The start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 initiated a new spiral of spreading false, fabricated news or disinformation online. The Internet is filled with information from two different extremes, which initially provided completely opposite versions of the root causes of the conflict itself. Although the Russia-Ukraine hybrid war takes place mostly in those countries themselves, and in platforms less used in Kosovo, such as Telegram, Kosovo social media space is also flooded with false information about the armed conflict. Furthermore, in a survey with 1065 respondents Kosovo-wide, in an Omnibus format, conducted by a credible company in the country, D4D asked citizens of several ethnicities and of different ages and professions about some of the fake, semi-accurate or disputable news that have circulated online during 2022.
In none of the 7 questions posed is there a majority that says they believe in the specific contested issue. The major difference prevails on ethnic basis, with respondents from the Albanian majority having completely different attitudes from members of the Serb minority in Kosovo, especially when it comes to the Russia-Ukraine war. Employees in the public sector are more vulnerable to believing fake or distorted news. An interesting finding of the questionnaire is that people over the age of 65, who are believed to be more exposed to fake news, trust them much less than people aged 25-34. The responses show that a high number of those who stated to have a master’s degree or PhD tend to believe in disinformation, more than those with a college or high school degree.