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FAKE NEWS: Romania is amassing its military forces on the borders with the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine

Combat vehicles of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry Regiment at the U.S. Airbase, in Vilseck, Germany, 09 February 2022.
©EPA-EFE/RONALD WITTEK  |   Combat vehicles of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry Regiment at the U.S. Airbase, in Vilseck, Germany, 09 February 2022.

A convoy of Romanian military technology was caught on camera while moving towards with borders with the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, the Russian media writes, referring to a video captured by an amateur with his mobile phone. The footage, used as part of other disinformation narratives as well, serves as an excuse to reiterate the fake news about Romania’s plans to occupy the Republic of Moldova and to attack the Transnistrian separatist region.

NEWS: “Several Ukrainian media outlets have published a video allegedly recording the movement of Romanian military technology towards the borders with the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

The director of the Institute for Social and Political Research, Igor Shornikov, previously assumed that, following the terrorist attacks in Transnistria, the Supreme Security Council [of the Republic of Moldova] would decide to dispatch Romanian troops to the Republic of Moldova”, gazeta.ru writes.

On the same day, topwar.ru published an image showing a convoy of military vehicles transporting equipment, claiming this might be the Romanian army heading to the Republic of Moldova. The publication suggests the purpose of both the Romanian and the Ukrainian armies is to attack the separatist region of Transnistria and to occupy the Republic of Moldova.

“If we speak about Romania, this country has its own interests in the region, and they are connected not just to Transnistria, but to the entire Moldova”.

NARRATIVES: Romania (a member of NATO) gets involved in the Russia’s war in Ukraine. 2. Romania is ready to violate the Republic of Moldova’s neutrality status. 3. Romania is preparing to attack Transnistria (which hosts Russian military and equipment).

BACKGROUND: The Republic of Moldova is the most vulnerable state in southeastern Europe if confronted with a Russian military aggression. Apart from its insignificant military capabilities, the Republic of Moldova also has a separatist enclave under Russian control in its eastern territory, which is home to a Russian battalion, officially guarding a warehouse storing over 20,000 tons of Soviet-era ammunition.

Chișinău has condemned the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, announcing it would remain neutral in this conflict. The authorities in the breakaway region of Transnistria, which unilaterally proclaimed its independence in the early 1990s, also announced the separatist republic would not get involved in this war. Kyiv has repeatedly underscored the dangers and challenges linked to the separatist regime in Tiraspol in the context of the war.

Last week, several armed attacks were reported in the region.

Tiraspol raised the terrorist alert level to maximum and installed concrete roadblocks on the main entrances to cities.

Meanwhile, the Russian media has published a number of statements about Romania’s intention to attack/occupy the Republic of Moldova.

PURPOSE: To depict Romania as an aggressor state. To fuel the concerns of part of Moldovan and Transnistrian societies about the threats of a Romanian occupation. To legitimize a possible Russian military intervention in Transnistria (including in the Republic of Moldova) designed to eliminate the threat of Romanian occupation.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: The claim about Romanian military equipment being transported to the borders of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine is based on a video recording made from a car that comes across a military convoy. There is no apparent clue indicating the place where the video was taken or the destination of the convoy.

Although the Russian media writes that the images were published by Ukrainian agencies, the footage was published only on a Telegram account in Transnistria, titled PMR History, on April 27. The next day, the pictures were shared by Telegram accounts and media outlets from both Ukraine and Russia.

The convoy appearing in the recording doesn’t even belong to the Romanian army – it is made up of vehicles of American forces deployed to Romania.

Moreover, apart from the narratives regarding the transportation of Romanian forces to the border areas, there’s another false claim according to which the Americans themselves are allegedly moving closer to the Moldovan border. The Romanian Ministry of Defense announced that all military technology and equipment appearing in the aforementioned video were actually in route to a training camp in Babadag.

“Here is a new piece of fake news, posted on various online platforms in Romania and other countries, which promotes the idea that a convoy of American military vehicles is allegedly moving from Romania to Ukraine.

The video underlying this false narrative indeed represents military vehicles of the United States Army. These are part of the US Army’s 2nd Cavalry regiment deployed to Mihail Kogălniceanu military base in Romania earlier this year”, a disclaimer published by the Romanian Defense Ministry on its Facebook page reads. According to the Ministry, “Wednesday, April 27, American vehicles, accompanied by special vehicles of the Romanian Military Police, as per protocol, drove to the Babadag training camp with a view to taking part in shooting drills previously and jointly planned by Romanian and allied troops.

The training exercises carried out by military of NATO forces deployed to Romania are part of measures designed to consolidate NATO’s eastern flank and take place on a recurrent basis. For this reason, such convoys transporting military equipment not just of the USA, but also of Belgium, France, Italy, the United Kingdom or Portugal, can be observed on a regular basis while moving between their deployment bases and joint training facilities.”

Both versions of the narrative are part of a genuine disinformation campaign launched before the large-scale Russian invasion and that continued long after its start, according to which there are efforts to push Moldova into NATO or involve it in a conflict with Russia.

Tags: Republica Moldova , Ukraine , Russia , USA , NATO , Romania , War in Ukraine
Turneul Stradivarius 2022
Propaganda de Razboi - Razboi in UCRAINA
  • Publication / Media:
    gazeta.ru
  • Date of publication:
    28/04/2022
  • Target audience:
    Anti-Romanian national minorities, the inhabitants of Transnistria
  • Amplification:
    topwar.ru, Youtube, rusplt.ru
  • Key narrative:
    Romania is preparing to intervene in the Russian-Ukrainian war
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