A video-investigation conducted by the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, claiming that Russian President Vladimir Putin spent a huge amount of money on the extravagant palace at the Black Sea, generated more than 100 million views, just ten weeks after it has become viral. Alexei Navalny’s team posted the video after Navalny had been taken into custody upon his return to Moscow from Berlin, where he had been treated for poisoning with a Novichok nerve agent.

The video is about an alleged Putin’s palace at the Gelendzhik Bay, constructed with illicit funds provided by members of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, including oil company CEOs and billionaires.

In order to discredit the truthfulness of the video, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia (MID) posted yesterday on their Twitter account the following: Have Western investigative journalists already found out, why in the US-German “movie” the entrance to the so-called “Putin’s Palace” is decorated with the coat of arms… of #Montenegro?

Many people commented below the tweet that the MID is fabricating the story; that they inserted the photo by editing. However, the coat of arms of Montenegro does appear in the movie, so it was not about a montage. The disinformation has been quickly spread among the Montenegrin media. The news portal Pobjeda published the news late last night under the headline: The original documentary of Alexei Navalny’s team edited by inserting the coat of arms of Montenegro! The same was quickly done by news portals Portal Analitika and Antena M (which published a démanti after the DFC’s reaction), including the CdM news portal this morning.

What is really behind the Montenegrin coat of arms appearing in the documentary?

At one moment in the video, Navalny stated that some parts of it were produced by using computer-generated imagery and renders, so some minor mistakes are possible to occur. When it comes to the real video material, one can see that a disputable gate with the Russian (not Montenegrin) coat of arms on it appears several times (48:44). However, the Montenegrin coat of arms does appear at 59:35, which is obviously computer-generated video footage, so those who had produced the video did the mistake.

To sum up, the Russian MID did not insert our coat of arms by editing, as claimed by the Montenegrin media. However, they did omit the key information about computer-generated imagery being used to produce some parts of the video, which caused the mistake in the first place. By omitting this information, the Russian MID has also disinformed the public, leading people to a certain conclusion.

One of tonight’s breaking news was that the Montenegrin police found 26,500 euros, laptops, and Serbian flags in the possession of three Serbian citizens and one inhabitant of Pljevlja, on the Rance border crossing.

The citizens of Serbia, Rastko Pleskonjic, Mileta Mitrovic, and Nemanja Stajic as well as the Pljevlja inhabitant Radosav Sljivancanin that were on their way to Niksic, were controlled on the basis of operative data upon their entrance to Montenegro. The police temporarily seized all of their money and laptops and tomorrow, their laptops and cars will be examined.

However, the news portal Novosti tried to disinform the public. What is this about?

In a text entitled ARRESTED FOR POSSESSING SERBIAN FLAG! New scandal in Montenegro, Serbian citizen arrested on the border – in custody for hours, the news portal Novosti published a piece of disinformation.

That news portal states that the Serbian citizen R.P. (51) was arrested by the Montenegrin border police on the Rance border crossing after it had been concluded that he possessed ten Serbian flags.

Allegedly, he stated for Novosti that he has spent three hours in the Police Department in Pljevlja and that he has no idea why he has been kept in custody for so long because of a couple of flags that happened to be there.

This way, the key story details were omitted. In other words, the fact that a significant quantity of money and three laptops were seized, which is the real reason behind the arrest. Such reporting additionally fuels the atmosphere and narrative on the Serbs being endangered in Montenegro.

The same text was republished by the news portals IN4S, EspresoSrbija danas.

A couple of days before Christmas Eve and Christmas, numerous texts envisaging riots and chaos in Montenegro, planned allegedly by supporters of President Milo Djukanovic, were published. On January 3, Montenegro and Serbia-based news portals IN4S, Vidovdan, and Nacionalist started spreading the narratives on Djukanovic’s supporters calling for an uprising during Christmas. The articles read that the move of President Djukanovic not to sign the laws delivered by the Parliament has encouraged his supporters, hidden behind some weird, shadowy organizations of the Komit-Greens ideology provenance, to start the manifestation of radicalism. The headlines such as TERRORISM announced for Christmas: Milo Djukanovic’s supporters directly calling for UPRISING! and WHERE ARE YOU AT CHRISTMAS? Milo Djukanovic’s supporters directly calling for an uprising! (Video) additionally intensifies already inflammatory narratives, which create divisions in society. Those news portals publish images and videos without providing the source of who posted them and where.

