Spooks and Spin: Information War in the Balkans

Great power politics has returned to the Balkans. The countries of the region – riven by authoritarianism, political rivalry, and ethnic tensions – are caught between an increasingly assertive Russia and a NATO eager for new allies. As the world reckons with a new era of propaganda, this European hotspot has become a key battleground in information warfare.

Stories

The Secret Players Behind Macedonia's Fake News Sites

The fake news sites that flourished in Macedonia in 2016 weren’t just the work of local teenagers — they involved ultra-partisan American writers, including a GOP candidate for Nevada's State Assembly. Security agencies are also probing possible connections to Russia.

Russian Businessman Behind Unrest in Macedonia

A Russian billionaire living in Greece has given hundreds of thousands of euros to Macedonian opponents of the country’s proposed name change. The recipients include football hooligans who have rioted in the capital.

Right-Wing Hungarian Media Moves Into the Balkans

Hungarians with links to the country’s pro-government media have embarked on a mass buy-up of Macedonian news outlets, part of a concerted push into the Balkans by media companies loyal to Viktor Orban.

Families Torn Apart in Macedonia’s Media War

Macedonia’s intense political struggle -- waged in the halls of parliament, in the streets, and in the media -- isn’t just for ideologues. It’s tearing apart ordinary families.

How Macedonia’s Scandal-plagued Nationalists Lobbied America’s Right and Pulled Them Into an Anti-Soros Crusade

Until late last year, a mention of Macedonia in the halls of power in Washington, DC, would most likely elicit only shrugs.

Leaked Documents Show Russian, Serbian Attempts to Meddle in Macedonia

Secret intelligence documents obtained by OCCRP and partners show how Russian and Serbian operatives in Macedonia have worked to pry the fragile Balkan nation away from the West.

Documents

News

Russia Hits Back at OCCRP Macedonia Spying Report

Russia’s government and state media have hit back at a report by OCCRP and partners on Sunday that showed Macedonia’s counterintelligence had been tracking Russian spies in the country who it believed were involved in trying to stop the Balkan country joining NATO.

Macedonia Forms new Government; Promises Fight Against Corruption

Ending a six months-long political deadlock, Macedonia’s parliament endorsed late Wednesday a new government led by the Social Democrats in coalition with ethnic Albanian parties.

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