Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube LinkedIn

Demagog - Chisinau Report (2021)

FAKE NEWS: Under the leadership of Maia Sandu, Moldovans are leaving, and Syrians are coming

refugiati
©EPA-EFE/NABIL MOUNZER  |   Syrian refugee children pose for the camera in front of makeshift tents at Al Faydah refugee camp, near Zahleh in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, 12 March 2020.

Maia Sandu grants Syrians the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, while Moldovans are leaving the country, writes Komsomolskaya Pravda, which publishes a presidential decree granting citizenship to nine people. Thus, a narrative is resumed from the 2016 presidential elections when fake news was spread that 30 thousand Syrian refugees would be brought to the Republic of Moldova.

NEWS: “Every third person who received citizenship from Maia Sandu is from Syria”, writes KP.md, referring to a decree signed by President Maia Sandu, on May 11, 2021, granting citizenship of the Republic of Moldova to 32 people. “While Moldovans are leaving the country, Syrians are coming in their place. Maia Sandu granted citizenship to 9 Syrians in May. In a month, 32 people received Moldovan citizenship. The decree was signed by Maia Sandu. It is worth mentioning that most of the people who received Moldovan citizenship, 9, are from the Syrian Arab Republic. Also on the list are people from Jordan, Palestine, Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey. Moldovan citizenship was also granted to persons from the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Italy”.

NARRATIVE: While Moldovans are leaving the country, Maia Sandu grants Syrians the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova.

CONTEXT: In 2016, following an aggressive fake-news campaign against pro-European candidate Maia Sandu, the presidential election was won by pro-Russian Igor Dodon, the leader of the Party of Socialists. One of the most disseminated fake news of that campaign was that Maia Sandu promised Europeans that she would accept 30,000 Syrian immigrants in Moldova, in exchange for support from the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The information came in the context of Europe facing a wave of immigrants from Africa, and, the previous year, the peak of the Syrian refugee crisis. This crisis had been exploited by the Kremlin's propaganda, which tried to create an apocalyptic image of a genuine barbarian invasion in the face of which Europe was collapsing. This false perspective on the crisis was also promoted in the Republic of Moldova, where the Russian media enjoys a significant presence.

The information on bringing refugees was taken over by a lot of sites affiliated with the Socialists, and the PSRM newspaper "Socialistul" amplified the disinformation, writing that Maia Sandu would accommodate the refugees in the houses left by the Moldovans who went abroad. The news was also taken over by the most watched TV stations in the Republic of Moldova, controlled by the oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc, who helped Igor Dodon win the presidential seat back then. Moreover, a Youtube channel “Syrians Without Borders Foundation”, created around the elections and disbanded immediately after the election, broadcast a video in which three Syrian students from the Medical University of Chisinau said that they wanted to see as many Syrians as possible settling in Moldova. The journalists from Ziarul de Garda wrote then how the lie on the Syrians grew: from a pamphlet site, to the most watched television in the country.

Currently, the Republic of Moldova is preparing for early parliamentary elections, the main competitors being the pro-Europeans from PAS, who rely on the positive image of the party's founder, Maia Sandu (officially neutral, as president, but clearly associated with the party) and a pro-Russia alliance formed by the Socialists and Communists of the former presidents Igor Dodon and Vladimir Voronin.

PURPOSE: The news is trying to bring back to the public attention the disinformation about Syrian immigrants and aims to discredit Maia Sandu in the context of the election campaign for the parliamentary elections to be held on July 11 in the Republic of Moldova.

WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: The idea that the Syrians would replace the Moldovans is ridiculous: according to estimates, there are up to one million citizens living outside the Republic of Moldova, while the quoted article itself talks about granting citizenship to nine Syrians. In 2018, for example, the total number of asylum seekers reported for the previous 20 years was 2400, and that of refugees present on the territory of the Republic of Moldova at that time - 400.

Moreover, citizenship is not granted automatically - it is a complex procedure, which the president of the country only validates by signing the decree, when it is completed.

Thus, according to the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, Moldovan citizenship can be acquired also through recognition or naturalization. The citizenship of the Republic of Moldova can be granted upon request to the foreign citizen or stateless person with legal and habitual residence on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, who observes the provisions of the Constitution, took the test to assess their level of knowledge of the state language and has had legal sources of income on Moldovan soil for several years.

According to the same law, the President of the Republic of Moldova issues the decrees granting citizenship. However, the files for acquiring citizenship are drawn up by the Public Services Agency, which receives applications for acquiring citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, verifies the documents submitted, collects data about the applicant, prepares an information note and, together with the opinions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, of the Intelligence and Security Service and at the request of the applicant, sends them to the President of the Republic of Moldova to be signed.

