FAKE NEWS: The future Polish-Ukrainian state is negotiating the territorial division of Romania

Diana Sosoaca, member of the Romanian Parliament, shouts slogans during a protest against new measures ordered by the Romanian government during the fourth wave of the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, in front of government headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, 02 October 2021.
© EPA-EFE/Robert Ghement   |   Diana Sosoaca, member of the Romanian Parliament, shouts slogans during a protest against new measures ordered by the Romanian government during the fourth wave of the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, in front of government headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, 02 October 2021.

According to the Romanian Senator Diana Șoșoacă, Ukraine will break into pieces and lose territories but, at the same time, it will form a state alongside Poland and contribute to the dismantling of Romania. The narratives are similar to those promoted by Russia, especially the meta-narrative regarding the artificial nature of the Ukrainian state.

Ukraine will be broken into pieces, but it will also be supported to seize new territories

NEWS: “I admit that I talk a lot with people outside the country's borders. If more parliamentarians had agreed to go to the Russian Embassy, ​​they could have had a normal discussion, they would have understood what’s in between the lines. They present some points of view from which conclusions can be drawn. It was interesting at an event where I was curious to see what it meant. I learned that there was an extensive Polish Empire that occupied a large part of Russia. Talking with parliamentarians from Poland and Hungary, I understood that the war in Ukraine opens up the possibility of territorial recovery.

Why is this so? Talking to military analysts over the course of months, why are the Russians afraid of the Polish Empire? They owned a large part and spread out, it was a dictatorial occupation. How could Ukraine be part of that? Given Zelensky's behavior, what he does is not to the advantage of Ukraine, but to the advantage of the US. Ukraine will break into pieces and everyone will feed on it. The plan to destroy Romania and divide it into several parts is being negotiated right now. Ukraine is supported to recover territories that have never historically belonged to it, to want Crimea, but we who can prove we have always had them are not supported but defamed. The Nazi empire has been rebuilt in Ukraine. And it’s not just me who sees it, a lot of educated people agree with me. The legal procedures are simple”.

NARRATIVES: 1. Romania is on the brink of extinction, threatened by the future Polish-Ukrainian federation. 2. Ukraine is an artificial state, made up of territories stolen from other countries. 3. Poland wants to recover its territories from the time of the Polish-Lithuanian union, including some that are today part of the Russian Federation.

CONTEXT: In an interview given last week, the independent Senator Diana Şoşoacă explained the reasons why she submitted to Parliament two extremely controversial bills, demanding   the annexation of several territories that used to belong to Romania and are currently part of Ukraine  and the start of negotiations on the union with the Republic of Moldova . The senator's explanations abound in false information and distorted historical facts, similar to those used by Moscow propaganda to justify the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Talks of a potential Polish-Ukrainian Federation appeared in the public space of the two countries in the summer of last year. Analysts say that the reason for that is the nostalgia of some conservative Poles for the Republic of the Two Nations, a Polish-Lithuanian state union that existed between the 16th and 18th centuries. It is often idealized in Polish culture, due to the political power it represented in Europe at the time, and due to its multinational character, even voices from the progressive-multicultural are supporting its re-editing. But the idea of ​​a Polish-Ukrainian state has also been fueled by Moscow, in order to justify its propaganda thesis according to which Poland wants the annexation of its former territories that are now part of Ukraine – according to the theory regarding the artificial nature of the Ukrainian state, promoted to justify Russia's territorial claims against its neighbor.

Diana Şoșoacă, known for her anti-Ukrainian positions, has interpreted the idea in her own, very personal way.  As a pretext, she uses a statement by the Polish President Andrzej Duda from early April 2023, reinforcing Poland's commitment to fully support Ukraine in its defense war, identical to the one used in May 2022, who said that  “there will be no more borders” between Poland and Ukraine . Moreover, in addition to the propaganda disinformation claiming that Warsaw will annex Ukrainian territories , or that Zelensky will cede the Lviv region to Poland, already debunked in Veridica’s pages, Soșoacă comes up with a new scenario, in which Romania's territory will be divided - it is not known exactly who will get what - and Ukraine, after losing significant parts of its territory, will receive in compensation territories that never belonged to it.

