BRICS – Another Propaganda Weapon of Kremlin in the War against Ukraine


In the beginning of the war in Ukraine – what could be noted as part of the propaganda, hence spreading disinformation by Moscow – was the persistent effort to focus international attention on BRICS. Having felt all serious repercussions and risks of the economic and political sanctions, this became of exclusive importance for Russia. For some of the solutions Russia sought a way out in greater communication and cooperation with the BRICS countries, including indoctrination of other countries under the influence of China, Russia, Brazil, India and Southeast Africa, the BRICS core

In the beginning of the war in Ukraine – what could be noted as part of the propaganda, hence spreading disinformation by Moscow – was the persistent effort to focus international attention on BRICS. Having felt all serious repercussions and risks of the economic and political sanctions, this became of exclusive importance for Russia. For some of the solutions Russia sought a way out in greater communication and cooperation with the BRICS countries, including indoctrination of other countries under the influence of China, Russia, Brazil, India and Southeast Africa, the BRICS core


Author: Zoran Bojarovski


Moscow is using its presence in BRICS to the maximum in order to build  pro-Russian or anti-Western  feelings between the Member-States of this community, as well as in the countries that gravitate towards them.

In light of the war in Ukraine, in the last two weeks of January, Russian national media shared 1,600 pieces of information related to Ukraine in disinformation campaigns in the countries such as South Africa, India, Brazil and Mexico which stimulated approximately 173,000 likes, shares and comments – from Spanish language speakers on the invasion of Ukraine, while on the Middle East the broadcast frequency of RT Arabic and Sputnik Arabic increased from 35 percent to 80 percent, respective of the invasion development in Ukraine.

This  activity and propaganda of Russia – of course greatly assisted by the most powerful party in the group, China – brought about results when on the BRICS Summit this year in July, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Egypt announced their membership in this community. Algeria, Morocco and Uruguay were also mentioned in some announcements.

BRICS is a “sackful of horns” that Russian propaganda insists on hiding

Moscow’s propaganda on BRICS enlargement started even before the BRICS Summit. BRICS was one of the topics on the top of the Agenda of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov and it did not end even after the Summit.

What Lavrov avoided saying is that BRICS-enlargement is not going to go so easy and for that reason this question was positioned as the 73rd item on the final Declaration of the BRICS Summit 2022, from a total of 75, out of which the last two were expression of gratitude to China for the organization of the Summit and to South Africa for accepting to be the host for the next Summit.

Why is that the case and what does Moscow want to hide?

The 73rd item of the Beijing Declaration specifies:

We support the promotion of discussion between BRICS-members on the enlargement process of BRICS. We stress the need to clarify the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures for the enlargement process through the “Sherpa Channel” on the basis of full consultation and consensus.

According to the indications of the former UN Under-secretary, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India and Member of the Parliament at the time, Shashi Tharoor, in the article with the indicative title “Are the BRICS Breaking Up?”, the credit for the 73rd place of the BRICS-enlargement goes to India since it cannot afford to have Pakistan becoming part of the enlargement campaign. New Delhi and Washington deem Pakistan a country that generates international terrorism and both India and the USA have submitted a proposal for a “Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism” in the UN, whose adoption was blocked by China.

China and India, both nuclear powers and the most populated nations in the World, have open years-long confrontations  and unresolved issues on the border between the two countries on the Himalayas, especially following the  serious incident in 2020 when 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives.

In his analysis, Shashi Tharoor writes that India has always been the irreplaceable vowel in the acronym BRICS. He stresses that if the expansion of the bloc does not take into consideration India regarding full consultation and consensus for Article 73 of the Declaration, the Asian sub-continent will pull out from BRICS.

Those are not the only two horns in the sack of BRICS-enlargement. The war in Ukraine has strengthened the relations between Iran and Russia, especially after discovering that  Tehran supplies Russia with drones, but that will not be sufficient to persuade the Shias in Iran to “get together” with the Sunnis from Saudi Arabia. Moscow realizes that things between Riyadh and Tehran have gone so far that “getting together” in the BRICS would mean previously organizing a peace conference.

After the elections in Brazil one needs to see how the newly elected Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, will position himself knowing that he is expected to democratize the country, especially since China was an extreme supporter of his predecessor, the authoritarian  Jair Bolsanaro. The historian knowledgeable of the political environment in Brazil James N. Green for the Macedonian portal Civilmedia, emphasized that the newly elected President “will continue the tradition of pragmatic, independent foreign policy that will, one the one hand, require good relations with the USA and the European Union, but also with the BRICS-countries – Russia, India, China and South Africa, including the countries of South America and the global South in general”.

Turkey also has a specific role in this game because all economic and political contacts of this member-state of NATO are directed towards Europe and the USA. However, the ambition of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to win another term will not be an obstacle for “flattering” with BRICS.

The BRICS-position of N. Macedonia

The relays of Russian propaganda on BRICS in N. Macedonia are a few political structures, including Levica, that uses all communication channels and resources available to the parliamentary party for that purpose.

