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Demagog - Chisinau Report (2021)

FAKE NEWS: Moldova’s sovereignty is threatened by Soros, Romania and the West

Voronin
©EPA-EFE/DUMITRU DORU  |   Former president of Moldova, the head of Communist Party of Moldova Vladimir Voronin delivers a speach in front of the Lenin monument in Chisinau, Moldova, 22 April 2017.

The sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova is in danger if the pro-European parties get the power. Tomorrow, they might say Moldova unites with Romania, the former president Vladimir Voronin said in an interview for the Russian agency Ria Novosti. Voronin is Igor Dodon’s ally in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Chisinau. The narratives, promoted including by the Russian media and by some Moscow officials, are aimed at undermining voters’ trust in the pro-European parties and the European path of the Republic of Moldova, distorting the anti-corruption message conveyed by the pro-European parties, while at the same time keeping Chisinau within the Russian sphere of influence.

NEWS: Moscow's official news agency, Ria Novosti, carries an interview with the former Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin, the communist leader who formed an electoral bloc with Igor Dodon's Socialists for the July 11th parliamentary elections. Vladimir Voronin claims in this interview that many Soros agents are active in Moldova, that protests are expected after the elections, that Moldova will lose its sovereignty, that foreign forces are trying to influence the political situation in the Republic of Moldova and that a coup might be organized. “Our sovereignty is being threatened from both within and without. In all these 30 years, the invasion of nationalism, unionism and Romanianism has been ongoing. Gradually, little by little, these structures, financed from abroad, first of all from Romania and from other sources, have managed to gain ground in relation to these issues. [...] There are serious problems regarding the country's sovereignty, which might perish, if the pro-European forces, fed by the Soros Foundation, come to power, in different structures, which have certain purposes, not entirely legal.

They can change the situation in our country at any time, and at any time they can announce that, as of tomorrow, Moldova is united with Romania. In what format we will be attached - autonomous region or county - it will be for them to decide, but such a threat exists. That is why these elections are particularly important to all of us, to the whole country, to the entire people, to the whole of Moldova”.  Vladimir Voronin also says that a huge number of Romanian television stations "brainwash" Moldovan citizens, that the signing of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement was hasty, that PAS is the former PLDM that aims to hide the crimes committed by the former Prime Minister Vlad Filat, who is currently behind President Maia Sandu, whom he is manipulating. "If the Filat - Sandu team does not win, given Filat's experience from April 7, 2009 in organizing a coup, they will most likely find a way out, because the West, the Soros Foundation and the Romanians have high hopes for these elections, they have a big stake in this and have made important investments to buy the electorate and rig the elections, etc. See the fight that is taking place over the polling stations for the diaspora in the east and the west. It is the beginning of a confrontation. Our bloc will not fight anyone”, the PCRM leader also said.

NARRATIVES: 1. The Republic of Moldova is threatened by (Romanian) nationalism, unionism and Romanianism; 2. The pro-European political forces aim at uniting Moldova with Romania and transforming it into an autonomous county or region; 3. Structures funded from abroad, by Soros and Romania, want to influence the situation in the Republic of Moldova and are ready to buy the electorate and rig the elections; 4. If Filat-Sandu team does not win the parliamentary elections, they might stage a coup, as Filat did on April 7, 2009.

CONTEXT: The snap elections called for by the pro-European president Maia Sandu endangers the already weakened position of the Party of Socialists, led by the pro-Russian Igor Dodon. After losing the presidency in last autumn's elections, the Socialists now risk losing control over parliament, government and other state institutions, to the pro-European parties, especially PAS, the party founded by Maia Sandu. She is a promoter of the rapprochement with the European Union and the fight against corruption, supports the reform of state institutions and has broad support in this regard from the main European chancelleries.

On the other hand, the Socialists and Igor Dodon have fallen in the polls, and losing control over the most important institutions, including the judiciary, would also mean losing some income schemes for party leaders. At the same time, a potential power win by the pro-European parties would mean a clearer and safer direction of development based on the European model, in keeping with the commitments made by the Republic of Moldova upon signing the Association Agreement with the EU. This would mean leaving the area of ​​influence of the Russian Federation, which openly supports the PSRM.

Under these circumstances, PSRM formed an electoral alliance with PCRM, a party led by Vladimir Voronin, from which Igor Dodon's faction broke away in 2011. Although Vladimir Voronin called Igor Dodon a traitor along the years, he did not miss the opportunity to associate with his former disciple in order to re-enter Parliament. Some political analysts assume that this alliance is dictated not only by the interest of the two parties to stay in power, but also by the Kremlin, in order to keep Chisinau within its area of ​​influence.

The anti-Romanian sentiments of the former Moldovan president are also noteworthy. Just like the PSRM leader, Vladimir Voronin is a Moldovenist, statist and pro-Russian politician. Vladimir Voronin was President of the Republic of Moldova between 2001-2005 and 2005-2009. In the last years of his term, the relations with Romania deteriorated the most. He insulted Romania on many occasions, accusing it of attacking the Moldovan statehood. Also, after the protests of 2009, he accused Romania of interference and expelled the Romanian ambassador to Chisinau, Filip Teodorescu.

