VIDEO: An interesting documentary reveals why Serbs worship Putin

Documentary about the Serbian village of Putinovo and Serbian-Russian relations/Photo: Screenshot/H1

The documentary "Prijatelka" dealing with the relations between Serbia and Russia, authored by the journalist Adam Santovac, was released on Belgrade television N1.

The topic could not be more current considering that Serbia, along with Belarus, is the only European country that has not imposed sanctions on Russia due to its aggression against Ukraine.

"What is hidden behind the love of the citizens of Serbia towards Russia?" Heart or mind, myth or facts? Is Russia a friend and brother of Serbia or are the two countries just partners? The documentary film "Friend" analyzes the relations between Serbia and Russia since the official establishment of diplomatic relations in the 19th century," states the announcement of this documentary film.

Historians Slavenko Terzic, Slobodan Markovic, Milivoj Beshlin, Anja Vulic, archaeologist Milos Jurisic, Rasha Nedeljkov, as well as the residents of Putinov, a village in the municipality of Medvedja, answer these questions.

How did the village in southern Serbia decide to name itself after Vladimir Putin?

At the beginning of the documentary, Santovac goes to Putinovo in southern Serbia, which until 2014 was called Adzinci.

"Since Putin's is better, so be it. Because... Pilgrim was once from Albania, and they are threatening to take everything from us," explained Milica Petrushić, a resident of the village, who says of Putin that he is a "great ruler".

Putinovo is actually a paradigmatic example of how the regime televisions in Serbia, through which the majority of the population, especially the elderly, are informed, managed to brainwash the citizens of Serbia in their campaign to glorify Vladimir Putin.

There is also a cafe called Crimea in Putinovo, where you can see pictures of war criminal Radovan Karadzic alongside pictures of Putin.

"Falling in love with Putin is an emotion that has gripped the people of Serbia for at least a decade," says Santovac.

Russia's relationship with Serbia is defined according to interests

The first part of the documentary answers the question of how Russia behaved on the road to Serbia's independence. For example, Czarist Russia initially refused to support the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottomans, which it found to be sympathetic only when it later went to war with the Ottoman Empire itself.

In other words, the relations between Russia and Serbia have been defined according to interests from the very beginning, and there is no great love on the Russian side, and there is no lack of it on the Serbian side.

In the second part of "Friend", Santovac talks about the events that shaped the relations between Serbia and Russia in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The role of Russia in Kosovo

"Why didn't the two countries 'talk' between the two world wars?" How did the relationship between Josip Broz Tito and the Soviet leaders affect the perception of Russia? Why is the so-called democratic government in the 21st century encouraged the myth of friendship? How did the obsession with Russia culminate during the rule of the progressives and socialists?” are the questions that are offered answers in the second part of the documentary.

It is also recalled that Putin once visited the Russian soldiers in Kosovo several times, which he withdrew in 2003, weakening the position of Serbia.

But later Serbia began to depend on Russia when it came to blocking Kosovo's progress in international institutions. That's why today many in Serbia, with the great help of television propaganda, consider her to be the protector of their country.

Serbian politicians have made a star out of Putin

The most interesting part of "Friend" is certainly the analysis of Serbian love for Putin. Santovac's thesis is that Serbs actually like Putin much more than Russia.

Among other things, we can see how all the Serbian authorities participated in the glorification of Putin, from that of Vojislav Kostunica, through that of Boris Tadic, up to the current progressive government. The only exception to that was Zoran Djindjic.

It sounds paradoxical, but it was Serbian politicians who made Putin a star in Serbia in the past twenty years.

In any case, "Friend" is a documentary worthy of attention, which deals with its subject informatively and humorously.

By the way, Adam Santovac, who is the author of "Friend" is a Serbian journalist, born in 1988 in Kikinda. From 2014 to 2019, he was part of the H1 television team. In five years as a reporter, he published 910 reports, reports, analyses. He is the author of nine documentaries and winner of nine journalistic awards.

As a Fulbright scholarship holder, he will go to the United States for postgraduate studies in 2020. At New York University (NYU), he is completing a master's degree in news and documentary film.

From 2022, he is again part of the N1 team in the position of journalist and producer of the documentary program.

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