Analysis of the News “The end of the world is closer than you think! Russia will enter the biggest war of all time if this happens”

Published on:

September 2023.

As part of the program Regional Initiative to Combat Disinformation “Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub: Exposing Malign Influences through Watchdog Journalism”, we present you a new analysis of fake news and disinformation narratives.

The end of the world is closer than you think! Russia will enter the biggest war of all time if this happens

Taiwan’s military registered 103 Chinese aircraft approaching the island in one day, a record number of aircraft sent by Beijing to the area in 24 hours, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said on September 18, as Al Jazeera reported. It was also said that China’s current military activities could easily lead to increased tensions and deterioration of regional security.

The pro-Russian media in Serbia used the approach of Chinese aircraft as a reason for a series of articles whose main narrative is that due to the aspirations of the United States of America, the course of the Russian-Ukrainian war will change by opening another front in the East, by including Russia in the war.

“A conflict is brewing between the United States of America and China over the issue of Taiwan.” If the US recognizes the island’s independence, Beijing will impose a blockade,” writes Informer. The portal refers to the statement of Russian military expert Konstantin Sivkov that in that conflict, the US can use its fleet and defeat China at sea. At the same time, Russia could strike at American forces if the US-Chinese conflict threatens the stability of Russian relations with China.

Sivkov’s statement with the narrative of a possible conflict in the East was also reported by pro-Russian media, such as the portal and Webtribune. The Webtribune portal also reports the statement of the Russian economist Mihail Hazin, who “revealed the time frame for the start of the war between the USA and China”. “According to his opinion, all other important projects of Washington will be stopped. Because of this, Ukraine is going its own way”, reports this portal.

In the text that conveys the statement of the Russian economist, the dominant narrative is that the United States of America will redirect all its efforts to push China out of Southeast Asia to maintain its hegemonic position, leaving Ukraine aside. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, on an everyday basis, we can find articles stating that the West is slowly stopping helping Ukraine.

Strained relations between the authorities in China and Taiwan began even before the war in Ukraine in 2021. Taiwan considers itself a sovereign state, while Beijing views Taiwan as a breakaway province. The President of the United States has stated several times that in the event of an attack by China on Taiwan, the United States will defend and protect Taiwan. Relations between the two countries have worsened precisely because of US concerns about China’s military activities in Taiwan and its refusal to condemn Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. On the other hand, Beijing accuses Washington of imposing export controls on advanced technology and strengthening security arrangements with regional countries to curb China’s ambitions strategically.

However, the administration of the current US president has repeatedly shown intentions to reopen diplomatic and other channels with Beijing. Thus, on June 19 of this year, the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, visited Chinese President Xi, and the two sides did not make a breakthrough on key issues that burden their relations, such as Taiwan, human rights and trade in advanced technologies. However, as the Financial Times wrote at the time and Radio Free Europe reported, a significant agreement on the stabilization of Chinese-American relations was nevertheless reached during the visit.

Author: Sofija Popović