Russian Federation is promoted as a country that will cooperate with and support any partner countries that will ask for help to fight the pandemic. The narrative is propulsated by Russian public figures such as Sergey Lavrov – the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Lavrov underlines the importance of cooperation instead of taking advantage of the pandemic for geopolitical purposes unlike other states. In this context, propaganda reveals that some EU and NATO countries would like to receive help from Russia, but are prevented from doing so because of allies’ pressures.
Russia will not refuse anyone in the fight against coronavirus
Humanitarian aid to the Republic of Moldova
Specifically, the humanitarian aid provided to the Republic of Moldova by the Russian Federation has benefited from an overwhelming spin by pro-Kremlin media. Russia is promoted as one of the first countries to lend a helping hand to Moldova. Continuously and unconditionally, Russia keeps sending to Moldova tens of thousands of express tests, mobile laboratories, specialists to assist Moldovan doctors and the number of medical suppliers is on rise, even though Russia is facing a precarious situation too. The pro-Russian discourse refers to Russian help as a gift to the fraternal and friendly Moldovan people.
Russia offered a plane for free to deliver humanitarian aid to Moldova
A plane with humanitarian aid provided by Putin at the request of Dodon is on its way from China to Moldova
Humanitarian aid to the West
Complementarly, pro-Russian propaganda in Moldova points out Russia’s capacity to be present in more countries and prove its support and goodwill everywhere, even in the hostile West.
People in Moldova learnt that Russia sent military and military doctors in Serbia to do their best to fight coronavirus, sent a plane with humanitarian aid to the US which was received warmly by the US president, and lent a helping hand to Italy which faced one of the most severe escalations of the disease.
Russia sends military to Serbia to combat COVID-19
Russia will help the United States (at Trump’s request)
Russia lends a helping hand to Italy
Russia and humanitarian aid in separatist regions
Russian propaganda tries to underline the Transnistrian region’s independence in terms of medical supplies and facilities in its fight with coronavirus. The narratives focused on showing that it is specifically Russia that provides help to the affected region by sending experts to consult doctors in the region. Additionally, it benefits from the generosity of Russian entrepreneurs – members of Business Russia organization that is involved in the Russian policy-making process – and receives two multi-channel COVID-19 testers and 3000 simple tests.
“Tests sent as Russian humanitarian aid are of high quality. Responsible services are entrusted to ensure their safety and accounting” – according to the press-service of the Tiraspol leadership.
Transnistria is negotiating with the Russian Federation on assistance for the fight against coronavirus
Transnistrian and Russian doctors on the fight against coronavirus
The classic Russian media messengers that operate in ex-Soviet countries prove a very prolific activity in promoting and highlighting Russia’s help and goodwill to its partners and any other countries that request help. Examples: Sputnik.md (Russian and Romanian), RTR Moldova.
Pro-government media outlets
Pro-government media outlets represent paralel the Socialist Party’s Russian propaganda. Websites such as Accent TV, Argumenty i Fakty (Arguments and Facts), and NTV praise the incumbent government’s efforts and Dodon’s special relation to Russia and Putin. As a rule, they use a friendly and familiar tone when presenting any Russia related narrative.
Dodon: The first country to offer substantial help is Russia and I am grateful to Putin for that
The Secretariat of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly supports the Republic of Moldova in the fight against “COVID-19”
The President of the Republic of Moldova – Igor Dodon – is a pro-Russian politician, leader of the Party of Socialists which pleads for stronger ties with Russia. His views are expressed within the media outlets that he controls (Accent TV, Arguments and Facts, NTV). He describes that a close cooperation with Russia is advantageous to both sides and Russia is always willing to support the Republic of Moldova.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Ion Chicu, is following the party’s policy on putting Russia’s efforts and help first in combating the disease. In a post he published on Facebook on the financial aid received from the EU, he took advantage of the opportunity to mention that this help came after the IMF and Russian Federation’s contributions. Thus, magnifying and prioritizing Russia in the race with the EU.
Chicu thanked Russia for the help provided to Moldova in the fight against COVID-19
The Pro-Russian rhetoric is available in Romanian and Russian (more information is available in Russian). It covers the entire country, Transnistrian region included – as a fertile ground for maintaining and disseminating pro-Russian perspectives. The rhetoric appeals to potential pro-Russian and pro-socialist electorate considering that 2020 is an electoral year in the Republic of Moldova.
Russian Federation is one among other countries that helped Moldova in the fight against coronavirus. The European Union has allocated to the Republic of Moldova 87 million euros to overcome the crisis, which supplement the funds totaling 140 million euros, which were allocated by the EU to all Eastern Partnership countries in the regional assistance program.