„Kurti is kidnapping Serbs. Threatens to arrest Vucic“ – Informer. „They threaten Vucic and Serbs are being arrested in Kosovo again “ – Vecernje Novosti. „The British train Kurti’s special forces for close combat“ – Srpski telegraf. „Kurti wants to arrest Vucic“ – Alo. „Kurti is seizing the north with the help of fake councilors“ – Politika. „We are protecting our country – Vucic is threatened with arrest“ – Vesti: read the top headlines on the same day, September 21.
For the pro-governmental media in Serbia, two main pieces of news dominated the headlines this week: The avalanche of reactions to the speech of the President of Serbia at the United Nations podium on Wednesday, that is, praise of his harsh criticism of Western countries, which continued today as well.
Previously, the same media outlets portrayed the president as a potential victim whom the Kosovo government, personalized through Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti, threatened with arrest if he came to Gracanica.
What really happened?
After last week’s round of high-level dialogue in Brussels, the Serbian president, answering the questions posed by Albanian journalists in Brussels, announced the possibility of visiting Gracanica – if his visit is approved.
The Kosovo Minister of Internal Affairs, Xhelal Svecla, commented on Vucic’s statement, saying that anyone who enters Kosovo without authorization will be arrested, including the Serbian president.
„The consequence is that you simply don’t have a country if the head of another country enters your territory without permission,“ said Svecla, adding that he “does not believe that Vucic is so mad as to come to Kosovo without permission.“
Svecla also specified that the office of the Prime Minister of Kosovo makes the decision on whether to issue an entry permit.
„For a permit – go to the prime minister, without a permit, you come to me,“ he stressed.
The pro-governmental media in Serbia then asked Vucic to comment on Svecla’s allegations.
„They harassed my son; they want to arrest me. We will see who wants to arrest who and what will happen,“ said Vucic.
„It is a terrible sin when someone wants to go to his holy place, to attend a liturgy and talk to his people. That is the real reason for the arrest, and it speaks to their democratic nature and of those who support them. But fine, in the end, we will see who will arrest who…our people say – whoever laughs last, laughs the loudest,“ said the Serbian president.
He also claimed that he is not afraid of the „threat“ of Kurti and Svecla, adding that he is not „fascinated by their courage and power“.
The print media then entered the scene.
„Kurti is kidnapping Serbs. Threatens to arrest Vucic“ – Informer. „They threaten Vucic and Serbs are being arrested again in Kosovo“ – Vecernje Novosti. „The British train Kurti’s special forces for close combat“ – Srpski telegraf. „Kurti wants to arrest Vucic“ – Alo. „Kurti is seizing the north with the help of fake councilors“ – Politika. „We are protecting our country – Vucic is threatened with arrest“ – Vesti.
From the role of a potential victim, the very following day, Vucic was portrayed as a hero by those same media outlets. His „historic speech“ at the United Nations on Wednesday was met with praise, and „the lesson he gave to the West“ at the 78th session of the General Assembly of this body was particularly commended.
„Vucic gave a lesson to the hypocrites of the West: You swear by principles, and you trampled on the UN Charter. What law, what justice“ – Informer. „President at the UN: Vucic’s lesson to hypocrites for the West“ – Vecernje Novosti. „Historic speech by the President of Serbia: Vucic: Almost all Western powers trampled on the UN Charter“ – Srpski telegraf. „Vucic’s historic speech at the UN: The attempt to dismember my country started in 2008 and continues“ – Kurir. „The President of Serbia told the whole world the truth about Kosovo and Metohija: Ethnic cleansing of the Serbs is at work“ – Alo. „We are defending our people“ – Vesti.
The fascination with the speech of the Serbian president, created through the media, continued over today’s front pages.
„He told the truth about Kosovo to the world’s most mighty powers: Vucic will pay for his speech at the UN“ – Srpski telegraf. „An Analysis of the President’s New York Speech: The Spirit of Liberty. Analysts: Vucic directly demonstrated the courage of Serbia! His messages can start a wave of withdrawal of recognition of Kosovo!“ – Kurir. „The echo of the speech of the President of Serbia at the UN: Vucic told everything to the powerful“ – Alo. „Vucic’s speech cemented the principles of our politics“ – Politika. „Vucic’s address to the UN. Honest speech: Peace above all“ – Vesti.
