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Aleksandar Brezar

Rome, Italy
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About Aleksandar
Aleksandar Brezar is a journalist, factchecker and debunker with experience in a variety of media outlets, ranging from print and radio to television and online/new media. He also co-hosts Sarajevo Calling, a podcast on Western Balkans affairs. His work was featured in The Guardian, The Washington Post, Kosovo 2.0 and Balkan Insight, among others, while he was an advisor and contributor on several documentaries for PBS, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Al Jazeera English.
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Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast)
Politics Technology Media Training

Ukraine claims to have shot down three Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers in one day

04 Apr 2024  |  sg.style.yahoo.com
Ukraine's air force claims to have shot down three Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers in the Kherson region, as announced by the Ukrainian Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk and confirmed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The downing of the aircraft is significant as it marks the first time since March of the previous year that Russia has lost more than one Su-34 on the same day. The Su-34 is a sophisticated twin-seat fighter-bomber, which has been used by Russia in Syria and Ukraine. The losses are notable amidst the ongoing conflict, and the Dutch government has also announced plans to donate 18 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine to aid in their air combat capabilities.

‎Calling: Balkan Leaders: Milorad Dodik on Apple Podcasts

04 Apr 2024  |  podcasts.apple.com
The article is part of a series focusing on Balkan Leaders, with this installment highlighting Milorad Dodik, a prominent Bosnian Serb politician. Dodik is characterized by his ethnonationalist views, his use of crude language, and his well-known connections with the leadership of Russia. The piece seems to delve into Dodik's political stance and influence within the Balkans, as well as his reputation on the international stage.

Ukraine claims to have shot down three Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers in one day

04 Apr 2024  |  malaysia.news.yahoo.com
Ukraine's air force claimed to have shot down three Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers in the Kherson region, as announced by Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk and confirmed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The downing of these advanced jets is significant as it marks the first time since March of the previous year that Russia has lost more than one Su-34 on the same day. The Russian military blog Fighterbomber suggested the involvement of the US-supplied Patriot anti-aircraft system in these combat losses. The Su-34 is a key asset in Russia's military aviation, but its use in low-altitude bombing has made it vulnerable to air defenses. The article also mentions a past incident where a Su-34 crashed into a residential building in Yeysk, Russia. Additionally, the Dutch government has announced plans to donate 18 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, potentially altering the balance of air power in the region.

‎Calling: Balkan Leaders: Albin Kurti on Apple Podcasts

04 Apr 2024  |  podcasts.apple.com
The article opens a new season of the series 'Calling' by focusing on the political landscape of Kosovo, Europe's youngest state. The piece features an explainer that transitions from discussing Albania's Prime Minister, Edi Rama, to inviting journalist Una Hajdari to provide insights into the power dynamics in Kosovo. The article aims to shed light on the current political figures and the governing structure in the country.

The Invisible Threat: How Microplastics Are Taking Over Our World

27 Nov 2023  |  euronews.com
The article discusses the pervasive issue of plastic pollution and its impact on human health and the environment. It highlights the findings of studies from the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Rhode Island, which show the presence of microplastics in human organs and their potential to cause health issues such as inflammation, immune response, and even behavioral changes. Rosalie Mann, founder and president of No More Plastic, is interviewed about society's dependency on plastic, the dangers it poses, and the need for systemic change rather than consumer-focused solutions. Mann criticizes the current recycling practices as ineffective and calls for a shift towards alternative materials and stricter regulations to reduce plastic production and use. The article emphasizes the urgency of addressing the plastic crisis for the health of both humans and wildlife.

15,000 euros per catch: The consequences of dynamite fishing in Montenegro

25 Sep 2023  |  tagesspiegel.de
Montenegro, aspiring to be the first 'ecological state', continues to face unchecked environmental destruction, particularly from the practice of dynamite fishing. The article recounts the story of Milo, who as a child helped his grandfather fish with explosives, a method that is still plaguing the country's marine life and ecosystems.

In Exile in Moscow: Is the Milošević Family Planning Their Comeback from Russia?

13 Aug 2023  |  tagesspiegel.de
Marko Milošević has recently made a public appearance in Moscow at the unveiling of a monument for his father, Slobodan Milošević. This event has sparked speculations about the family's intentions and potential political activities.

