Internet Turkophilia as a Tool for Spreading Russian Influence and Geopolitical Disorientation in the Western Balkans

Author: Jahja Muhasilović

July 25, 2023

This working paper explores how Russian propaganda leverages internet Turkophilia to expand its influence and create geopolitical disorientation in the region. It analyzes the multifaceted propaganda strategies employed by Serbian services and pro-Russia networks, including outlets like Sputnik and Serbian media organizations, to promote an anti-Western narrative. Jahja Muhasilović examines the unexpected penetration of this propaganda into the predominantly pro-Western-oriented Bosniak public and attributes this shift to broader geopolitical dynamics, such as Russia-Turkey reconciliation and certain diplomatic missteps by Western diplomats. The study highlights the potential risks and long-term implications of harmful propaganda for regional stability and geopolitical dynamics.

This working paper was written as part of the Geopolitics of Religious Soft Power project, a research initiative of Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. This article arises from a partnership between the project and the United States Institute of Peace focused on understanding how the geopolitics of religion shapes peace and conflict dynamics in particular regional and country settings. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the respective author(s).

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