Until the moment of writing of this text, the articles from the three abovementioned news portals generated 538 interactions on Facebook, with the text published on IN4S generating 517 interactions alone. The pages and groups which shared the articles from the news portals on Facebook include: Još majke rađaju Obiliće, Nikšić Ponosni Srpski grad, Dogodine na Lovćenu, Naša Srpska, Glas naroda u Republici Srpskoj, Srpska Crna Gora, Crna Gora – Srpska Sparta, Revolucija, jedina solucija, Ne u NATO, Novi Gvozdeni Puk, Putin. Those pro-Serbian pages and groups shared articles from IN4S and Nacionalist.

The news portals were spreading hate speech 

Similar narratives were published by Belgrade-based media. The news portal Objektiv writes about the calling for an uprising on Christmas, which is sent to the citizens of Montenegro by the DPS supporters. The article was published with a sensationalist headline: Ready for BLOODSHED! Djukanovic calling his supporters for an uprising on Christmas, here is what the invitation looks like. The article generated 108 interactions on Facebook. The same tone of writing can be found on the news portals Alo and Espreso, as well as on the Udarne vesti and Srbija online YouTube channels.

The news portal Alo writes in the article headlined Milo made devious plan to return the DPS on the power that according to unnamed sources from Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic’s plan is a great crisis, chaos, and riots on the streets, followed by early elections, before his party being completely dissolved. Further on, they state that the DPS leader and the President of Montenegro began to fulfill such a plan when he returned to Parliament the Law on Freedom of Religion or Beliefs for revision, which directly attacks the Serbian Orthodox Church. The article was completed with the writing of the IN4S news portal on the alleged public call for an uprising to citizens.

Speculations about Macedonian scenario

Historian Aleksandar Rakovic claimed in an interview for the Srbin.info news portal that the Macedonian scenario is possible in Montenegro, i.e. that the revocation of President Djukanovic’s rule could happen soon after he had rejected to sign the amendments to the Law on Freedom of Religion or Beliefs.

The Macedonian scenario narrative that was spread by Rakovic strongly resonated among both domestic and Serbian media. The interview was republished by IN4S, Borba, Novosti, Republika, Pravda, Srbija danas, and Nacionalist.

The dominant number of interactions was generated by the articles from news portals IN4S (127) and Borba (50). When it comes to the Serbian news portals, the news portal Nacionalist stands out with 10 interactions, and among the pages spreading the content were Нови Гвоздени Пук and Путин.

Despite tendentious reporting of both the Serbia-based news portals and pro-Serbian news portals from Montenegro, the announced riots in the form of a Christmas uprising did not occur. Due to the complex epidemiological situation, the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) did not organize mass gatherings on Christmas Eve in any city, appealing to the believers to spend Christmas Eve at their homes. Therefore, the traditional placing of the badnjak tree on fire was performed by a small number of believers of the SPC in front of the Cetinje Monastery, and by a somewhat bigger number of believers of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church in front of the Petrovic Palace in Cetinje, without any incidents.

After the death of Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Amfilohije on October 30 due to COVID-19, numerous narratives, disinformation and conspiracy theories could have been read in the Serbian media.

On October 29 in the late hours, the news portal Novosti was the first to publish that the Metropolitan had died.  In a short period of time, the other Serbian news portals republished the same piece of news. The Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral (MCP) reacted to the information with a press release stating that the health condition of the Metropolitan had not changed since the last report of that day, and that way denied the reporting of the Serbian media. Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Amfilohije died the following morning, which was officially confirmed by the MCP. This was followed by disinformation and conspiracy theories mostly launched by the Serbian media.

Mysterious death and conspiracy theories

Only a day after the death of Metropolitan Amfilohije, Srpski telegraf published the following headline on its cover: Mystery of the death of Amfilohije Radovic. Also, the headline MYSTERY OF THE DEATH OF AMFILOHIJE RADOVIC! Doctors about the last hours of Metropolitan’s life: He died an hour before going to Belgrade! was published by the news portal Republika, the website of Srpski telegraf. The text read that the Metropolitan had died unexpectedly, eleven days after the test had showed that he had been negative to coronavirus, which some consider a mysterious phenomenon. It was also stated that his death had occurred just a couple of hours before his allegedly organized transportation to the intensive care in Belgrade by the airplane of the Serbian Government.

Srpski telegraf was not the only one to publish the mentioned content. The news portal doznajemo.com published a text MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF “THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN MONTENEGRO” details on Amfilohije’s last hours leaked. The text did not precise why his death had been considered mysterious, but republished the Metropolitanate’s press release.