The vast consequences of the Kakhovka dam destruction: A view from the ground

07 Jun 2023  |  euronews.com
The article by Aleksandar Brezar discusses the aftermath of the Kakhovka dam destruction in Ukraine, which has led to significant flooding and the evacuation of over 6,000 people. The dam's collapse has exacerbated the suffering in the region, which has been under constant attack since Russia's invasion. Euronews interviewed Vsevolod Prokofiev from Save the Children, who provided insights into the on-ground situation, the resilience of the local population, and the efforts of humanitarian aid organizations. The flooding has caused houses to be submerged, and there are concerns about water shortages, the spread of diseases, and the danger of mines and unexploded ordnance. The article also touches on the international response, with EU officials condemning the dam's destruction as a war crime, while Moscow blames Kyiv.

Bosnia's First Pride March Challenges a Legacy of Intolerance

01 Jun 2023  |  Washington Post
The article discusses the absence of a Pride march in Bosnia, making it an outlier in the Western Balkans region. It highlights the planned first Bosnian Pride march on September 8 in Sarajevo and the significance of this event for a country grappling with its past. The article recounts the violence faced by the LGBT community in Bosnia, including attacks on public gatherings and pervasive homophobia. It also touches on the fear of professional repercussions for openly LGBT individuals. The author criticizes the ethnonationalist politicians for promoting traditional values to maintain power and the reluctance of liberal political actors to support LGBT rights. The article concludes with the hope that the upcoming Pride march will challenge the status quo and promote social progress.

AFP journalist Arman Soldin killed in rocket fire near Bakhmut

09 May 2023  |  euronews.com
Video journalist Arman Soldin, working for Agence France-Presse (AFP), was killed by a Grad rocket attack in eastern Ukraine near Chasiv Yar. The incident occurred on a day when Soldin and his colleagues were accompanying Ukrainian military personnel. Soldin, a French national, had been with AFP since 2015 and was known for his vibrant personality and dedication to journalism. His death brings the number of media employees killed in Ukraine since the Russian invasion to at least 11, as reported by RSF and CPJ. AFP CEO Fabrice Fries and other colleagues have expressed their devastation and paid tribute to Soldin's courage and energy.

Lithuania's fight for independence and its relevance to the Russia-Ukraine conflict

05 Apr 2023  |  euronews.com
In an interview with Euronews, Saulius Saul Anuzis, a Lithuanian-American political expert, reflects on Lithuania's struggle for independence from the Soviet Union and the subsequent chain reaction across the Soviet bloc. Anuzis discusses the challenges faced by the Baltic states and their transformation into democracies and EU and NATO members. He emphasizes the importance of the Baltic states and countries like Poland in supporting Ukraine against Russian aggression. Anuzis also highlights the threat that the progress of these nations poses to Putin's regime by offering an alternative to kleptocracy. The article provides historical context to the current Russia-Ukraine conflict and underscores the significance of the Baltic states' experience in the broader narrative of Soviet dissolution and the pursuit of democracy.

Delors advocated for peace in Europe, and others should too

05 Apr 2023  |  malaysia.news.yahoo.com
The article reflects on the legacy of Jacques Delors, the former European Commission President, who passed away recently. Delors is remembered for his contributions to the European single market, Schengen agreements, and the Economic and Monetary Union. The article highlights his efforts to prevent the Yugoslav Wars, emphasizing his belief in European unity as a means to avert conflict. Despite his attempts, Delors could not stop the war, which the article suggests serves as a lesson for current European leaders dealing with crises like Ukraine. The piece also discusses the European Economic Community's (EEC) role during the Yugoslav Wars and the subsequent challenges in integrating the Balkans into the EU. The author, Aleksandar Brezar, suggests that Delors' vision for European unity and peace remains relevant and should be considered by today's policymakers.

Jacques Delors' Yugoslav legacy: A lesson for European unity and intervention

05 Apr 2023  |  euronews.com
The article reflects on the legacy of Jacques Delors, the former European Commission President, who passed away recently. Delors is remembered for his contributions to the European single market, Schengen agreements, and the Economic and Monetary Union. However, the article focuses on Delors' lesser-known efforts to prevent the Yugoslav Wars through European unity. Despite his attempts, including a significant aid package and an offer of immediate EEC membership, Delors was unable to stop the conflict. The article suggests that the European Economic Community's failure to intervene effectively in the Yugoslav crisis was a significant political defeat. It also touches on the current situation in the Balkans and the EU's renewed interest in the region in light of Russian aggression in Ukraine. The author, Aleksandar Brezar, uses this historical context to question whether the EU could approach similar situations differently today.

