Atlantic Alliance: Ambassador Maslennikov confirms mechanisms of Russia’s hybrid action in Montenegro

Vladislav V. Maslenikov

The Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Podgorica, Vladislav Maslennikov, has confirmed with his performance and statements in an interview published on Sunday, 7 April 2024, on the Borba portal, the mechanisms of malignant Russian influence in Montenegro, described and analyzed on several occasions in various texts of the Digital Forensic Center (DFC), the Atlantic Alliance has announced.

DFC has written about Ambassador Maslennikov’s actions in Montenegro on several occasions, among other things in the studies of Russia’s Role in the Balkans: The Case of Montenegro and Russian Hybrid Activities in the Western Balkans: Shadow Game  and the analysis of Population Census: Between Statistics and Politics.

“Describing Montenegro in an interview as a ‘location ready for new construction’ of Russian presence and influence, Ambassador Maslennikov once again repeated his earlier thesis that ‘the expansion of the EU into the Balkans means drawing the countries of the region into a confrontation with Russia’”, according to the statement.

In addition, it is added that he presented a series of arbitrary assessments, starting with the manipulation of the number of casualties and wounded in the NATO intervention in the FRY (the DFC reacted on the same occasion when those figures were manipulated in the TVCG news programme), through unsubstantiated estimates about the scope of Russian investments in Montenegro, to the results of an also unsubstantiated survey according to which allegedly “only 23% of citizens believe in the objectivity of the Montenegrin media”, with which Ambassador Maslennikov tries to justify his absence from the largest number of domestic media.

By his own admission, Ambassador Maslennikov compensates for this absence with the support of Russian proxies in Montenegro, despite the fact that our country has aligned its foreign policy on this issue with the EU’s foreign policy: “And if now instead of government offices and diplomatic receptions in Podgorica we attend events more often in many municipalities in the country, it is better. In this way, we learn firsthand how Montenegro lives and breathes”.

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