A project supported by the Canadian embassy in Romania, Bulgaria, and the Republic of Moldova

Carte recomandata
  • Publication / Media:
    kp.md
  • Language / Target audience:
    The PSRM, anti-european electorate
  • Political affiliation:
    PSRM
  • Key narrative:
    Sub conducerea Maiei Sandu, pleacă moldovenii și vin sirienii
Other articles
„Rusia, prietenul care la nevoie se cunoaște”

„Rusia, prietenul care la nevoie se cunoaște”

Rusia ajută Republica Moldova oriunde este nevoie – chiar și la deszăpezire în iarna care o să urmeze.

False
True
Vaccinul rusesc este asumat de Organizația Mondială a Sănătății

Vaccinul rusesc este asumat de Organizația Mondială a Sănătății

Narațiunea caută să acrediteze ideea că vaccinul rusesc e sigur și Rusia este superioară din punct de vedere tehnologic Occidentului.

FAKE NEWS: Young people flee Maia Sandu’s Moldova

FAKE NEWS: Young people flee Maia Sandu’s Moldova

Pro-Socialist media seeks to link migration to Maia Sandu’s presidency, by citing a study on current trends. However, the phenomenon is one that has started more than two decades ago, and statistics show that its magnitude has been the same for the past 5 years, an interval that also covers the presidential term of Socialist leader Igor Dodon.

Mariana Vasilache

11 Jun 2021
Mariana Vasilache

3 minutes read
  • Maia Sandu grants Syrians the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, while Moldovans are leaving the country, writes Komsomolskaya Pravda, which publishes a presidential decree granting citizenship to nine people. Thus, a narrative is resumed from the 2016 presidential elections when fake news was spread that 30 thousand Syrian refugees would be brought to the Republic of Moldova.
  • PURPOSE: The news is trying to bring back to the public attention the disinformation about Syrian immigrants and aims to discredit Maia Sandu in the context of the election campaign for the parliamentary elections to be held on July 11 in the Republic of Moldova.
How Russia lost the parliamentary election in the Republic of Moldova and the pro-Europeans’ tribulations of success
How Russia lost the parliamentary election in the Republic of Moldova and the pro-Europeans’ tribulations of success

Not even the most optimistic supporters of the Action and Solidarity Party (PAS) were expecting a landslide victory in the early parliamentary election. PAS didn’t just face left-wing parties, represented by the Electoral Bloc of Communists and Socialists, but Russia itself, which tried to lend the latter a helping hand. Yet its victory is only the beginning: the real challenge for PAS lies ahead.

Mădălin Necșuțu
Mădălin Necșuțu
13 Jul 2021
FAKE NEWS: The right-wing bought votes in the Diaspora
FAKE NEWS: The right-wing bought votes in the Diaspora

The alleged election fraud, including bribe-giving, was one of the hot topics in the Republic of Moldova on election day. While media outlets siding with pro-European parties revealed alleged cases of bribe reported on the left bank of the Dniester, the pro-Socialist press focused on offenses reported abroad. One the main “arguments” about influencing voters in the Diaspora was a short video filmed by a young girl queuing outside a polling station in Frankfurt, Germany. In the background one can hear a few people talking and laughing, mentioning 50 Euro. A large number of press institutions affiliated to the Socialists carried the piece of news, suggesting the video is evidence that voters got bribed. The person who shot the video subsequently said it was all a joke, and that the media made erroneous assumptions.

Cornel Ciobanu
Cornel Ciobanu
12 Jul 2021
DEMAGOG 2021. The Chisinau Report, No. 5: Radio Yerevan
DEMAGOG 2021. The Chisinau Report, No. 5: Radio Yerevan

disinformation, manipulative stories and fake news continued to flood the media as usual. Maia Sandu, PAS and the West were again the favorite targets of disinformation and fake narratives. Fake news authors were pretty much unimaginative, as they have been over the course of the entire campaign, resorting to narratives they used before, both in the current campaign, as well as in previous ones: a victory for the right-wing would spell disaster for the country

Cătălin Gomboș
Cătălin Gomboș
10 Jul 2021
Lenin wrapped in plastic, the girl in the coffin and brawling politicians – the highlights of the election campaign in the Republic of Moldova
Lenin wrapped in plastic, the girl in the coffin and brawling politicians – the highlights of the election campaign in the Republic of Moldova

Much like most other election campaigns in the Republic of Moldova, this summer’s campaign for the parliamentary election of July 11 was ridden with disputes which, at times, went way beyond the limits of common decency. We’ve seen controversial figures getting the spotlight, a great deal of disinformation, and we’ve had our fair share of extraordinary and laughable moments. Foreign policy was, once again, a major topic of debate. Less than 30 years since Moldova proclaimed its independence, it’s still unclear whether the country is headed West or East. Another recurring theme in this campaign was the fight against corruption, which has been discussed for years, without seemingly rooting out the weed of corruption that has spread to the point of nearly suffocating the whole country. Veridica has reviewed some of the topics, episodes and characters that grabbed the headlines during this election campaign.

Cornel Ciobanu
Cornel Ciobanu
09 Jul 2021