Gary Lineker: From football hero to political pundit in the UK's culture war

14 Mar 2023  |  euronews.com
The article by Aleksandar Brezar discusses the controversy surrounding Gary Lineker, a former England footballer and BBC presenter, who criticized the UK government's new Illegal Migration bill. Lineker's comparison of the bill's language to that of 1930s Germany sparked a debate and led to his temporary removal from the BBC's Match of the Day show. The article features comments from James Montague, who explains Lineker's evolution from a national sports hero to a figure representing progressive causes and the culture war in the UK. Montague also discusses the right-wing Conservative party's stance on immigration and the BBC, and the political climate in the UK leading up to the next election. The article highlights the significant influence of right-wing media and the Conservative party's strategy to win elections by targeting refugees and asylum seekers.

The SVB's failure is the largest since the 2008 financial crisis

11 Mar 2023  |  euronews.com
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has sent shockwaves through the tech and startup sectors, marking the largest bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis. SVB, crucial for startups, faced a bank run after a failed recovery attempt from deposit losses and bond sales. The Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes contributed to SVB's challenges. The FDIC is expected to ensure insured depositors' access to their funds, and authorities are optimistic about the banking sector's resilience. The failure is seen as a 'boutique' problem unlikely to affect the broader banking system, thanks to post-2008 regulations. High-tech companies like Roku are among those affected, with concerns over the ability to pay employees. The situation has led to a broader distrust in regional banks, with firms moving capital to larger banks. German and UK regulators are monitoring the situation, but SVB's international arm is a minor part of its business.

The decades-long mystery of Emanuela Orlandi's disappearance

03 Mar 2023  |  euronews.com
The article by Aleksandar Brezar for Euronews discusses the decades-long mystery surrounding the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, a 15-year-old girl who vanished in 1983 from Vatican City. Emanuela's brother, Pietro Orlandi, has been advocating for the truth behind her disappearance, which has been linked to various entities including the Vatican, organized crime, and secret services. The case has recently gained renewed interest internationally, particularly after the release of the documentary 'The Vatican Girl'. Despite the Italian government's historical reluctance to investigate, there is hope that new inquiries will finally reveal what happened to Emanuela. Pietro Orlandi remains determined to uncover the truth, supported by his family and the public. The article highlights the challenges faced by families of the missing in Italy and the potential for a parliamentary commission to investigate unresolved cases.

Dutch activists take king to court over his role in the legal system

15 Dec 2022  |  euronews.com
Dutch activists from the anti-monarchist group Republiek have taken King Willem-Alexander to court, challenging his role in the country's legal system. They argue that the monarch's ability to appoint judges and approve legal decisions is against Europe's human rights conventions. The group's legal representative, Ewout Jansen, presented their case at the Hague District Court, highlighting 18 procedural issues that demonstrate the king's influence over democratic processes. The activists cite the king's delayed response to emergency COVID-19 measures and his past actions during the pandemic as examples of his undue influence. The case also reflects on historical decisions by the monarchy, such as Queen Juliana's commutation of death penalties after World War II. Republiek has raised funds for the lawsuit and is prepared to take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary. The decision is expected on March 8, 2023, and the case aims to minimize or remove the monarch's influence on the judicial system, not to abolish the monarchy itself.

Latvia Probes Russian TV Channel Dozhd Over Suspected Aid to Moscow Troops

03 Dec 2022  |  euronews.com
The independent Russian TV station Dozhd, also known as TV Rain, is under investigation by Latvia's state security service for potentially aiding Russian soldiers in the Ukraine war. This follows a news anchor's statement suggesting the station had helped provide Russian soldiers with basic equipment and amenities. Dozhd is broadcasting from Latvia after being shut down in Moscow for allegedly spreading false information about Russian troops in Ukraine. The station was also fined for showing Crimea as part of Russia on a map. Dozhd's editor-in-chief, Tikhon Dzyadko, denied any aid to Russian forces, and the presenter who made the remarks, Aleksei Korostelyov, was fired. Latvia has warned about the risks of Russian media operating within its borders.

Nikola Tesla: The Spark of National Pride in Serbia and Croatia

29 Nov 2022  |  euronews.com
The article discusses the debate between Serbia and Croatia over the cultural and ethnic heritage of Nikola Tesla, as Croatia plans to feature Tesla on its euro coins. Both nations claim Tesla as their own, with Croatia citing his birthplace in Smiljan (now Croatia) and Serbia highlighting his Serb ethnicity and Orthodox faith. The dispute has involved political leaders from both countries, with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković making public statements. The article also covers Tesla's life, his contributions to science and technology, and his posthumous recognition. It touches on the destruction of Tesla's birthplace during the Croatian War of Independence and the subsequent efforts to honor him in both countries. The piece concludes with reflections on Tesla's own views of his identity and the potential for his legacy to foster peace and cooperation in the Balkans.