It is not difficult at all to see the pro-Russian, anti-EU and anti-NATO position of the leaders of Levica Dimitar Apasiev, including the tendency towards BRICS.

In the course of the Russian military aggression on sovereign Ukraine, when the whole World introduced political sanctions for Russia, the members of the Parliament of N. Macedonia from Levica, Dimitar Apasiev and Borislav Krmov had a “ninety minute“ meeting with the Russian ambassador in our country Sergey Bazdnikin, that took place in “sincere and friendly atmosphere”.

Levica’s report on this meeting communicates the term ”special military operation in Ukraine”, as an official term for the war of Kremlin. An emphasis was put on the process of denazification and elimination of threats from extreme-right and radical neo-nazi political movements which present danger for every modern democracy” which, yet again, is the vocabulary of Moscow.

Three months later Levica – this time together with VMRO-DPMNE – organized protests against the “French proposal” and  Levica came out with the position that ”EU is not that appealing now”, that many other options are available such as the Non-aligned Movement, BRICS, European Economic Community,  initiative “Belt and Road” and that all concepts are open, including the Euro-Asian Union.

Another, less influential, but also less persistent structure that advocates such ideas is the party “Single Macedonia”. In its proclamation the party wrote that it advocates strategic alliance with Russia and membership in the Euro-Asian Union, including BRICS. Also, “Movement Boycott” is another case that was the main fist against the referendum on the name and NATO and EU membership in 2018.

The last video podcast of “Movement Boycott” is about BRICS issues and it is titled ”Do #Macedonians have a Choice? #EU or #BRICS?” “promoted” 4th November this year.

From the list of available sources searched on Google, in N. Macedonia  very little do the media cover BRICS with a thorough approach and an objectivized exhaustive analysis of political and economic values of this community. Usually the news comes from larger BRICS summits or conferences.

For example, they would write that BRICS is announcing its own currency in order to compete with the American Dollar, although this topic is being recycled since 2014 when the New Development Bank of BRICS was established (The New Development Bank). You will not be able to find data that the “capital” of New Development Bank (The New Development Bank) is 100 billion Dollars, while the capital of the International Monetary Fund is almost 700 billion Dollars.

Even the rare texts with somewhat of an analytical approach again reflect the BRICS big events, and when you read the CVs of the authors, the angle of these articles becomes clear as they fully breath with the affirmation of this economic and political community.

From time to time, BRICS-related texts with an “analytical” approach in Macedonian media are written by employees in the Embassy of the Russian Federation in our country. Such is the column “What can BRICS do?”, by Ekaterina Akopian, attache for media in the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Skopje.

To spread its own propaganda positions, including those  about BRICS, the Embassy of the Russian Federation is using its Facebook page to the maxium, where you can find  messages like the following:

Today’s reality is multi-polarity. Moscow, together with its BRICS-partners represent an appealing option to the notorious Western “World order based on rules”.

Russian propaganda activities on the topic of BRICS and the attempts to redirect attention of the international public from the war in Ukraine by spinning towards other local hotspots overlaps with the claims of the President of the country,  Stevo Pendarovskiwho in an interview for “Click Plus” on TV21 from 8th July said that the security in N. Macedonia is getting worse and that according to the information that he received from the security authorities, the Russian Federation is abusing the protests against the “French Proposal” by infiltrating several dozens of people from neighbouring countries to incite incidents.

Once again President Pendarovski confirmed that N. Macedonia is under intensified hybrid attacks similar to those from September 2018 when the referendum for changing the name was organized.

BRICS in the future vs G7, EU, USA and NATO

Although BRICS is convincingly the largest populated community with 3,22 billion people vs G7 countries (USA, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada) as the economic counterpart of BRICS with 775 million inhabitants, the difference between BRICS and G7 is still enormous with regard to economic power. In 2021, the gross domestic product of BRICS was 24,44 trillion Dollars, vs twice the size GDP of G7 which amounted to 45 trillion Dollars that same year.

Apart from that, analysts point out that the big differences in ambition and nature of those ambitions of some BRICS Member-States, especially those of China and Russia, and even India.

Some concern arises from the demonstrated BRICS ambitions, instead of economic club that tends to influence growth and development, to turn into a political club. This concern stems from the fact that – with partial exception of South Africa – all other BRICS-countries in the last decade became dominantly authoritarian democracies, if one can even speak about a democracy in China as a one-party state.

Still, equally important – if not more – is that BRICS is lacking institutional structure for efficient implementation of ambitions, since one can hardly speak about common policies. Unlike G7, NATO and the EU, where the institutional system were defined quite some time ago within the foundations of their organization, including the values that united the Member-States on the basis of which common policies are being realized.



This article has been produced within the project Promoting Access to Reliable News to Counter Disinformation, implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation. The article, originally published by Truthmeter,, is made possible by the support of the American non-profit foundation NED (National Endowment for Democracy). The content of this article is the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, NED or their partners.




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