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Disinformation:

DISINFORMATION: Romania is Russophobic by order of the West, but Romanians share Russia’s values

Disinformation

Romania is a Russophobic state by order of the West, despite its historical closeness and friendship with Russia. Unlike politicians, however, Romanians appreciate Russia and share the values ​​it defends, according to disinformation published by the Kremlin's mouthpiece, Sputnik.

NEWS: “The history of the relations between Romanians and Russians is a complex one, stretching over many centuries, marked by both light and shadow. How else could it be? The historical shadows of the relationship between Romanians and Russians seem, at least in the official policy of Romania, to be the ones that matter in defining the relations between the two states. Romanian politics is simply marked by a false but dark historical memory, of the unfriendliness between Russians and Romanians […]

Of course, things are much more nuanced and at any time one can write, very objectively and argumentatively, a history of the Romanian-Russian friendship, throughout history. Just as one can present the positive influence on Russia in the modern history of Romania. All that is needed is for historians to have the will to face the political correctness of the official discourse of the Romanian state in recent years: an essentially Russophobic one […] the whole opposition to progressive ideologies promoted by Western governments is considered "Russian propaganda". Any Euro-skeptical and sovereignist discourse is considered "Russian propaganda".

Any pacifist discourse that denounces NATO’s and the US’s aggressive policy and state terrorism (it’s been 2 years since US forces killed a senior Iranian official in a terrorist act), is quickly denounced as "Russian propaganda" [ …] But the reason is perverse. The servitude to the current "strategic partners", the fact that Romania has become more and more an annex to the regional interests of some great powers in the Black Sea region, the fact that resources are given to us without negotiation and that the fight against corruption pulled down Romania’s power poles more effectively than the "class struggle" had done in the 1950's, it had to be somehow justified.

Likewise, the revolution of immorality, which has probably irrevocably upset the settlement of Romanian society, had to be explained and defended. And the best defense was to invoke a supposed "Russian alternative", which would be scarier […] But is Romanian society russophobic? Despite the propaganda induced for years, Romanian society is not Russophobic. Russian culture remains among the most appreciated by Romanian society […] Then, how much ideological abuse and loss of values ​​can you justify based on the argument: better like this than with the Russians? ”.

Reality

NARRATIVES: 1. Romania and Russia share a common history, an old friendship and many common values. 2. Romania is a western colony and has given up its moral values ​​to take over those of the West. 3. The Romanian state has a Russophobic discourse. 4. Sovereignist and pacifist ideas and the denunciation of "progressive ideologies" have nothing to do with Russian propaganda. 5. The Romanian leaders are weak, have no patriotic feelings and are not at all "sovereignist"; they are ready to sell the country to foreign interests. 6. Romanians politically support Russia because they love Russian culture.

LOCAL CONTEXT / ETHOS: Russia's growing militancy in the Black Sea area in recent years and, more recently, the massive mobilizations around Ukraine's borders as an ultimatum from Moscow have raised a number of fears in Romania as well.

Russia's image as an aggressor state is becoming more and more obvious in Romania as well, after Romanian citizens have witnessed the approach of Russian troops to Romania's borders, following the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Romania understands that Russia wants to regain the spheres of influence it had during the Cold War and does not accept that its status as an EU and NATO member state be jeopardized by Moscow’s regional ambitions.

Beyond its actions at the Black Sea - and in addition to them - Moscow has for years waged a real propaganda war against the West, aiming for several goals. First, given that Putin's increasingly authoritarian regime is threatened by the model of liberal democracies, it seeks to undermine it by presenting Russia as a moral alternative to the decline of the West.At the same time, Russia appears as a "besieged fortress", threatened by the propaganda, the destabilizing (through civil society and the independent press under the control of external forces) and the military actions of the West. Another goal is to justify Moscow's actions and present them in a light that makes it look good. This aspect is also linked to the efforts to beautify history (for example by presenting an alternative history of the Second World War, in which Russia is no longer presented as an aggressor, as it was until 1941, and appears as the force that won almost by itself the confrontation with the Nazis).Many of these narratives have been adapted in Romania in recent years , including those on Christian values  and the values of the traditional family as opposed to those of the LGBT community. The same theme  is used for Ukraine.

