“Amid growing concern over pro-Kremlin propaganda in the region, the BBC launched its Serbian service following a suggestion from Britain’s Foreign Office, sources told BuzzFeed News.

When former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned by Russian assassins on British soil earlier this year, the newly recruited team at BBC Serbian kicked into gear.

‘When we were running stories on the Skripal case they were some of the best-read stories,’ said BBC Serbian’s launch editor Aleksandra Nikšić. ‘We had the widest possible coverage of this case.’

A former war correspondent and editor at Vice News, Nikšić told BuzzFeed News during a trip to London that the new website’s ‘straight news’ Skripal coverage filled a vacuum in the local Serbian press — where pro-Russian and anti-Western perspectives often dominate partisan tabloids.

One Moscow-financed, pro-Russian magazine called Argumenty i Fakty Serbia, for example, used its first edition to dismiss allegations of Russian involvement in the Skripal poisoning.” (Buzzfeed News)