The Kremlin-affiliated press condemns the Romanian authorities who criticize the protests launched by the AUR party against the restrictions imposed by quarantine in the context of an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in Romania and around the world.
NEWS: “The mayor of Timisoara conveys a scandalous message about protests – those in Timisoara in particular, associating them with certain ‘advocacy groups’.
"Being upset by the measures taken at national level to fight the pandemic is no justification for breaking the rules and terrorizing an entire city in the middle of the night," Fritz writes, taking over Cîțu's idea about "terrorists"! And, speaking about Timișoara, maybe Fritz doesn't know, but he also takes over Nicolae Ceaușescu's phrase about the "terrorist gangs"! Here is a continuation of Ceausescu's idea ", writes Sputnik.
On the other hand, about the message given on Tuesday by President Klaus Iohannis, Sputnik writes: "President Iohannis issued a statement in which he makes serious accusations against the protests, mixing peaceful demonstrations with acts of hooliganism!"
Last but not least, Sputnik reports that “Mayor Dominic Fritz makes shocking announcements, turning anti-restriction protests into a real national conspiracy in which he involves… Maia Morgenstern! […] What does the great actress have to do with these attacks? As it is known, the whole country defends her and stands by her side in relation to the insults and threats she received from a madman on social media! So why does Fritz introduce her in his "speech" ?!
"In conclusion, Fritz believes that," beyond all differences of opinion about how the pandemic can be defeated, we cannot let them divide us, because "there is no point in defeating the pandemic if democracy dies." One comment: I don't think we could hear a more interesting lesson on how to practically apply the theories in the diversionist's textbook”, Sputnik also reads.
NARRATIVES: 1. Romania is led by ethnic foreigners who adopt a dictatorial model of interpreting street protests; 2. Romania imposes pandemic-related restrictions in a dictatorial manner; 3. Ethnic German leaders have anti-Semitic habits and are foreign agents.
BACKGROUND: The outbreak of protests in Romania at the end of last week, supported by the Alliance for the Unity of Romanians (AUR), and the revival of the anti-establishment movement that denounces the mandatory wearing of masks in open spaces, are against vaccination and in general against all health rules imposed by the pandemic.
The Romanian authorities have imposed a series of restrictions correlated with the number of cases in each county. Restrictions are in place for both the population and companies. Such measures have been imposed in all European countries, each country customizing them according to needs and negative statistics on the spread of the novel coronavirus.
PURPOSE: Victimizing protesters against alleged abuses by the state and mobilizing the masses against authorities.WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: Both the speech of the Mayor of Timișoara, Dominic Fritz, and that of President Klaus Iohannis have a touch of calm and denounce the party with extremist overtones, AUR, which is trying to obtain political gains from these protests. AUR has had this type of behavior since the pandemic broke out and this approach was probably one of the factors that helped the party achieve a good election result.Dominic Fritz’s attitude is compared to that of the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who ordered the army to fire at protesters in Timișoara during the Revolution of December 1989. The author of the Sputnik material is trying to induce the idea that Fritz has the same approach to protests as Ceausescu did. At the same time, an imagological association is being attempted between the AUR and the 1989 anti-communist protesters.The author also misinterprets Fritz's statements about protests and seeks to place them in the area of anti-Semitism by associating them with the recent threats received by the actress Maia Morgenstern. This forced association, taken out of context, is aimed at suggesting similarities with the Nazi behavior during the Holocaust.The idea is subliminally induced that Fritz and Iohannis, two ethnic Germans, have dictatorial inclinations associated with Nazi and communist leaders in relation to the population that would be, in Sputnik’s vision, represented by the AUR protesters.
Moreover, Fritz keeps being associated with the diversionist foreign agent posted to Romania for a clear mission: to destroy the country.
It should be noted that Sputnik avoids writing in its materials the name of the “AUR” party, in order to avoid an imagological association between Sputnik (i.e. Russia) and AUR, in the context in which, according to polls, many Romanians view Russia as the biggest threat.
THE NARRATIVE BENEFITS: Russia, whose aim is to destabilize the domestic situation in the EU member countries. Also, it benefits the hardline and populist parties – AUR in Romania’s case – which Russia has constantly supported, especially since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.