‘Virussia’ – the documentary that went as far as Ukraine

‘Virussia’ – the documentary that went as far as Ukraine

The documentary project “Virussia”, besides in Kosovo, has already caused a stir in the countries of the region and beyond. Mumin Jashari, producer of this cycle of documentaries, spoke for KosovaPress, emphasizing the fact that it is one of the rare projects, where most of the participants spoke unanimously. For this, he considers that the determinant of this phenomenon is the topic – Russian malignant influence.

Full interview with producer Mumin Jashari

KosovaPress: The project of the documentary series “Virussia”, besides in Kosovo, has already went even further. What is the message of this project?

Jashari: The implementation team of the VIRUSSIA project has done a great job in the last two years. Since we happened to work even during the pandemic, this project has the artistic message in the title: “Russian virus”. I am a producer and I have not dealt much with the content, which I believe has been masterfully done by the author Mentor Shala. But, as an artist, the project has met all the conditions that make it rare and valuable. During the work, filming, throughout the region, I learned one thing, that all the interviewees have clearly stated that the Russian presence in the Balkans is harmful.

KosovaPress: How long did it take you to complete this project? From conceptual design, filming, material collection, editing and post-production?

Jashari: I said earlier that the project started before the beginning of the pandemic that locked down the world. We’ve worked for nearly to 2 years until the broadcast of the first part. The second part will be shown on Monday, immediately after the end of EURO 2020.

Helsinki, 2019: Antonio Missiroli from NATO during the interview for the VIRUSSIA project

​KosovaPress: Non-Albanian and even Serb personalities also speak in the project. Were there any obstacles or difficulties in persuading Serbs to speak?

Jashari: It was interesting that no one rejected us on this important topic. We have interviewed many personalities, such as Albanians, Serbs, Bosniaks, etc. We also shot in Brussels and Helsinki. I have noticed that the topic has been important and mostly the stances have been the same. Each of the participants was aware that he was contributing to this issue. Without wanting to be misunderstood, we were well received by the interviewees in Belgrade, such as Vuk Draskovic and others. Some of the Serbs came and we filmed in Prishtina.

KosovaPress: The first part talked about Russian espionage. And what other topics are elaborated?

Jashari: The second part, which will be shown on Monday, both in Kosovo and in Bosnia, talks about the Russian hybrid war. The other two episodes, the third and the fourth, speak of diplomatic influence through the Orthodox Church. You should watch them, because they are very interesting.

Belgrade, 2019: Vuk Draskovic, former Serbian Foreign Minister in focus on Mumin Jashari’s camera

KosovaPress: Are there exclusive things in the documentary or are they just summaries?

Jashari: A documentary is not exclusive without exclusive things inside. The author Mentor Shala has worked hard in collecting materials, and as you know, has collaborated a lot with special institutes that deal with the study of this phenomenon. In addition to the interviews, Mentor as author and collaborators Menduh Hysa and Gynen Venhari, have also provided special materials, which the public has not had the opportunity to see or know.

KosovaPress: Are there any reactions from the other side to the documentary?

Jashari: Personally, I have received congratulations for the VIRUSSIA project, but I know that there have been some contradictory reactions from the Russian ambassador in Belgrade. He also has an interview somewhere in Serbia, who says that this documentary does not talk about the truth. But the documentary relies on documentation.

Author and Producer of VIRUSSIA: Mentor Shala and Mumin Jashari

KosovaPress: Where has it been shown so far and do you think you will show it in other countries as well?

Jashari: In addition to RTK, T7 and O Kanal Television in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the documentary is being sought for broadcasting in other countries, starting from Albania, Ukraine, Northern Macedonia, etc. Requests have also been made to the EBU. We will see. The project is worth watching and we believe the viewer will welcome it well wherever it appears. You can get all the information on virusia.net as well as on social networks, Facebook and Twitter.

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