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FAKE NEWS: “Romania, a bridgehead for a NATO-Russia war”

FAKE NEWS: “Romania, a bridgehead for a NATO-Russia war”
©EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT  |   A Russian made MiG-21 LanceR jet fighter of the Romanian Air Force, on the ground at the end of a NATO Reinforce Air Police Exercise held in the airspace above the international waters of the Black Sea, at Mihail Kogalniceanu 57 Air Base, Romania, 02 July 2021.

Romania will be drawn into a NATO-Russia war in Ukraine and Romanians will be cannon fodder in the front line, according to a false narrative carried recently by the media in Bucharest.

NEWS: “Ukraine has become the epicenter of a potential war between the East and the West. The ongoing events should scare everyone, because in Donbas the conflict is raging. Kiev has stepped up its attacks on the separatist region, but at the same time is desperately calling for more Western support. On the other side, Russia has again built up troops near the border with Ukraine, a clear message of support for the (unrecognized) authorities in Donbas and Luhansk. Unfortunately, Romania plays the role of a bridgehead in this war, just as it happened in 1999, when NATO attacked Yugoslavia using our airports […] Romania will be the bridgehead in a potential NATO-Russia war, which will involve all the states of the Alliance, especially those in the region", Ziarul Național reads.

NARRATIVES: 1. Romania will be drawn into a war in Ukraine that is not its own. 2. NATO will use Romania as a bridgehead in the war with Russia. 3. The US wants hegemony in the region and wants to turn Russia into a colony, but Russia will defend itself.

CONTEXT/ETOS LOCAL:  Military tensions between Ukraine and Russia are on the rise. Moscow has ordered the regrouping of its troops on several segments at the border with Ukraine.

US intelligence services are increasingly concerned that Russia might intervene in Ukraine, militarily this time, after in late October,  Ukranian soldiers attacked  several positions of the pro-Russian separatist forces in Donbas using drones bought from Turkey.

That  annoyed Russia because of the strategic advantage that Kiev could have over the Donbas thanks to a military technique recently used by Azeris in Nagorno-Karabakh against Armenians and which was also purchased from Turkey, which is a NATO member state.

Romania has declared its support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine, following the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia in 2014. In fact, Romania is helping Kiev with cyber defense and non-lethal military equipment.

The US preparing  to attack Russia via Ukraine is a recurrent theme in the Russian media. One of its main promoters in Romanian is Sputnik Moldova, but there are other publications, such as Național, which focus on  Romania’s hypothetical involvement  in a war that is not its own against Russia, because of Ukraine.

The recent article on Romania being used as a bridgehead resumes another topic that has been persistently dwelled on in recent years, namely  that Romania has turned into “a colony” – the consequence of which would be the Romanians used as mere “cannon fodder” in a future conflict.

To render the statements even more credible, the source quotes the pro-Russian military analyst Rick Rozoff, a character known for his anti-NATO vision and who is frequently published and promoted by Sputnik and Russia Today.

PURPOSE: To induce the idea that NATO and the USA are using Romania against Russia.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: The aggressor state in the region is the Russian Federation, which since 2008 has invaded two states - Georgia and Ukraine - and has been involved in other types of hostile activities (e.g. the cyber-attack on Estonia, a NATO member state).  In Donbas, Russia has supported the separatist rebels with equipment and people. Russian army forces have also been mobilized at the Ukrainian border.

This is not a NATO state, so it does not enjoy the protection guaranteed by NATO membership. Russia's aggressiveness, however, has worried NATO, which has shown support for Ukraine and taken some steps to strengthen its defense in the region, especially as allies on the eastern flank - former victims of Russia / USSR's expansionist policy - have been alarmed.

However, an intervention in Ukraine or an attack on Russia have never been considered; on the contrary, all NATO measures are strictly defensive. The naval presence of the Alliance in the Black Sea is limited by the Montreux Convention, and the NATO or US ground and air forces are small. The NATO-led military exercises are defensive – the Allied forces are preparing to repel an attack, not launch one.

In addition to the reasons stated above, Romania couldn’t be used as a bridgehead also because it lacks the necessary infrastructure for a large-scale military operation. Actually, to say that Romania was used as a bridgehead in the NATO war against the former Yugoslavia is a big lie: at that time Romania, which was not a member of the Alliance, only allowed its airspace to be flown over.

GRAIN OF TRUTH:  Ukraine has attacked pro-Russian separatist positions in Donbas and Lugansk, and NATO has warned Russia over its buildup of troops  near the Ukrainian border.


  • Publication / Media:
    National.ro
  • Date of publication:
    23/11/2021
  • Language / Target audience:
    Romanian anti-NATO and anti-US citizens
  • Key narrative:
    Romania will be drawn into a NATO-Russia war in Ukraine and Romanians will be cannon fodder in the front line
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3 minutes read
  • Romania will be drawn into a NATO-Russia war in Ukraine and Romanians will be cannon fodder in the front line, according to a false narrative carried recently by the media in Bucharest.
  • NARRATIVES: 1. Romania will be drawn into a war in Ukraine that is not its own. 2. NATO will use Romania as a bridgehead in the war with Russia. 3. The US wants hegemony in the region and wants to turn Russia into a colony, but Russia will defend itself.
  • PURPOSE: To induce the idea that NATO and the USA are using Romania against Russia.
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