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Russian Information warfare repeats Kosovo Liberation Army accusations for Ukrainian Army 

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Textbook information warfare or special propaganda, Russian infiltration in EU institutions produces gruesome accusations for Ukrainian Army for harvesting human organs for the black market similar to accusations made by infamous Konstandin Kosachev against the Kosovo Liberation Army in late 2000s through his position of MEP in the European Parliament. 

This example of textbook copy of information warfare for the international community and the European officials presents a gruesome accusation that can not be left unattended. The point of the accusation is not its subject, namely illicit human trafficking but rather flooding of EU and other institutions with “bothsideism” and “counter-narrative” that damages the Ukrainian war. 

The way Ukrainian war is fought by other means is long term. The example of Kosovo shows all steps taken for the long and painful process of “name clearing” with EU and international tribunals that will eventually surface in the future. The Prime Minister of Albania in 2022, warned about this on the occasion of Referring to Assembly Resolution 1782, where he asked PACE for a follow-up report regarding the investigation of allegations of inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo. He mentioned that Zelenskyi should not be surprised if EU will prosecute him just like they prosecuted former President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci for the war in 1998-1999. 

In deconstructing the Kosovo scenario, similarities are obvious. Three years have passed since Hashim Thaci, the former president of Kosovo, announced his resignation in response to the Special Court’s invitation. The Special Court has charged him and his fellow soldiers with organ trafficking during the Kosovo War. Thaci is still imprisoned, along with the two former heads of Kosova Assembly, Kadri Veseli and Jakup Krasniqi, as well as the former Member of Parliament Rexhep Selimi. In the hundreds and thousands of prosecutors’ indictments, there is no mention of human trafficking. So, the whole strategy was not about the human organs but rather changing the narrative. 

Although the phenomena of the Special Court’s inception is rather difficult to explain, it does have a beginning. Russian propaganda was engaged to challenge the independence of the state of Kosovo immediately after its proclamation of independence in February 2008. The resolution sponsored by Russian MEP Konstandin Kosachev, which was based on Carla del Ponte’s book “The Hunt: Me and the War Criminals,” was the first step toward the establishment of this court. Kosova declared its independence on February 17, 2008, however, on April 15 of the same year, Kosachev in the Council of Europe sponsored the resolution called “Inhumane treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo”, i.e. the judgment of the former leaders of the KLA is based on this resolution, which we explained in previous articles, it was later followed by the 60-page report of the Swiss senator and controversial politician, Dick Marty. 

Such a thing is currently happening in Ukraine as well. The spokesperson of the Russian MFA, Maria Zaharova, recently in an article published in a Russian newspaper ‘Rasiyskaya Gazeta’ says that Ukraine, together with the leaders of the KLA, are involved in organ trafficking. Regardless of how absurd the statement is, it is shocking nonetheless because the UCK’s leaders are currently being tried in The Hague on the basis of a phony Council of Europe resolution that was sponsored by the Russian MEP Kosachev 15 years ago. While the Russian MFA implicates them in organ trafficking in Ukraine, furthermore, Zaharova in this article says that the KLA is still operating but under a different name. The Serbian media swiftly ensured to put that it as headline on their front pages after that. All of what is stated in Maria Zaharova’s article about the attempt to involve the leaders of the KLA in the illegal transplant of organs, will sound familiar to anyone who has followed the trial of the KLA leaders from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to the Special Court now

Russians attempts to change the history of the war in Kosovo and revise Serbian crimes are longstanding. On the anniversary of the NATO bombing, the Russian Embassy in South Africa, through a post on the ‘twitter’ platform, misused the image of a Kosovar refugee mother breastfeeding her baby who fled the war in 1999, presenting her as a Serbian woman escaping from the NATO bombings, the falsification of the photo was presented on social networks by the author himself. In addition to distorting the history and events of the war, Russian propaganda has been unhindered in Kosovo also regarding the events in the north of Mitrovica, trying to use propaganda to increase tension. In Kosovo, we can say that currently there are no sustainable mechanisms for combating Russian and Serbian propaganda against the state of Kosova

This textbook information warfare infiltrates EU and other international institutions not with the aim of presenting evidence for illicit human organ trafficking but rather to start the change of narrative as the first step in a long coming information warfare. The disinformation offensive against Kosovo by Russia is repeated with Ukraine. This should not be ignored by the relevant governmental authorities. For Kosovo, it had serious consequences, finalized by arresting heads of state and other prominent KLA leaders. Edi Rama´s warning should be taken seriously.