The NATO Multinational Battlegroup (NATO MN BG) has been present in Slovakia since April 2022 in response to the unprecedented Russian aggression in Ukraine in the form of a full-scale war. It represents the manifestation of the Slovak Republic’s membership in NATO and the strengthening of the defensive and deterrent effect of the Alliance’s eastern wing.
Our organization, in cooperation with the company Gerulata Technologies and with the support of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, prepared a study that should provide readers with a better understanding of how the presence of the NATO MN BG in Slovakia has been communicated.
You can find our report online via link Strategic Communication Efforts Supporting NATO Multinational Battlegroup in Slovakia.
These are the two main reasons that led to the conduct of the research. NATO has long been the target of a broader framework of negative communication activities in the Slovak information space, including disinformation campaigns. The war in Ukraine has only deepened this phenomenon. At the same time, NATO’s eastern flank is a rarely discussed topic alongside the Baltic and Black Sea regions. The growing importance of national security issues only underlines the potential for their exploitation, especially if the relevant actors are not prepared to communicate them.
The research aims to identify the lines of communication that were dedicated to the presence of NATO MN BG in the Slovak information space. It seeks to provide an analysis with an emphasis on identifying the following parameters: actors, sentiment, application of themes, and narratives.
The research seeks to provide readers with a comprehensive view of the communication of NATO’s MN BG presence as part of a broader framework of defence and security issues. Its content is of use to members of the expert community focused on strategic communication. It can also find its application at the level of setting up the communication of relevant ministries, institutions, as well as branches of the armed forces. To maximise the practical benefits of the study, we have taken full account of the conclusions of the expert roundtable with the participation of relevant Czech and Slovak institutions and think tanks, which we held in early October.
The document is structured into five parts. The first offers recommendations arising from the analysis of the information space and the research itself. The specific features and factors influencing the state of the information environment and the communication of relevant topics are described in the second part. The third part focuses on the overall sentiment picture that was observed in the actors’ communication. It also analyses the primary and related topics within which the NATO MN BG’s presence was communicated. The fourth part analyses the sentiment of specific actors, focusing on the narratives used in the communication. The accompanying methodology provides a detailed description and explanation of the research design.
During the research, we combined the analysis of the content of social networks thanks to the Gerulata Juno monitoring system from Gerulata Technologies and expert interviews with leading representatives of the state administration in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, as well as with experts from NATO.
Please, find our report online via link Strategic Communication Efforts Supporting NATO Multinational Battlegroup in Slovakia.
 The findings presented are partly based on a study Communicating Defence in Slovakia and the Czech Republic: Mapping Actors and Narratives online.