Romania intends to annex the Republic of Moldova and part of the territory of Ukraine, and NATO is supporting it militarily, according to a false narrative carried by the Russian media. Another narrative is that, in turn, Poland, seeks to annex part of the western regions of Ukraine. The false narratives start from theses, spread for years by Russia, regarding the artificial nature of the Ukrainian state and the aggressiveness of the West.
NEWS: “Romania is preparing to occupy the Republic of Moldova and part of Ukraine, including Odesa and the Odesa region. The process is being followed closely by NATO with the support of the USA, France and the Netherlands, the war correspondent Kotenok writes on his Telegram channel.
Bucharest has been making plans for the revival of “Greater Romania” for a long time, but it does not have enough forces to achieve this ambitious goal. But NATO is helping, supplying it with forces and military equipment: the US 101st Airborne Division, also known as the Screaming Eagles, as well as military aid from France.
“Romania wants to expand its territory by annexing Bucovina, a part of the Odesa region, including the city, and to completely swallow Moldova”, the war correspondent states.
The West has plans to divide Ukraine and they will be carried out. Poland dreams of “getting back” Lviv and part of the western regions of Ukraine. Hungary would not be against annexing a region either. Under these conditions, Bucharest does not want to stand aside and will try to get a slice of the cake too”, writes topwar.ru
“The journalist assumes that the annexation will begin with a series of political, military and economic actions that will create chaos in the territory controlled by Kyiv”, adds pravda.ru
NARRATIVES: 1. The neighboring states west of Ukraine will use the war to divide it. 2. Romania, with its vindictive visions, will annex the Republic of Moldova and a part of Ukraine, with NATO’s support 3. Ukraine is an artificial state.
LOCAL CONTEXT/ETHOS: The annexation by Romania, NATO, the involvement of the Republic of Moldova in the war have become some of the main “threats” launched into the public space by the Russian and pro-Russian media in Chisinau.
Romania is presented in the Russian media, but also by some of the politicians and mass media institutions from the Republic of Moldova as a vindictive state, with territorial claims over the Republic of Moldova and some regions in the south-east of Ukraine. All these territories were part of Romania, which lost them as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
Such theses are used to reactivate the phobias towards Romania, promoted even in the interwar period, especially among national minorities, but also to present the Russian Federation as the force that could defend them from the “Romanian encroachment”.
On the other hand, the Russian propaganda writes about Poland allegedly intending to resume its historical borders even since the start of the war.
PURPOSE: To present Romania, Poland (the West) as vindictive states, ready to satisfy their territorial claims at the expense of weaker neighbors. Indirectly, to present Russia as the main salvation in the face of these claims. At the same time, it seeks to promote an older thesis, launched by Russia before the start of the large-scale invasion on February 24, according to which Ukraine is an artificial state , which will be dismantled by the very allies it has today. This thesis should also justify the seizure and annexation of some Ukrainian territories by the Kremlin.
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: NATO leaders have repeatedly stated that they are ready to defend the member states, including Romania, in the event of Russian attacks, but have made it clear that they do not intend to attack Russia directly.
Romania was the first state to recognize the independence of the Republic of Moldova and, despite the fact that the majority of its territory is, from a historical point of view, part of the Romanian space, it has never made any territorial claims. As for the 101st Airborne Division, it aims to strengthen , together with other units sent by NATO member states, the eastern flank of the Alliance in the context of Russia's war with Ukraine and has no war missions. Moreover, NATO has been strengthening its eastern flank for years, in response to Russia's repeated aggressions in the region.
Romania has no territorial claims towards Ukraine either, and this is clearly stipulated in the 1997 Treaty on Good Neighborly Relations, the signing of which was seen, at the time, as a necessary step for Romania to be able to integrate into NATO.
Of all Ukraine's neighbors, Poland has been the most vocal and active in countering the Russian aggression and supporting Kiev's defensive efforts. Warsaw has proven with facts that it is a real supporter of Ukraine: it condemned the Russian aggression, supported the Ukrainian army, facilitated Kyiv’s institutional rapprochement with European and Euro-Atlantic structures. According to www.statista.com , until October, Poland was the third largest donor of military assistance to Ukraine, after the USA and Great Britain, countries that are much richer and have a much larger military arsenal.
Regarding the so-called artificiality of Ukraine, promoted by propaganda and some Russian ultranationalists, Ukraine is an internationally recognized member state of the UN, whose borders (including Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014 and the 4 regions of south and east, annexed in 2022), independence and sovereignty were confirmed including by Moscow through the Budapest Memorandum of 1994.
GRAIN OF TRUTH: In Romania there are voices that speak for the union with the Republic of Moldova and invoke the “historical truth” regarding some territories that are part of Ukraine. Officially, Bucharest has not submitted any territorial claims to any of Romania's neighbors.