Dejan Lucic, known for the conspiracy theories on 5G network and vaccination, also expressed his condolences to all Serbs on the planet, as he stated. He shrouded even the Metropolitan’s death in conspiracy theories. In his video announcement for the public, Lucic wondered whether the biggest of Serbs had died or someone helped him die by putting him on the respirators instead of giving him liquid oxygen, as it was the case with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Professor Dejan Mirovic said for the news portal Srbin.info that the Metropolitan had been the real Locum tenens of the Patriarchate throne of Pec, emphasizing that he had been apprehended many times and interrogated for six hours in the Main Police Station in Podgorica during the coronavirus epidemic. Mirovic also said that his illness and death are on the head of the soulless people who requested and executed it. He added that the authorities and media in Serbia were terribly attacking Amfilohije, only because he had been the real Exarch of the Throne of Pec. His statements were republished by the news portals Naša Borba and Pravda with the headlines: THEY ARE SHAKING: Here is the culprit of Amfilohije’s death! and DR. MIROVIC: Amfilohije was a Patriarch of the people, here is the culprit of his death!

Milo and the DPS are sabotaging the funeral

When it comes to the funeral of Metropolitan Amfilohije, President of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic and his party (the DPS) were also targeted by the Serbian media. Milo gave a statement after Amfilohije’s death, the whole region is talking about his words! (Alo), WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?! MILO DJUKANOVIC FINALLY GAVA A STATEMENT! He expressed his condolences on Metropolitan’s death, but ONE PHRASE raises many questions! (Informer), are the headlines that the Serbian media used to republish the telegram sent by the President of Montenegro.

The DPS expressed in its press release that they found quite unusual that the public broadcasting service of all citizens would directly report from the funeral of Metropolitan Amfilohije, and that Prime Minister-designate Zdravko Krivokapic was behaving as a total opposite of a person who should lead the Government of the citizens of all religions and nationalities. The news portal Novosti republished the press release with a headline MILO’S DPS MINDS THE PEOPLE’S SORROW FOR AMFILOHIJE: Coronavirus is their excuse, they attacked Krivokapic as well.

The news portals Espreso and Republika published that Djukanovic, allegedly, wanted to sabotage the funeral by having tried to prevent Matija Beckovic from attending the Metropolitan’s funeral and holding the speech. They commented that Beckovic was waiting for a plane on the Belgrade airport, which had arrived late from the capital of Montenegro due to unexplained reasons. Historians Aleksandar Rakovic and Cedomir Antic who think that that delay was an obstruction attempted by the leaving Montenegrin regime confirmed that narrative.

Nevenka Pavlicic, doctor in the Clinical Center of Montenegro, asked the President of the National Coordination Body of Montenegro (NKT) to order the closed casket funeral of Metropolitan Amfilohije adding that the rite in which thousands of people are kissing his body represents an infection hotspot. The tabloid Alo assessed her statement as scandalous, emphasizing that Milo’s doctor tried to prevent the funeral of the Metropolitan.

Celebration that did not occur

The news portals Vidovdan, Nacionalist and News front published the articles entitled Milos’s Montenegrins from Cetinje are celebrating Grandpa’s death (author’s comment: Grandpa (Đed) refers to Metropolitan Amfilohije, his supporters used to call him that way), providing the photos and tweet in the article. However, the published photos were taken during the patriotic gathering, which took place on September 3 this year on Cetinje. As a proof, they published the tweet of @zelenascg1244 user (troll account), whose witnesses were informing that there was a celebratory gunfire in Cetinje. The text read that the celebration had begun and that the usage of torchlights had been planned, which did not occur after all.

Even the fact that that was intentionally launched disinformation did not prevent many social media users from spreading it further. The same night, a couple of hours after the news had been published on the news portal Vidovdan, its link was shared in six Facebook groups generating almost 160,000 likes.

After the constitutive session of the Parliament of Montenegro, a false edited video of the intonation of the state anthem appeared on social media.

The video posted by Facebook page Српска ЧАСТ + Srpska ČAST is not authentic since the original interpretation of the anthem Oh Bright Down of May performed by the Music School Vasa Pavic from Podgorica was replaced by a song Oh, Bright Dawn of Heroism in the interpretation of Danica Crnogorcevic in a montage. The same song was performed by Crnogorcevic during the processions following the adoption of the Law on Freedom of Religion and Belief. One of these videos, from the procession held in Podgorica in February this year, is available on YouTube.

