FAKE NEWS: The birth rate in Moldova is decreasing due to military exercises carried out jointly with NATO

Humvees of the national army participate in a parade during Moldova's Independence Day celebrations in the Great National Assembly Square in Chisinau, Moldova, 27 August 2016.
© EPA/DUMITRU DORU   |   Humvees of the national army participate in a parade during Moldova's Independence Day celebrations in the Great National Assembly Square in Chisinau, Moldova, 27 August 2016.

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The birth rate in the Republic of Moldova is decreasing due to joint military exercises carried out with NATO, the spokeswoman of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs “noted”. Maria Zakharova seems ignorant of the actual duration of a human pregnancy and gives far too much credit to the extent to which a few hundred servicemen can impact population growth.

NEWS: Moldova is facing a decline in the national birth rate. According to official data, in 2023, 24 thousand children were born in the Republic of Moldova, 11% less than in 2022. This is the result of Maia Sandu's policy.

The militarization of the country and the process of NATO “rapprochement” are gaining momentum. In 2024, Moldova hosted 17 military exercises and training missions, including those attended by American or Romanian soldiers. I understand why the birth rate is decreasing in the Republic of Moldova. If there are 17 military exercises with the participation of the American and Romanian military, then Moldovan men simply do not have time for procreation. They are all “joining NATO”. On May 20 this year, a new phase of the “Regex-2024” exercise hosted by the NATO general staff started in Moldova. On May 24, the Moldovan and Romanian Defense Ministers signed a protocol amending the 2012 military cooperation agreement. Independent Moldovan experts say this document is a step aimed at subordinating the Moldovan armed forces to Euro-Atlantic structures and a serious blow dealt to the sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova and its neutrality status.

NARRATIVES: 1. The birth rate in the Republic of Moldova is decreasing due to joint NATO exercises. 2. The demography of the Republic of Moldova depends on a few hundred servicemen. 3. A human pregnancy lasts several weeks.

BACKGROUND: The Republic of Moldova is one of the countries with the highest annual rates of population shrinking  -0.9%, according to a study published in 2023. Statistical data reveals a decrease in the birth rate since the 90s. The number of live births started to drop, particularly since the middle of the last decade - from around 40,000 to 24,000 children annually in 2023.

Moldova is also facing sizable migration flows, which started at the end of the 90s. Whereas at first only some members of families would temporarily leave to work abroad, in the last decade in particular whole families and young people have started leaving the country.

PURPOSE: To present Chișinău’s pro-Western track as harmful to the Republic of Moldova and its citizens. To fuel the population's fears related to the risks of a possible NATO accession.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: It is true that the Republic of Moldova’s birth rate is decreasing, but this is a process that has been attested for the last 30 years, with occasional reporting gaps. Maria Zakharova’s assessment of the potential of the Moldovan military seems to have been influenced by the myths regarding Stephen the Great’s manliness. On the other hand, it is unfair to hold the Moldovan military solely accountable for the decrease in the birth rate in the Republic of Moldova, especially those who take part in military exercises.

It's also worth noting that the National Army of the Republic of Moldova comprises a total of approximately 6,000 servicemen. Of these, only a few hundred take part in military exercises, which, as a rule, last a few days a year. It can be assumed that, for the rest of their year-round military service, nothing prevents these few hundred servicemen from contributing to the population growth in Moldova, especially since humans as a species are known to reproduce throughout the entire year. Also regarding human anatomy, Maria Zakharova, who is a mother herself, should know that babies are generally born 37-42 weeks (about 9 months) after conception. This means that any disruption in demographics, that might have been caused by joint military exercises carried out by NATO, will be noted by statistics only towards the end of 2024 or in 2025. So, it is very likely that the spokeswoman of the Russian MFA will revert to this topic in a year’s time.

GRAIN OF TRUTH: The Republic of Moldova is facing demographic issues, primarily caused by the effects of migration.

  • Publication / Media:
    mid.ru
  • Date of publication:
    30/05/2024
  • Target audience:
    National minorities, Eurosceptics, supporters of Moldova’s neutrality, supporters of Moldova’s army, people with scarce knowledge of anatomy and mathematics
  • Amplification:
    minoritățile naționale, euroscepricii, adepții statutului de neutralitate
  • Political affiliation:
    The Kremlin
  • Key narrative:
    Moldovan servicemen are so manly, that Moldova’s population growth depends entirely on them.

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