To reinforce this impression, reactions in the same tone from SNS party ‘soldiers’, state officials from this party and the coalition partner – SPS, primarily through the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defense, and the Prime Minister, as well as numerous analysts, have been shared for the third day now.
Immediately after the speech, the RTS camera showed the Serbian delegation’s applause, mostly comprised of strong supporters of the president.
Apart from the fact that Vucic himself had a special address immediately after the speech for the group of media outlets that accompanied him on this journey – TV Pink, TV Happy, Tanjug, RTS, Kosovo online, thus cementing the guidelines for the tabloid covers to follow, the president visibly made another effort along the same line.
“At the official reception with President Biden, we confirmed our commitment to further improvement of our bilateral relations” the President of Serbia briefly informed the public after the meeting in New York, while also sharing a photograph showing his wife Tamara Vucic, as well as the US president with his wife, smiling politely, with Vucic himself looking concerned.
Behind the smoke screen?
One of the main news from New York could be what Aleksandar Vucic decided to announce on Instagram:
„Someone would say that Marko and I had sports activities, or that we went for a long walk, and the real reason for our trip to Bryant Park is hidden in photo no. 2. We both ate everything they had from waffles, or as we say – bakin kolač. This is preparation for my return to Belgrade, and Marko will soon return to Serbia from Washington,“ Vucic wrote under the photo showing him and Djuric posing in tracksuits.
There are speculations that Marko Djuric, the current ambassador of Serbia to the US, and the former director of the Kosovo Office, could replace the controversial head of the BIA and the Ministry of the Interior.
Прикажи ову објаву у апликацији Instagram
The other side of the coin
Contrary to the glorification of the character and deeds of Aleksandar Vucic, although much less visible to the wider public in Serbia, are numerous assessments coming from the other side – political experts and opposition politicians who emphasize that the speech of the President of Serbia was aimed exclusively at the domestic audience, for internal use, i.e. drawing in the electorate, which has seen a slight decline in the ratings of SNS and Vucic himself in recent months.
As such, Vucic’s speech, delivered from the lectern of the UN General Assembly, in this part of the expert and political public, was assessed as harmful and undiplomatic for Serbia’s foreign interests.
The Kosovo Minister of Foreign Affairs, Donika Gervalla Schwartz, called on the EU and the US to condemn the speech of the President of Serbia, stressing that it contained falsehoods and that he tried to „distort the truth“ about Kosovo.
The tabloid machinery keeps on running
The rest of the front pages of tabloids and other pro-regime media in Belgrade have been reserved today for another ongoing topic – Serbs as victims of the current Kosovo government, which is being personalized through Albin Kurti, with the use of sensationalist terms.
„The terrorist from Pristina wanted to start a war. Kurti’s terror. Siptar scum throws bombs at Serbs and steals their medicine“ – Informer. „Kurti continues his terror: Bombs on Serbs and Brussels is worried“ – Vecernje Novosti.
A total of four explosive devices, most likely hand grenades, were detonated on late Thursday evening and early Friday morning, three (one of which failed to explode) were thrown at Serb houses in Pomoravlje, owned by officials of Srpska Lista and Serbian institutions, while one was thrown at the house of a well-known Albanian merchant in the Bosniak Mahala settlement in North Mitrovica.
For these media outlets, the explosion in North Mitrovica ‘did not happen.’ On the other hand, the Kosovo Minister of Internal Affairs confirmed that the investigation is ongoing, while also claiming that the incident is the result of a „revolt by criminal groups“ due to the previous arrest of three Serbs for war crimes.
While the population tries to tackle numerous and difficult adversities every day, expecting above all security and peace, which the actors on the front pages call for, the war is largely taking place on those same covers.
Preuzimanje i objavljivanje tekstova sa portala KoSSev nije dozvoljeno bez navođenja izvora. Hvala na poštovanju etike novinarske profesije.