Authentic video of the intonation of the Montenegrin anthem

In a description on the page Српска ЧАСТ + Srpska ČAST, it is stated that this is new Montenegro; we are spreading love, not hate, so share and sing. The video was posted on September 23 and soon became viral on Facebook, but only the day after, it cannot be found on the mentioned page. Even though it is not available on Facebook anymore, the video was downloaded and posted on Twitter by the user @vasic_kim. On his account, the video has more than 24k views.

Music School Vasa Pavic reacted to this false post.

I want this indecent, unpleasant, and unprofessional montage that caused much discomfort to me and my colleagues to be revealed. That is why it is so important to debunk such content as soon as possible, said Zoja Djurovic, the Director of the School, for the Digital Forensic Center.

A disturbing video from Novi Sad displaying a young man brutally beating another man and breaking his arms while he was lying unconscious on the ground, appeared on social media on September 11. The identified perpetrator, Ivan Kontic from Montenegro that the police are intensively looking for, was the main topic of the Serbian media since the moment when the search for him had been announced. However, the photo of another Ivan Kontic targeted by the public even though he was innocent, flooded the media scene.

Many local and regional news portals reported on this horrible event, using the photo of an innocent person taken from his personal Facebook account, where Kontic has a photo with the Montenegrin flag and hat with the coat of arms of Montenegro on it. Besides damaging his reputation, the media targeted an innocent person without checking the information, since he has been under attack of numerous threats and insults.

This piece of news was followed by the headlines such as Ivan who beat the young man in NS took a photo with the Montenegrin flag (Nova S), HE POSED WITH THE MONTENEGRIN FLAG: A bully from Niksic brutally beat a man from Novi Sad (Nedeljnik Afera), BEATER from Novi Sad is actually a MONTENEGRIN PATRIOT: Ivan Kontic really loves Montenegrin flag! (FOTO) (Glas javnosti), BECAUSE HE CAN Milo’s Montenegrin from Niksic is beating all over Novi Sad and is proud of the flag of Montenegro (Srbin info).

Flippant media

The analysis of the photos clearly shows that the innocent person has nothing to do with Ivan Kontic who beat the young man and whose photo was published by the Serbian police. However, that did not prevent many media outlets from unprofessionally reporting on this incident.

Kontic, the employee in the Erlang company in Pluzine said for the news portal Onogošt that he was shocked when he received threatening messages on Facebook and that is the reason why he had to deactivate his Facebook account. He also added that he was surprised when he saw his photo on the news portals, particularly due to the accusations that he was the one that Novi Sad police were looking for. I will report everything to the police, I will sue those media outlets, I saw that there were also the media outlets from Montenegro that published that I was the attacker. I saved the screenshot of each post. I have nothing to do with these accusations, in reality, I have never even been to Serbia, Kontic concludes.

The Aktuelno news portal published today disinformation in an article entitled: Bato’s rules in the SAO Budva: He opened a restaurant on the land seized from the state!? The article states that Marko Bato Carevic opened the national cuisine restaurant Carevic in the village Krimovica (the Municipality of Kotor) on land seized from the state. They added that the news portal’s editorial board received many messages asking how it is possible that somebody illegally builds and opens a national cuisine restaurant and how come that there was not a reaction from an inspection body?

To truthfully inform of the public, we inform that the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism issued to Marko Bato Carevic an authorization for performing hospitality activities, such as the opening of the national cuisine restaurant. For such authorization to be issued, it is necessary to submit the proof of ownership, which was done by submitting the real estate folio No. 836.

The patriotic gathering which took place in Podgorica on September 6 (seven days after the parliamentary elections) attracted the attention of the local and regional media, almost to the same extent as the Parliamentary elections on August 30. On the eve of the gathering, many fake news pieces were published, predicting the unrest which would allegedly be caused by the hooligans from Croatia and the region.

Many Belgrade tabloids published the fake news that the unrest will occur in Podgorica during the gathering. Allegedly, the authorities would engage the hooligans from Croatia to create chaos. Novosti, Informer, Srbija Danas stated that the hooligans were supposed to receive the Serbian and the flags of Old Montenegro and other equipment and cause the incidents in the coastal towns of Montenegro, on the basis of ethnic and religious background. Supposedly, the supporters of the pro-Serbian parties would be accused of these incidents. All the media which published this fake news referred to Nacionalist, the non-existing Zagreb-based media outlet.

Glas javnosti, the recorder in the publishing of the fake news, wrote on the white Porsche with Bosnian license plates which was circulating through Podgorica on the eve of the gathering. Allegedly, the persons who were planning to cause the incidents were in this car.

