DISINFORMATION: The poverty inflicted by the Maia Sandu administration is forcing people to use manure to heat their homes

Supporters of Socialist and Communist political parties attend a protest in front of the Parliament building in Chisinau, Moldova, 07 July 2022.
© EPA-EFE/DUMITRU DORU   |   Supporters of Socialist and Communist political parties attend a protest in front of the Parliament building in Chisinau, Moldova, 07 July 2022.

Disinformation

The PAS pro-European government is to blame for the soaring inflation in the Republic of Moldova, having brought people to the brink of despair. This false narrative ignores the external causes behind the high level of inflation and is promoted by the pro-Russian opposition in Chișinău and its affiliated publications. Bloknot-moldova.ru illustrates the narrative by means of a collage depicting Maia Sandu next to a woman who makes piles of straw and manure used for heating.

NEWS: “A year of PAS governance has brought people to the verge of despair. They hope the government will help them, otherwise they will be forced to use straw and manure for heating.

[…]

Consumer prices went up by 29.05% in May compared to the same month in 2021. Prices for services reported the highest increase, 35.07%.

Reality

NARRATIVES: 1. On the brink of despair to the economic crisis, the population of the Republic of Moldova will be forced to use straws and manure to heat their homes. 2. The pro-European PAS administration (led by Maia Sandu) is to blame for the rampant inflation in the Republic of Moldova. 3. (indirect) A pro-Russian government would have ensured better living standards for the citizens of the Republic of Moldova. 

BACKGROUND: The Republic of Moldova is facing the highest increase in prices in at last 20 years, reporting one of the biggest inflation rates in Europe (with the exception of Turkey). In July, the annual inflation rate exceeded 30%. Prices for foodstuffs went up in particular, as well as prices for energy (66% increase in fuel prices, while the price for natural gas nearly tripled, etc.)

The opposition, in particular pro-Russian parties, has blamed the government for the current predicament. Their main argument is that the pro-European authorities in Chișinău couldn’t sign a favorable contract with Gazprom that would ensure lower prices for natural gas for the Republic of Moldova.

PURPOSE: To fuel public discontentment with the pro-European authorities in Chișinău. To promote the idea that a pro-Russian government would have handled the situation better.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: The inflation started to increase at global level starting with the second half of 2021, as a result of the economic recovery following the COVID pandemic the previous year and the increase in the demand of raw materials and services.

The Republic of Moldova is currently reporting the highest increase in prices due to the country’s excessive reliance on Russian gas imports and energy products in general (the Republic of Moldova imports its entire fuel and gas demand and produces a small amount of green energy. Its remaining electricity input is equally imported or produced using imported resources).

Another factor that led to the excessive price hikes is Moldova’s large dependency on trade routes transiting Ukraine, in particular the port of Odessa, which is currently facing a blockade imposed by the Russian military.

In addition, the drought this year, doubled by the increase in fuel prices, has also triggered an increase in prices for foodstuffs, vegetables in particular.

The Republic of Moldova is admittedly facing its own domestic challenges, such as monopolies, a large number of intermediaries in supply chains, high interest rates. These problems have accrued over the years and are equally impacting the evolution of prices. Most of these issues were inherited by the PAS government, which didn’t have the time – or the necessary means – to address them, even when policies were in place.

The article published by Bloknot-moldova.ru represents Maia Sandu next to an old woman making piles of straw and manure, suggesting that citizens in the Republic of Moldova have resorted to this form of home heating. There is no evidence, however, to support this claim.

GRAIN OF TRUTH: The Republic of Moldova has reported a high inflation rate in the last year.

Tags: Republica Moldova , Maia Sandu
  • Publication / Media:
    bloknot-moldova.ru
  • Date of publication:
    14/08/2022
  • Target audience:
    Euroskeptics, citizens with low income
  • Political affiliation:
    Party of Socialists, the Kremlin
  • Key narrative:
    The pro-European government in Chișinău is to blame for the price hikes
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