Europol's 'Desert Light' Operation Seizes 40 Tonnes of Cocaine, Arrests 49 in Super Cartel Takedown

28 Nov 2022  |  euronews.com
Europol coordinated a major international operation, 'Desert Light', resulting in the seizure of 40 tonnes of cocaine and the arrest of 49 suspects across six countries. The operation targeted a 'super cartel' controlling a significant portion of Europe's cocaine trade. High-value targets were arrested in Dubai, with the operation involving Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain, the UAE, and assistance from the US DEA. The crackdown revealed the massive scale of drug importation and money laundering by the cartel. Dutch authorities were instrumental in the arrests, leveraging information from the cracked encrypted messaging service Sky ECC. Notable arrests include Edin Gačanin and members of the Italian Camorra. This operation follows a series of large-scale drug busts in Europe, particularly in the Belgian port of Antwerp, signaling a concerted effort to combat drug trafficking in the region.

Edi Rama Is Building Bridges to Europe—or Nowhere

02 Aug 2021  |  Foreign Policy
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, known for his unconventional attire and artistic background, aims to bridge Albania's historical isolation from Europe. Despite his efforts to modernize the country and align it with European standards, critics argue that his flamboyant style distracts from his strong grip on power and the country's ongoing struggles. The article highlights Albania's complex relationship with the European Union, which continues to delay membership negotiations, and the disconnect between how Albania is perceived internally and externally. Key figures such as Enver Hoxha, Edlira Gjoni, and Lea Ypi provide context to Albania's political and cultural landscape.

Hungary’s Varhelyi Cleared for EU Enlargement Post

18 Nov 2019  |  Balkan Insight
Hungarian diplomat Oliver Varhelyi has been approved by the European Parliament as the new neighbourhood and enlargement commissioner, overcoming initial doubts about his ability to promote and assess reforms in aspiring EU member states. Concerns were raised due to Hungary's perceived democratic backsliding under Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Varhelyi's approval follows additional written answers to MEPs' questions, addressing issues related to Orban's influence in the Balkans and ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The new European Commission, led by Ursula von der Leyen, awaits full parliamentary approval.

EU Enlargement Nominee Eyes 2020 Serbia-Kosovo Deal

Murder or War Crime? Why Bosnia Had a Dilemma

16 Oct 2019  |  Balkan Insight
The article examines the judicial and political dilemmas in Bosnia and Herzegovina regarding the classification of certain wartime acts as either murder or war crimes. It highlights the case of Zornic, who was convicted of murder but not war crimes, and discusses the broader issue of biased justice during the Bosnian War. The piece underscores the political pressures and systemic issues that influenced judicial decisions, with various stakeholders providing differing perspectives on the appropriateness and fairness of the prosecutions.

Serbian Opposition Sceptical of European Mediation Offer

20 Sep 2019  |  Balkan Insight
A European Parliament offer to mediate between the Serbian government and opposition to prevent an election boycott has been rejected by the Alliance for Serbia, which accuses the ruling Progressive Party under President Aleksandar Vucic of undermining democracy by controlling media and state bodies. The Progressive Party denies these allegations, claiming the opposition is fearful of losing the elections.

First Bosnian LGBT Pride March Faces Security Problems

30 Aug 2019  |  Balkan Insight
The first Bosnian LGBT Pride march in Sarajevo faces significant security challenges, with local authorities demanding the purchase of concrete barriers for the event. The cantonal minister of interior affairs, Admir Katica, stated that the government lacks funds for these barriers, raising concerns about the legality of such demands. Human rights lawyer Gorana Mlinarevic argues that these financial demands contravene local laws and may need to be settled in court. Additionally, two counter-protests have been announced, citing opposition to the Pride march on the grounds of traditional family values. The organizing committee remains determined to proceed with the march despite these obstacles.

No Man’s Land: Reflections on the Bosnian War and its Aftermath

29 May 2019  |  www.theguardian.com
Aleksandar Brezar, a Bosnian journalist, reflects on the Bosnian War of 1992-95, drawing from personal experiences and the broader historical and political context. He discusses the initial disbelief among Bosnians about the possibility of war, the subsequent ethnic cleansing by Serb nationalist forces, and the siege and shelling of Sarajevo. Brezar touches on the aftermath of the war, including the struggle with PTSD among survivors, the challenges of rebuilding, and the ongoing issues of a complex government system, corruption, and high unemployment. He also addresses the current political climate, with rising nationalism, secessionist rhetoric in Republika Srpska, and external influences from Serbia, Croatia, and Russia. The article concludes with a call for European support to prevent Bosnia from succumbing to ethno-nationalist forces.

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