In March 2023, the Robert Lansing Institute think tank claimed that Diana Șoșoacă had connections with the Russian military intelligence  and that the most recent GRU operation in Romania has been the very bill submitted by the senator, regarding the annexation of a part of the territory of Ukraine. In addition, the senator from Iasi is known to be close to the Russian ambassador to Bucharest, whose invitations she has honored every time. During one of her visits to the Kremlin's representative office, on February 10, the senator celebrated with him  “Russia’s humanitarian mission in the regions of Donbas, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.”

PURPOSE:  To encourage anti-Western sentiments by exploiting the fear of a part of the population that Romania's borders could be redrawn in an unfavorable way, to amplify anti-Ukrainian and pro-Russian sentiments, to capitalize on a potential social uprising for electoral purposes.

The inviolability of borders, the fundamental principle of European peace

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: Since the Second World War, with the exception of the Yugoslav wars, the borders of the European states, recognized by the entire international community, have been defined peacefully, through negotiations between the parties involved (the dismantling of the USSR, the unification of Germany, the dissolution of the Czechoslovak federation). Even in the absurd event of the creation of a new state through the union of Poland and Ukraine, which would have territorial claims on other countries, the respective territories could only enter its composition with the consent of the concerned states or by triggering an armed conflict. However, our country's membership in NATO strongly discourages such a scenario, especially since Poland is also a member of the Alliance.

Poland has become a target of Russian propaganda because it is the most vocal of all Ukraine's neighbors when it comes to fighting Russia’s aggression and supporting Kyiv's defensive efforts. In fact, the only source of information indicated by Senator Șoșoacă to defend her statements is that of the “points of view” expressed in the discussions held at the headquarters of the Russian embassy in Bucharest. Moscow’s “points of view” regarding the Romanian territory have been well known since 2017, when Putin presented the former Moldovan president Igor Dodon with a map of Greater Moldova, during the latter’s visit to the Kremlin.

It should be noted that Russia is the main European state that has disputed the borders after the Second World War and those drawn with the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the USSR. Russia has torn off pieces of the territory of other countries and established phantom territorial formations, which only exist due to the strength of the Russian army and the money sent from Moscow: Transnistria and Gagauzia in the Republic of Moldova, Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea in Ukraine, aggressions that preceded the war started on February 24, 2022, which has so far resulted in the annexation of four Ukrainian provinces, the aforementioned Donetsk and Luhansk (previously only supported) as well as Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. All four were annexed although not entirely under the control of the Russian forces.

The territorial integrity and borders of Ukraine were recognized, according to international treaties, by the entire international community. In fact, through the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, Russia - along with the United States and Great Britain - offered security guarantees to Ukraine, which accepted, in return, to give up the nuclear arsenal it had inherited from the Soviet Union. A discussion about Ukraine's borders cannot be held, in the era of the supremacy of international law, except at the initiative of Ukraine. The fact that certain provinces of today's Ukraine were part of the territory of other countries is not reason enough to declare this country artificial, and the Ukrainian people, a branch of the Russian one.

And since when it comes to territorial abductions we invoke the past, obviously we cannot ignore the fact that between 1918 and 1920, Ukraine included both the Crimean peninsula and the area of the Rostov-on-Don city and the Taman peninsula up to the border with Georgia, and Russia had no access to the Black Sea. In fact, this thesis is one of Moscow’s favorites when trying to justify its aggression against Ukraine. Veridica has several times debunked this false narrative,  exported by the Kremlin to the countries bordering Ukraine, both to get international support and to  maintain a conflict situation between Ukraine and its borders.

Since the beginning of the war, Poland has repeatedly affirmed its support for Ukraine strictly in the sense of material and military aid, denying any intention to annex territories that are now part of Ukraine. The fact that the medieval Polish-Lithuanian state (which Diana Șoșoacă was surprised to find about just now) included, at one point, the Smolensk region, today part of Russia, does not mean at all that Warsaw would have territorial claims against Moscow, posing a threat to it. Furthermore, contrary to what  the  unaffiliated senator says, the medieval Polish state was not an empire, and by the standards of those times, by no means dictatorial.

Moreover, the Polish-Lithuanian state union is even considered a forerunner of democracy and constitutional monarchy, but also of federalism, in which the two states forming the federation were officially equal. The Union is known for the second written constitution in the world, as well as for a relative religious tolerance, which allowed Orthodoxy for the lower class, but only accepted Catholics among the nobility. In fact, the narrative in question is nothing more than a reformulation of the thesis that Russia sees itself as a victim of Western expansion  having to fight a  “new war for the defense of the fatherland”.

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