NATO is not planning to divide Serbia into occupation zones


Original article (in Montenegrin) was published on 28/09/2023; Author: Marko Vukajlović

The whole world is closely watching to see what happens in Kosovo after the latest incidents. This certainly does not prevent disinformers from spreading different narratives, some of which can be extremely dangerous and lead to building up tensions.

A post showing a map of Serbia, allegedly split into zones, has gone viral on Facebook, with a caption that reads:

War in Kosovo seems to be starting

Map of NATO pact on the division of SRB into occupation zones published

Look at the flags in the zones and you’ll know which member should occupy which part of the territory

The photo hints at prospects of 50,000 troops under direct NATO command to be stationed in Serbia, citing senior NATO instances as the alleged sources of information.

In only a short period of time, the post amassed an enormous number of likes and comments on Facebook and the number of shares it got makes its reach even more concerning.

A reverse photo search leads to two accounts on Reddit, which do not bear mention of where it originally came from. The threads boil down to correspondence between users that let their imagination run wild. However, it is possible that the photo originated from Gunther Fehlinger, who is, according to his own account, the founder of an NGO that advocates the expansion of NATO. The photo was viewed by tens of thousands of people on his X account. Fehlinger is known for his contradictory comments directed against Serbia and Russia. His position even goes so far to call for bombing of Belgrade in order to “preserve peace in the Balkans”. He is a peculiar character that could easily “pass off” as a NATO official, and is active on social media, but his organization does not even have a website.

For all the reasons stated, we contacted the NATO press office directly. NATO press officer Paul Noellke responded to Raskrinkavanje’s inquiry with an email that reads:

“All claims of NATO planning an invasion or division of Serbia are utter nonsense. NATO has been leading a peace-support operation in Kosovo since June 1999 in support of wider international efforts to build peace and stability in the area. KFOR operates under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and, as such, is a peace enforcement operation.”

Given the official view as expressed by NATO, this post is rated as fake news.

The “Fake News” label is assigned to an original media report (entirely produced by the media that originally published it) that contains factually incorrect claims or information. The contents labelled as fake news are those identified with full certainty as having been created and disseminated with the intention of disinforming the public and presenting an otherwise completely false claim as a fact.

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