DISINFORMATION: The pro-European government in Chișinău is underming the Russian language in the Republic of Moldova

A girl sits on a chair after the opening ceremony for the new school year at Gogol Lyceum, named after Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, in Chisinau, Moldova, 03 September 2018.
© EPA-EFE/DUMITRU DORU   |   A girl sits on a chair after the opening ceremony for the new school year at Gogol Lyceum, named after Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, in Chisinau, Moldova, 03 September 2018.

Disinformation

The Government in Chișinău is pushing for diminishing the role of the Russian language at society level, but also to undermine the rights of national minorities, rubaltic.ru writes. In fact, in recent years, nothing has virtually changed in Chișinău with respect to the status of the Russian language – Romanian speakers are often used to switch to Russian when communication to Russian speakers, films are often dubbed in Russian, while TV channels, shows and films are commonplace on the audiovisual market.

NEWS: “The Russian language and literature, which are an integral part of Moldovan society, have been subject to great pressure in recent years, at Maia Sandu’s request”.

[…]

“Only 2 cinema halls remain in Chișinău, screening Western features and animations. This downfall was triggered in part by pro-European authorities as well, which raised linguistic barriers for Russian films and for dubbing Western films in Russia.”

[…] “On June 22, the Law on protecting the local audiovisual market came into force. All news segments, analyses and films connected to the Russian military are now banned. No one cares that the Republic of Moldova, by banning Russian TV programmes, is violating paragraph 2 under Article 13 in the Constitution, which stipulates that “the State recognizes and protects the right to the preservation, development and functionality of the Russian language and other languages spoken on the country’s territory”.

Reality

NARRATIVE: The Government in Chișinău is undermining the role of the Russian language and violating the rights of national minorities.

BACKGROUND: The Republic of Moldova is an ex-Soviet country where Russian was the dominant language in the Soviet era, when it was the language of the communist elites and of national minorities, in particular Russian and Ukrainian national groups, which were artificially increased.

Under the law adopted at the end of the Soviet period, the Russian language still preserves a role of interethnic communication. The law was however declared obsolete by the Constitutional Court. Meanwhile, the share of national minorities went down, whereas according to the 2014 census, 82% of Moldova’s citizens say they are Moldovans / Romanians (in 2004, 78% said they were Moldovans / Romanians), followed by Ukrainians with 6.6%, Găgăuz with 4.6% and Russians with 4.4%.

Although the share of Russian-speaking national minorities is decreasing, there are however politicians and parties that continue to use minority groups to boost their election score, by promoting certain topics such as declaring the Russian language the second “official language”.

Moreover, the Russian media has been spreading more and more messages about alleged violations of the rights of Russian-speaking minorities and launching accusations targeting the government in Chișinău, which it more or less overtly compares to the government in Kyiv, labeled “Nazi” by the Kremlin.

The article published on rubaltic.ru draws on a topic that is apparently unrelated to Moldovan politics – the deterioration of Moldovan cinematography and the shutdown of the Moldova Film studios (which used to be a part of Soviet cinematography) after the collapse of the USSR. After praising Soviet cinematography, the author goes on to make baseless claims regarding the status of the Russian language.

PURPOSE: To depict the government in Chișinău as hostile to the Russian-speaking minorities in the Republic of Moldova.

WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: Minority groups in the Republic of Moldova continue to use the Russian language without any obstruction from the authorities. On the contrary, Russian is frequently heard on the streets of Moldova and is even used by native Romanian speakers when they interact with Russian natives. The cinemas the author mentions continue to screen films dubbed in Russian or with Romanian subtitles. The Russian language continues to be taught in Romanian-language schools. Moreover, approximately 16% of schools have Russian-language teaching, which reflects the share of national minorities. Therefore, the statement about the right to Russian language education being violated is unfounded.

Finally, the law in question does not ban the rebroadcast of Russian TV stations. The law simply bans the rebroadcast of certain categories of programmes, such as news segments and political shows produced in countries that did not ratify the European Convention on Transfrontier Television. The purpose of the law is to prevent manipulation, disinformation and propaganda disseminated by Russian media outlets, the majority of which are controlled by the Kremlin and whose numbers have increased after the Russian military intervention in Ukraine.

Tags: Republica Moldova , Russian language , Russia
  • Publication / Media:
    rubaltic.ru
  • Date of publication:
    28/08/2022
  • Political affiliation:
    The Kremlin
  • Key narrative:
    The pro-European government in Chișinău is underming the Russian language in the Republic of Moldova
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  • The Government in Chișinău is pushing for diminishing the role of the Russian language at society level, but also to undermine the rights of national minorities, rubaltic.ru writes. In fact, in recent years, nothing has virtually changed in Chișinău with respect to the status of the Russian language – Romanian speakers are often used to switch to Russian when communication to Russian speakers, films are often dubbed in Russian, while TV channels, shows and films are commonplace on the audiovisual market.
  • NARRATIVE: The Government in Chișinău is undermining the role of the Russian language and violating the rights of national minorities.
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