Alerting the public with the announcements of the unrest

Novosti added that the people would receive €100 to create chaos and unrest during the gathering in Podgorica. Referring to the anonymous sources and operational findings, they stated that 300 wooden bats were made in Niksic only and that the hooligans are imported from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia to cause unrest. The news portal Alo followed up on this, stating that the three-color flags are being printed as well as the t-shirts of the coalition For the Future of Montenegro (Za budućnost Crne Gore), which would allegedly be used by the hooligans, referring to the press release of the True Montenegro (Prava Crna Gora). The same piece of news was republished by the IN4S news portal.

The similar narratives came from the team of Zdravko Krivokapic, the leader of the coalition For the Future of Montenegro. On September 5, they stated that they had the information from the security structures on the possible incidents with tragic consequences during the Patriotic gathering on the Independence Square (Trg Nezavisnosti).

During the very event, which was characterized as the Ustasha celebration, the media stated that the people sang Bojna Cavoglave, the song of a Croatian singer Marko Perkovic Thompson. Similar articles were published by Informer and Srbija danas, that reported about public calling for violence and hate speech used by the gathered, stating that besides Thompson and his song, the participants were shouting throw a bomb, persecute the Serbs while waving with Montenegrin flags. That kind of chanting did not occur during the gathering and the Thompson’s songs were not played either.

Controversy over the number of participants

The number of participants was also discussed. The Serbian tabloids characterized the gathering as a miserably small group with only a couple of thousands of people. Glas javnosti writes that the authorities barely gathered 7,000 people while the news portal IN4S claims that there were around 8,000 them. They illustrated the claims with the photos from different corners or those made before the gathering when the people just started to arrive, even though the estimations should not be made in that phase. On the other hand, according to the official data from the Police Administration, there were 50,000 people. According to the DFC analysis, made on the basis of the videos and photos from the ground and drone, there were around 35,000 people on the Square last night.

Numerous fake news pieces were published in media and on social media on the eve of the tomorrow’s elections.

As an example, the fake news that the French President Emmanuel Macron invited Montenegrins to vote for the opposition on the tomorrow’s elections appeared on social media this night. Many accounts published the photo from the website politika.rs. The DFC’s analysis confirmed that this piece of news did not exist on that media but that this was a photomontage as well as that the last article on politika.rs concerning Macron had been published on Friday. The topic of the article was his statement on the situation in Belarus as well as the possible intervention of Russia in that country.

❗️❗️❗️❗️LAŽNA VIJEST ❗️❗️❗️❗️: Na društvenim mrežama večeras se pojavila lažna vijest da je predsjednik Francuske,…

Posted by Digital Forensic Center – DFC on Saturday, August 29, 2020

Besides, the fake profile of a founder and a long-time President of the Liberal Alliance of Montenegro Slavko Perovic appeared on Twitter. His post was published by the opposition political parties – Demokrate (the Democrats) and the leader of the coalition Za budućnost Crne Gore (For the future of Montenegro) Zdravko Krivokapic, media, and activists on social media. The analysis confirmed that the fake profile was created today around 4 pm as well as that Mr. Perovic has not been using social media in quite some time and he is also not using a cellphone. The only account that Perovic actively used on Twitter was created in 2013 and he has not posted anything on this account for six years.

Glas javnosti (Voice of the public) earlier published the fake news that it was possible to enter Montenegro from Serbia without the PCR test. The text states that the entrance is enabled for a particular group of citizens (who have Montenegrin citizenship), through the border crossing Dracenovac in the municipality of Rozaje, without the negative PCR test. It is added that this option represents an attempt of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) to improve its election result by „importing“ the persons of Bosniak nationality with Montenegrin citizenship, living in the Raska-Polimlje area, who had already started entering Montenegro this way. According to the measures of the National Coordination Body of Montenegro, the entrance from Serbia to Montenegro is possible only with a PCR test negative to a novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and not older than 72 hours or positive result of antibody to the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) of the IgG class obtained by ELISA serological test. These rules apply to the Montenegrin citizens, as well as to the foreigners with Montenegrin residence and Serbian citizens. The Assistant Director of the Institute for Public Health Senad Begic said three days ago that he was expecting that the Serbian citizens would be able to enter Montenegro without the PCR test but he could not precise when. I am looking forward and expecting that the PCR test will not be the exclusive condition for entering Montenegro, if particular measures are eased, said Begic then.