PURPOSE: To reduce the fears generated by Russia's aggression in the region. Undermining the population's support for NATO and EU membership and resurrecting communist-type narratives about the friendship between the Romanian and Russian peoples (which replaces the Soviet one here). Promoting sovereignist theses and theories about the moral superiority of the Eastern space.

WHY THE NARRATIVE ARE FALSE: The whole text presents a unilateral vision of history, which "omits" extremely controversial and not at all friendly aspects regarding today’s relations between Romania and the Russian Federation.In the last more than two centuries, Bucharest and Moscow have had rather very divergent episodes, starting with the annexation of Bessarabia by the Tsarist Empire in 1812, continuing with the War of Independence of 1877 and the way peace was concluded, the Bolsheviks stealing the Romanian treasury during the First World War, the lack of a peace treaty and the lack of clarity on the situation in Bessarabia between the two world wars.

This was followed by the annexation of Bessarabia during the Second World War, the entry of the Red Army and the establishment of communism in Romania at the end of the conflagration, the plundering of the Romanian economy through SovRoms. The Romanian Communists had a rough relationship with Moscow too, especially during the Ceausescu regime.After the 1989 Revolution, when Romania's leadership was taken over by people suspected of sympathy for and even ties with Moscow, the bilateral relationship reached a semi-deadlock. Romania's accession to the EU and NATO was not welcomed by Russia at all, and its followers in the Republic of Moldova have constantly had an anti-Romanian discourse.

In recent years, Bucharest's accepting American soldiers and military equipment has been seen by Moscow as a threat to its security, and has even warned that Romania could become a target.

Romania is a partner with equal rights in both NATO and the EU, and belonging to the two organizations does not entail the loss of sovereignty but guarantees of security, the chance to achieve prosperity and the guarantee of a democratic system opposed to Russian authoritarianism. Basically, belonging to the two confirms the European aspirations that have defined the entire modern history of Romania except for the period when the country was under the control of the Communist Party imposed by force by the USSR.Russophobia as Romania's policy is another big lie; the fact that there are reservations about Russia's intentions is because of the latter’s policies. At the same time, the description of a historical reality is not a form of Russophobia but only a statement of facts.

Last but not least, Russian literature has become a leitmotif of Russian propaganda for which the Russian state and its policies should be respected, because it has given great universal writers. This false association between art / culture and Russian state politics is a common process that Russian propaganda tries to use in Romania to gain sympathy and adherence to its ideas.

  • Publication / Media:
    sputnik.md
  • Date of publication:
    03/01/2022
  • Language / Target audience:
    Eurosceptic and anti-NATO, extremist and xenophobic nationalists
  • Political affiliation:
    The Kremlin
  • Key narrative:
    Romania is Russophobic by order of the West, but Romanians share Russia’s values
15 minutes read
  • Romania is a Russophobic state by order of the West, despite its historical closeness and friendship with Russia. Unlike politicians, however, Romanians appreciate Russia and share the values it defends, according to disinformation published by the Kremlin's mouthpiece, Sputnik.
  • NARRATIVES: 1. Romania and Russia share a common history, an old friendship and many common values. 2. Romania is a western colony and has given up its moral values to take over those of the West. 3. The Romanian state has a Russophobic discourse. 4. Sovereignist and pacifist ideas and the denunciation of "progressive ideologies" have nothing to do with Russian propaganda. 5. The Romanian leaders are weak, have no patriotic feelings and are not at all "sovereignist"; they are ready to sell the country to foreign interests. 6. Romanians politically support Russia because they love Russian culture.
  • PURPOSE: To reduce the fears generated by Russia's aggression in the region. Undermining the population's support for NATO and EU membership and resurrecting communist-type narratives about the friendship between the Romanian and Russian peoples (which replaces the Soviet one here). Promoting sovereignist theses and theories about the moral superiority of the Eastern space.
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