In reality, Romania is Chisinau’s main trading partner and also the main market for Moldovan products, with 27.4% of the total exports, according to the latest NBS data. During the pandemic period, Romania provided the most consistent medical assistance to the Republic of Moldova, which has been vital in this crisis. Romania has also provided hundreds of thousands of doses of Covid vaccine to Moldovan citizens.

The same danger, of the union with Romania, was invoked in 1992 by the Transnistrian separatist forces supported by Moscow and the 14th Army, when they started the Dniester War.

The issue of naming the official language of the Republic of Moldova is an indispensable theme in the election campaigns, exploited by the statist, Moldovanist parties, which incite the spirits and distract the electorate from the real economic and social issues that the population is facing. The Romanian language is the correct name of the language spoken on the territory between the Prut and the Dniester, according to the academic community,  and it is also the correct and constitutional name of the official language in the Republic of Moldova, said in 2013 the Constitutional Court, which found that the Declaration of Independence of 1991, where the phrase Romanian language is stipulated, prevails over article 13 of the Constitution voted in 1994, in which the name Moldovan language is indicated.

PURPOSE:  PSRM and their communist allies are trying to shift the focus from the corruption of officials and party leaders to made-up issues, such as the danger of Moldova's disappearance, losing Moldova’s sovereignty, the union with Romania, etc. The narratives, promoted by the Russian press and some Moscow officials, are aimed at undermining the electorate's trust in the pro-European parties and the pro-European path of the Republic of Moldova. At the same time, they are trying to destabilize the situation in the run-up to the elections for the Chisinau Parliament.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: The pro-European forces in Chisinau have never raised the issue of a potential union with Romania (there are, however, unionist parties promoting the union), and this has not been addressed or assumed by Bucharest and has not appeared in any way on the agenda of the EU, NATO or other Western states. Civil society, including the one funded by organizations associated with George Soros, has placed strict emphasis on internal reform with a view to forming an open society and a liberal democracy, with geopolitical issues never appearing on their agenda. Therefore, European forces coming to power couldn’t possibly threaten the statehood and sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova, but it would not be welcomed by those who want to maintain the current status quo and their influence over the judiciary, the prosecutor's office, and the schemes used to embezzle public money, etc.

As for the multitude of Romanian television stations that “brainwash” Moldovan citizens, which  Vladimir Voronin refers to, the reality is that the media space in the Republic of Moldova is dominated by Russian stations. For example, one of the most well-known cable TV distributors alone, Moldtelecom, has 40 Russian stations for the Moldovan public, including news programs, but also entertainment, movies, music, travel, science, sports or children's programs.

Vladimir Voronin is trying to associate Maia Sandu, who was a member of Vlad Filat's government, with the politician who was convicted for the one-billion-dollar theft. In reality, Maia Sandu was not a member of the PLDM, she set up her own party in 2016. The Liberal Democratic Party founded by Vlad Filat still exists. The 2009 coup that Vladimir Voronin mentions was, in fact, a protest by young people dissatisfied with the communist regime and the possible fraud committed in the April 5, 2009 elections won by the PCRM. The protest, initially peaceful, was hijacked, and some individuals ransacked the Parliament and the Presidency buildings on April 7, 2009, although the then-opposition leaders, including Vlad Filat, called on young people to protest peacefully. Hundreds of young people were beaten by law enforcement in police stations. Twelve years after those events, the truth is still not known about who caused the violence, and those who beat the young people went unpunished and some even remained in office.

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  • Publication / Media:
    Ria Novosti
  • Language / Target audience:
    PSRM-PCRM voters
  • Political affiliation:
    the Kremlin
  • Key narrative:
    The West and Romania are undermining the sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova
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  • The sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova is in danger if the pro-European parties get the power. Tomorrow, they might say Moldova unites with Romania, the former president Vladimir Voronin said in an interview for the Russian agency Ria Novosti. Voronin is Igor Dodon’s ally in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Chisinau. The narratives, promoted including by the Russian media and by some Moscow officials, are aimed at undermining voters’ trust in the pro-European parties and the European path of the Republic of Moldova, distorting the anti-corruption message conveyed by the pro-European parties, while at the same time keeping Chisinau within the Russian sphere of influence.
  • NARRATIVES: 1. The Republic of Moldova is threatened by (Romanian) nationalism, unionism and Romanianism; 2. The pro-European political forces aim at uniting Moldova with Romania and transforming it into an autonomous county or region; 3. Structures funded from abroad, by Soros and Romania, want to influence the situation in the Republic of Moldova and are ready to buy the electorate and rig the elections; 4. If Filat-Sandu team does not win the parliamentary elections, they might stage a coup, as Filat did on April 7, 2009.
  • PURPOSE: PSRM and their communist allies are trying to shift the focus from the corruption of officials and party leaders to made-up issues, such as the danger of Moldova's disappearance, losing Moldova’s sovereignty, the union with Romania, etc. The narratives, promoted by the Russian press and some Moscow officials, are aimed at undermining the electorate's trust in the pro-European parties and the pro-European path of the Republic of Moldova. At the same time, they are trying to destabilize the situation in the run-up to the elections for the Chisinau Parliament.
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