 400 Kosovo citizens have travelled to the conflict zones in Syria and Iraq. Of these 400, only 250 individuals are considered to be foreign fighters, whereas the rest are women and children.

Furthermore, Kosovo applies effective counterterrorist policies, with support and financial assistance from the US and the EU, and is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. See the US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2017. In 2015, the government of Kosovo approved the National Strategy on Prevention of Violent Extremism and Radicalisation and has drafted and adopted  several other legal and policy documents, including the Law against Terrorism, the Strategy against Terrorism, The Law on Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism".

Further background can be consulted here and here.




  • Reported in: Issue 138
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/02/2019
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, Greece, Kosovo, Croatia, Albania, Montenegro, Bulgaria, UK, Russia, US, Syria, Saudi Arabia
  • Keywords: Western Balkans, Jihad, Military, Islamic extremism, Anti-Russian, Terrorism


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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Moldova leases Nistru river to Ukraine

The authorities in Chisinau have signed a document leasing the Nistru River to Ukraine for 49 years. This agreement was made by oligarchs from Ukraine and Moldova.



No such agreement has been signed.

More detailed research shows that the information published on February 21st 2019 (while the electoral campaign was in full swing) was distributed by two sites - bloknot-moldova.md and kp.md - already a year and a half ago on October 22nd 2017. The primary source is a text published on the Kp.md site by environmental expert Ilia Trombitschi. This article covers the dangers of signing such an agreement with the Ukrainian side and does not state that a contract has been signed.

The US is preparing a Maidan in Moldova

The US is preparing a Maidan in the Republic of Moldova. Many media institutions have cited a note from the US Embassy in Moldova warning American citizens to avoid demonstrations that might take place after the February 24th parliamentary elections, “as in the past, large public demonstrations are possible”. Post-election events in Moldova may be similar to those that occurred in Kyiv in 2013-14 or those taking place now in Venezuela. References are made to the statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry on US involvement in the Moldovan elections.


In fact, such notices appear frequently on the US Embassy's website. Under the heading "Messages for American citizens," a series of warnings about protests, such as the invalidation of the Mayor of Chisinau's elections last summer, or security alerts, can be found.

Further debunking from Stopfals.md.

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No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western belligerence in general and Poland's aggressive behaviour in particular.

In February 2019, Poland signed an agreement with the US on future deliveries of HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System). Poland and the US have also signed a contract for the supply of Patriot systems. The deployment of these anti-aircraft missiles on Polish territory is scheduled to begin at the end of 2022. Warsaw is also planning to develop an air defence weapon together with Kyiv.