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DISINFORMATION: Romanian troops, alongside Poland, Ukraine and Moldova, are preparing to invade Transnistria

Disinformation

Romania, Poland, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova will jointly attack the separatist region of Transnistria, according to disinformation narratives carried by the Romania media. The disinformation was published in Romania in a version that contains a number of false information, which is a typical example of Russian propaganda.

NEWS: “Russia intends to attack Moldova to open a new front against Ukraine, writes The Times, citing sources within the Ukrainian secret services” (Mihai Voican –“The Times: Russia has allegedly decided to attack Moldova”, money.ro, 2.05.2022) […] Do you remember how, in February this year, US President Joe Biden announced almost daily that Russia would attack Ukraine? Everybody was wondering what the sources from within the Kremlin Joe Biden and the American presidential administration had.

It was later learned for sure that Ukraine was preparing for an attack on Donbas in early March (more precisely, 8). Ukraine had 60-80,000 troops waiting in Donbas. Although it had amassed troops at the border with Ukraine (over 150,000 troops), Russia was not ready to attack Ukraine […] We can assume that the situation is repeating, but this time the West will make the first move. According to other sources, much more credible than the mainstream The Times (see “The war in Ukraine is getting closer to Romania”, bursa.ro, 30.04.2022), Polish-Romanian-Ukrainian-Moldovan troops are preparing to attack Transnistria, the self-proclaimed independent Soviet-Russian republic (housing the largest Soviet/Russian weapons and ammunition depot in Europe, of interest to Ukraine today, in times of war).

At the same time, Poland is preparing to send peacekeepers to western Ukraine, which used to be Polish land. Just like on February 22-24, it is very likely that we will see major events in the Republic of Moldova and Transnistria […] It is obvious that Transnistria should return to Ukraine (or Poland eventually?), except for the Dubasari district and Tighina, which are Romanian land.. With all the “western” partnership in which Romania and Ukraine are today, Northern Bukovina and Transcarpathia (historical Maramures) are Romanian provinces, once inhabited, some even today (historical Maramures) predominantly by Romanians”, bursa.ro reads.

Reality

NARRATIVES: 1. Romania, Poland, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova will jointly attack the Transnistrian separatist region. 2. Russia did not want to invade Ukraine, but struck preemptively as Ukraine was about to attack the separatist regions in Donbas. 3. Poland wants to take control over some of the territories in western Ukraine. 4. Romania must recover lost territories from Ukraine.

LOCAL CONTEXT / ETHOS: Several incidents took place in Transnistria last week - unidentified perpetrators fired at the headquarters of the MGB secret service, considered by many analysts in Chisinau just a regional extension of the Russian FSS. Nonfunctional antennae, but which had previously broadcast Russian TV and radio programs in Transnistria were blown up, etc. The attacks have not been claimed, but their nature suggests that they could be Russian false-flag operations. Other scenarios blame the attacks on Ukraine or rivaling groups in the separatist republic.

There are about 1,600 Russian soldiers in the Transnistrian region, most of them Transnistrian locals because the Republic of Moldova has not allowed any turnover of Russian military in the region for years. Adding to these would be, according to figures circulated in Chisinau, a maximum of 8,000 soldiers from all Transnistrian force structures.

PURPOSE:  To promote the meta-narrative according to which Russia would be the victim of Ukraine and the West, and so its war is justified. To support Russia's propaganda narrative about the West's aggression against Moscow.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: The author of the article does not mention any source for his statements, but the main narratives coincide with those launched by Russia over time -  Romania’s involvement in the war with Ukraine , the attack on Transnistria, the lack of viability of the Ukrainian state and its dismantling in favor of the neighbors, NATO's involvement in the war in Ukraine, the responsibility of the Alliance and the West in general for the conflict, etc.

Such a combined effort of two NATO countries - Romania and Poland, plus Ukraine, which has a very large military force and is already well equipped with high-performance weapons, would not be justified logistically and militarily.

In the event of an attack, Romania and Poland can no longer be protected by Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, so they would no longer benefit from collective defense; therefore, an operation involving all of NATO is out of question.

On the other hand, last week, the Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksii Arestovich stated that the Ukrainian army could intervene alone and would eliminate the Russian and Transnistrian forces in the region “in the blink of an eye”. He said that the problem was that Ukraine would in fact legally attack the territory of the Republic of Moldova.

Therefore, in the event of an attack on Transnistria, Ukraine would not need the involvement of NATO states, and their involvement would not be tantamount to NATO entering the war on the side of Kiev.

The fact that Russia allegedly attacked Ukraine as a precaution is false, because for a year, Russia brought troops to the borders of Ukraine and prepared for the attack. At the time of the invasion, on February 24th, Ukraine did not have so many troops - 60-80,000 soldiers - on the demarcation line with Donbas.

By the same logic, Ukraine has the legitimate right to reclaim the territories it lost in 2014 to the separatists in Luhansk and Donetsk,  backed by another foreign state, in this case Russia.

The threat from Russia is even greater, because we are talking about Russia, which, on paper, has the second largest army in the world and is a nuclear power.

Poland recovering its territories in Ukraine is also a recurring theme in the Russian propaganda narratives .Poland is by far one of the most vocal countries with regard to the Russian aggression in Ukraine and has sent consistent humanitarian and military support to that country. Poland has also hosted about three million Ukrainian refugees since the start of the war.

Last but not least, the idea of reclaiming from Ukraine the territories predominantly inhabited by Romanians before the Second World War is also a thesis often invoked in the Russian propaganda narratives debunked by Veridica. They count on the Romanians’ revanchist feelings towards the neighboring countries that seized historically Romanian territories.

  • Publication / Media:
    Bursa.ro
  • Date of publication:
    03/05/2022
  • Target audience:
    Eurosceptic, anti-Westerner and pro-Russian
  • Amplification:
    Centruldepresa.ro, pe scurt.ro, solidnews.ro, goldfm.ro
  • Key narrative:
    Romanian troops, alongside Poland, Ukraine and Moldova, are preparing to invade Transnistria
Mădălin Necșuțu

04 May 2022

Updated at: 24 Jun 2022 17:11:13
Mădălin Necșuțu

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33 minutes read
  • Romania, Poland, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova will jointly attack the separatist region of Transnistria, according to disinformation narratives carried by the Romania media. The disinformation was published in Romania in a version that contains a number of false information, which is a typical example of Russian propaganda.
  • NARRATIVES: 1. Romania, Poland, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova will jointly attack the Transnistrian separatist region. 2. Russia did not want to invade Ukraine, but struck preemptively as Ukraine was about to attack the separatist regions in Donbas. 3. Poland wants to take control over some of the territories in western Ukraine. 4. Romania must recover lost territories from Ukraine.
  • PURPOSE: To promote the meta-narrative according to which Russia would be the victim of Ukraine and the West, and so its war is justified. To support Russia's propaganda narrative about the West's aggression against Moscow.
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