On July 2, Zeljko Mitrovic, CEO of the most popular TV network in Serbia, Pink, promised not to let “Russophiles” on the air. He explained this by saying that he was "tired of Russian spies in Serbia", and complained that journalists invite pro-Russian commentators on the air.
On the other hand, the Balkan division of the Russian propaganda channel RT continues to broadcast in Serbia, despite the fact that on June 23 it was included in the 11th package of European sanctions against Russia. Its broadcast began in November 2022, eight months after the Russian attack on Ukraine. The Serbian authorities have not yet reacted to this decision.
Serbian political scientist Aleksandar Djokic told The Insider about the situation in the Serbian media:
“I received information from reliable sources that Mitrovic indeed instructed Pink to cover less of the events of the war from the pro-Kremlin line and invite guests with such views less often.
This may be related to the crisis in Kosovo, in light of which it is very important for the Serbian authorities to negotiate with the West. In this regard, and also with the imminent transition of the Ukrainian counter-offensive into the second phase, as Vucic himself recently stated , they do not want to appear pro-Russian.
Russophile sentiments are also not useful to Vučić in the Kosovo process, because he has already made a number of compromises that are painful for him, the application of which at this stage is being sabotaged by Pristina for its own reasons. When in the near future the agreements have to be fulfilled, it will not be liberals who will rise up against him, but ardent Serbian nationalists and Russophiles.
As for the Russian media in Serbia, besides RT, there is also Sputnik. Here they have a whole network of informal collaborators among the Serbian radical left and right, who occupy high positions in institutes, universities and the media (the law and philosophy faculties of BU, as well as the weekly magazine "Pechat" and the newspaper "Vechernye Novosti" stand out here).
It must be said that the leadership of these media outlets is behind the times, they are mainly anti-Western socialists of the era of Slobodan Milosevic, and their weakest point is that they place too much emphasis on the radical left, which is unpopular among ordinary Serbs, even when they criticize NATO and USA. Serbian nationalists are more eager for propaganda in the style of Igor Girkin, and Russian agents broadcast some Boris Rozhin <Russian military expert known by the nickname Colonel Cassad> to them.