Fake News Spikes Amid High Tensions in the North

Tensions and incidents in  the last few weeks in the north of Kosovo have sparked an avalanche of inaccurate or fake news reports.

The tense situation in the north of Kosovo in recent days has prompted many media in Kosovo and in Serbia to spread fake, inaccurate and context-less reports.

Some relate to the issue of illegal car license plates in the north, or the burning of cars, the demand for the formation of an association of municipalities with a Serbian majority, official visits to the northern municipalities, the presence of police units and other developments.

BIRN Kosova, through its “Krypometer” platform, has identified some of the articles that have false or inaccurate content in their reporting.

In relation to the burning of a car with Serbian license plates in the north in November, a article said the arrested person was a former citizen of Kosovo.

In fact, the Kosovo Police announcement did not state that the arrested person was a former citizen of Kosovo.

The police in fact confirmed that both the owner of the car and the suspect are Albanian citizens of Kosovo. 

Police said the two people involved in the case were also neighbors and the incident was the result of some problems they had among themselves and that the motives behind this event had no ethnic elements to them.

On November 29, 2022, several websites published a news item titled: “Serbs in distress/ Brnabiq, to the German president: New proposals cannot be discussed without the formation of the Association” (“Serbet ne ankth/ Bërnabiq, presidentit gjerman: S’mund të diskutohen propozimet e reja pa u formuar Asociacioni”). 

Photo: BIRN

However, the article does not provide any evidence or statement that the Prime Minister of Serbia or other Serbian state officials said that Serbs are in distress. 

It only talks about the Serbian PM’s request to form an Association of municipalities with a Serbian majority, without which new proposals for dialogue between the countries cannot be discussed.

The title of another article published on November 22, 2022 about Albanians in Serbia was: “Vučić horrified by this news/”People from Lugina are discussing withdrawal from institutions in Serbia”(“Vuçiq po tmerrohet nga ky Iajm/“Luginasit po e diskutojnë tërheqjen nga institucionet në Serbi)” ,  is fake news. 

Photo: BIRN

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has not issued any reaction to a statement he made to the candidate for the post of Chairman of the Albanian National Council in the Presevo Valley, Nevzad Lutfiu, given to Klan Kosova television in Kosovo.

The article contains no statement that shows Serbian President Vucic made any reaction to this news.

The article published on on December 11, 2022 entitled “Kurti visited the north, met members of the Kosovo Police there” (Kurti vizitoi veriun, takoi pjesëtarët e Policisë së Kosovës atje,” is also fake news. 

Photo: BIRN

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti was not in the north of Kosovo on December 11, 2022.

The spokesman of the Government, Perparim Kryeziu, said Kurti was not in the north. According to him, the Prime Minister was visiting the Police camp “Belvedere” located south of Mitrovica.

An article entitled “Rosu blocks Northern Mitrovica: more than 200 special police have entered the city” is false.

Photo: BIRN

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Xelal Sveçla, said that the members of the Special Unit did not enter North Mitrovica, but that “only the law enforcement officers” were in action. 

BIRN has reported that no member of the Special Units of the Kosovo Police has been seen in North Mitrovica. This can also be seen from the footage broadcasted live from North Mitrovica onBIRN. 

The photo used in the shared news is an old photo, taken on July 31 in South Mitrovica.

On November 25, 2022, on the Facebook page “Fakte Shqip” the statement “The US Spoke, no more compromises with Serbia. No agreement without mutual recognition, and no unconstitutional association. — Joe Biden /25/11/22/”. 

Photo: BIRN

An identical post has been shared on several other Facebook pages, such as: Kosova Jone, Gazeta Plisi, Gazeta Kombi, Presheva Info, GazetaPejasot and Fshati Drenoc, Te gjithe ne Vetëvendosje. 

The posts made are referred to in an article on the portal. On November 24, 2022, this portal published an article with the title “No more compromise with Serbia / No agreement without mutual recognition, and no unconstitutional association”, but the text does not mention President Joe Biden, or any high-ranking US official. 

The text published on is based on the statements of political analysts.

The incomplete news about the burning of the car with Serbian license plates

Photo: BIRN

On November 13, 2022, in Serbian media such as,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,  published an article, showing the burning of a car of an Albanian owner. 

