Manipulation of the web portal Nova: How to leave out the bigger picture so that Serbia would be “again beyond everyone”


Original article (in Serbian) was published on 28/02/2023

The Washington Post published an analysis of the divisions in the world that have become more visible since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, including a map showing which countries have imposed sanctions on Russia or export weapons to Ukraine, and which have not. Serbia is on the map among those that have not imposed sanctions, nor does it (officially) export weapons to Ukraine. Apart from Serbia, there are also Central and South America, Africa and almost all of Asia. The web portal, however, referring to the Washington Post’s analysis, manipulatively “zoomed” into Europe only, where Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Moldova are marked in grey, with the incorrect claim that the map shows “Serbia as the only country that did not join the sanctions”. And while the American paper’s analysis provides an insight into complicated international relations and shows that “a view outside the West suggests that the world is not united on the issue of Ukraine”, Nova’s text came down to the claim that Serbia is “beyond everyone”, although the map of the world – which Nova. rs did not publish – suggests otherwise.

A few days ago, the Washington Post published an analysis of the divisions in the world that the war in Ukraine made more visible, and indicates that the world is not united in the matter of the war and the introduction of sanctions against Russia, as it is implied in the West.

The Washington Post has integrated a map of the world that illustrates this division. Countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia or officially export weapons to Ukraine are coloured red, while the rest are grey.

Map published by the Washington Post

The map shows that the measures against Russia were mainly introduced by the countries of Europe, North America, Japan, and Australia, while most of the world, such as the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, is marked in grey, which means that they did not introduce sanctions against Russia or send weapons to Ukraine.

Map published by portal

However, on February 23, the web portal published a news item with the headline – “The Washington Post published a new map of Europe: Serbia’s position is proof that we are once again beyond everyone”.

At the top of the text, the web portal briefly states that the Washington Post “analyzes the global divisions in the world caused by the outbreak of the war in Ukraine” and that “the authors have attached a map of Europe showing countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia”. The map also shows Serbia “as the only country that did not join the restrictive measures towards the Kremlin”.

As part of its text, actually “zoomed” the world map so that it only shows Europe, and even on that map, Serbia is not completely alone – neither BiH nor Moldova joined the sanctions, nor did Belarus, which cannot be seen on the given map.

However, the map made by the Washington Post gives a broader story about the fact that the world is not in unison when it comes to sanctions, on the contrary – only 33 countries in the world have imposed sanctions or provide military support to Ukraine, and those countries are geopolitically considered to be the West. The rest of the world – most countries – have not done so, and continue to cultivate cooperation with Putin for various reasons. Serbia is not at all the topic of the text of this American newspaper.

“There is ample evidence that attempts to isolate Putin have failed, and not only among Russian allies who could be expected to support Moscow, such as China and Iran”, writes the Washington Post.

The paper recalls that India announced that trade with Russia had increased by 400 percent since the war began. In the past six weeks, writes the Washington Post, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia was welcomed in nine countries of the Middle East and Africa – including the Republic of South Africa, whose Minister of Foreign Affairs described their meeting as “wonderful”.

The Washington Post reports the words of former Indian foreign minister Kawval Sibal that “despite the West’s efforts to attribute inflation and the food crisis to the Russian invasion, most of the world blames the West for imposing sanctions”. and Danas published similar claims suggesting that “Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia are beyond everyone” and without giving a wider context, as provided by the analysis of the Washington Post.

They even incorrectly state:

“These two countries of the Western Balkans, according to the American newspaper, are still the only ones on the way to the European Union that have not imposed sanctions on Russia”. The Washington Post, however, did not deal with Serbia or Bosnia and Herzegovina in the text.

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