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📣📣📣📣LAŽNA VIJEST: Glas javnosti objavio je lažnu vijest da je u Crnu Goru moguće ući iz Srbije bez PCR testa. U tekstu se navodi da je to omogućeno za posebnu grupu građana (koji imaju crnogorsko državljanstvo), preko graničnog prelaza “Dračenovac” u opštini Rožaje, bez negativnog PCR testa. Dodaje se da je to pokušaj vladajuće Demokratske partije socijalista (DPS) da izborni rezultat popravi “uvozom” lica bošnjačke nacionalnosti, nastanjenih u Raško-polimskoj oblasti, koja poseduju crnogorsko državljanstvo, i koji su već počeli na ovaj način da ulaze u Crnu Goru. Prema mjerama Nacionalnog koordinacionog tijela ulazak u Crnu Goru iz Srbije moguć je samo uz negativan rezultat PCR testa na novi koronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) star ne više od 72 sata ili pozitivan rezultat antitijela na novi koronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) klase IgG dobijen ELISA serološkim testo. Ta pravila važe i za crnogorske državljane kao i za strance sa prebavilištem u Crnoj Gori i za srpske državljane. Pomoćnik direktora Instituta za javno zdravlje Senad Begić prije tri dana je rekao da očekuje da će se uskoro steći uslovi kada će državljani Srbije moći da uđu u Crnu Goru bez PCR testa, ali nije mogao da precizira kada. Radujem se i očekujem da, eventualno uz popuštanje nekih mera, PCR ne bude isključivi uslov za ulazak u Crnu Goru, rekao je Begić. Lažnu vijest su nakon Glasa javnosti objavili portali Informer, Večernje novosti, Alo i Espresso.

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After Glas javnosti, this piece of fake news was published by the news portals Informer, Vecernje novosti, Alo and Espreso. After the DFC had registered this piece of fake news, Facebook reacted and marked the articles of the Belgrade tabloids as fake news on that social media.

The news on the death of several hundreds of sparrows, due to a thunderstorm that hit Podgorica last night, created an avalanche of comments that the 5G technology is responsible for their death. That disinformation could be found among the readers’ comments on almost all Montenegrin news portals and their Facebook pages.

The comments on the news portals read that the authorities used the thunderstorm to install secretly the 5G masts in the night and that the consequences of such actions could be seen this morning. One of the comments read that the people themselves wanted the technology, which “could be easily installed in Montenegro because no one knows what that is”.

Numerous comments on allegedly harmful effects of the 5G network

Many times have we explained that there are no scientific proofs of 5G technology having an impact on the health of the living creatures. Even if that would be true, the sparrows could not die due to the frequencies of the 5G technology because its first installations in Montenegro are expected no sooner than late 2022.

Ornithologist Darko Saveljic explained for the DFC that the birds died due to a sudden drop in temperature.

“Sparrows are social birds, which after nesting form flocks that sometimes account for several hundreds of them. They search for food, drink water, and sleep together. As this was the first rain young sparrows faced after coming out of their nests, they did not steel themselves for such a heavy rain and temperature drop of more than 20 degrees. The strong wind had a deadly cooling factor. Those who were looking saw that the rain was falling horizontally. All that brought death to hundreds of them. Most probably to other species in nature too, but the sparrows live with us, so we found about that immediately”, Saveljic said.

This is not the first time that the Montenegrin public reads about speculations on the harmful effects of news technologies. On April 4, “The petition against the implementation of 5G in Montenegro” appeared on the peticije.online platform, explaining that many harmful effects hit the counties that have already installed the 5G network. They explained that during the 5G testing in the Netherlands, hundreds of birds fell from the sky and died because they were using frequency ranges which are beneficial neither for human health nor for nature.

Many conspiracy theorists and 5G technology opponents refer to the death of birds in the Netherlands. When the bird deaths occurred (November 2018), no 5G testing was performed, and the last testing was carried out on July 28, 2018, a couple of months before the incident. The theories were denied even by the local societies for the protection of birds.

Just like other generations of wireless technologies (4G, 3G, and 2G), 5G cellular data are transmitted through radio waves. Radio waves constitute a small part of a broader electromagnetic spectrum of waves and they emit the energy called electromagnetic radiation. Radio waves can be found at the low end of the electromagnetic spectrum – and they produce only non-ionizing radiation (a type of electromagnetic radiation that does not have enough energy to ionize atoms or molecules, i.e. to remove electrons from atoms). That means that these waves cannot damage DNA inside cells, compared to waves with higher frequency (such as gamma rays, X-rays, and ultraviolet light) which may cause alteration in the DNA inside any cell.