The news stated that the owner was a former Kosovo citizen, citing the report of Kosovo Police. 

However, nowhere in the announcement of the Kosovo Police has it been stated that the arrested person is a former citizen of the Republic of Kosovo.

The fake headline that in Belgrade “alarm was raised” for the elections in northern Mitrovica.

Photo: BIRN

In the article, published on November 29 in page, no facts are given to support the findings made in the headline that “The alarm is raised in Belgrade” or that “Albin Kurti is winning Mitrovica in the north”. 

No alarm has been raised in Belgrade regarding the declaration of Vetëvendosje’s candidate for mayor of North Mitrovica. Also, no survey has been conducted that shows that the LVV candidate would win the elections if they were held on December 18, 2022.

The fake news for the arrest of the person who attacked the policeman on the evening of December 8, 2022.

Photo: BIRN

The news titled “BREAKING NEWS: The suspect who shot the police officer in the north is arrested” is fake. The Kosovo Police has announced that the person in question has not been arrested for the case of the wounding of the policeman on December 8, 2022. 

According to the Police, the arrested person is suspected of being involved in an attack with firearms against official persons, ‘serious murder’ (attempted), a case that happened some time ago.

BIRN has reported that the arrested person is suspected of being involved in the attack on officials in the anti-smuggling operation that took place on October 13, 2021.

On December 9, 2022, the Facebook page Vitia Post shared a video in which the analyst Dardan Gashi spoke on the show “Debat plus” on RTV Dukagjini. 

Photo: BIRN

This video bears the inscription “Rakic is and will continue being  my friend and I am happy to have him as a friend”. 

This inscription published by “Vitia Post” is false since Gashi spoke about Nenad Rashic, a Kosovo Serb politician and not about Goran Rakic, the chairman of Srpska Lista, who is accused of being connected to criminal organizations in the north of Kosovo.

The title of the article published on November 26, 2022: “Alarm in Belgrade, Vučić is looking to start a war with NATO, here is the backstage of the agreement in Brussels and the horror that Serbia will experience if it does not recognize Kosovo” (“Alarm në Beograd, Vuçiq po kërkon të hapë luftë me NATO, ja prapaskenat e marrëveshjes në Bruksel dhe tmerri që do të përjetojë Serbia nëse nuk njeh Kosovën”) is also fake news. 

Photo: BIRN.

The article does not provide any facts or credible sources that show Vucic is trying to go to war with NATO. Not even the “Alarm in Belgrade” stated in the title has been argued.

The photo that was used is also not related to relations between Kosovo and Serbia. It shows Vucic and some military personnel watching the football match between Serbia and Brazil on November 24, 2022, as part of the World Cup in Qatar.

Amid high tensions in the north of Kosovo, barricades erected by Kosovo Serbs in Jarinje and Bërnjak got removed on Thursday. 

The decision comes one day after a judge of Kosovo judiciary decided to send to house arrest Dejan Pantic, a Kosovo Serb and former policeman, who has been detained for one month on suspicion of having committed a terrorist crime.

Pantic was detained for more than a week, but because of the barricades, the police could not transfer him in prison, in the south of the country.

Since December 10, Serbs have erected barricades and blocked roads leading to the border points with Serbia at Jarinje and Bërnjak.

The situation in the north has been tense for weeks – first because of the government’s plan to order re-registration of cars with illegal Serbian license plates, then because of planned elections in the north to replace resigned officials, which were opposed by the local Serbs.

The attacks occurred while the CEC was preparing local elections in the northern municipalities of Leposaviq, Zveçan, North Mitrovica and Zubin Potok.  

The elections were announced after the mayors of the municipalities and other Serbian representatives quit en masse at the beginning of November, opposing a decision of the government to no longer allow the circulation of cars with license plates issued by Serbia.

Amid the tense situation, Kosovo President, Vjosa Osmani, after consultation with the political parties, has decided to postpone the extraordinary elections for mayors and municipal assemblies of the four northern municipalities to April 23, 2023. The decision has been greeted by QUINT countries.


29 December 2022 - 16:43

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