In this respect, the pro-Kremlin propaganda continues to present Russia as a state that prioritizes the health of its citizens and performs efficiently:
“We can observe how the situation with the epidemic of coronavirus in the world is developing. In many countries, the number of cases continues to increase … Thanks to measures taken in advance, we are able to restrain the wide and rapid spread of the disease”, – according to the Russian president.
It is also a country that has a 7.4 time lower COVID-19 death rate than the world average rate and manages to react and adapt to the changing environment. Russia is revealed as a prolific research hub following its continuous efforts to develop/discover vaccines to COVID-19. Moreover, Russia is believed to have the capacity to resist the next waves of coronavirus, considering its efficient and consolidated infrastructure.
Putin: The COVID-19 situation is stabilizing. We have to consolidate the results.
Russia proposed 8 potential vaccines for COVID-19
Kremlin: The second wave of Covid-19 cannot be excluded. However, Russia is prepared.
Locally speaking, Russia is presented as a country that will continue to help its partners even after the COVID-19 pandemic is gone. Unlike Europe, which is said to have its borders closed in the future, Russia is interested in helping the Moldovan labour market by offering jobs to migrant workers. Complementarly, the current pro-Russian authorities in Moldova are promoted as good managers of the crisis and the same „brilliant” performance would have been impossible if the country were led by the pro-European opposition.
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Sputnik.md and Kp.md operate as Kremlin’s spokesmen in praising Russia’s organizational and infrastructure capacities in fighting coronavirus.
Main pro-Socialist media outlets Accent TV and NTV capitalize on Russia’s capacity to help its partners amid a tough situation at home.
The Socialist president of the Republic of Moldova has been expressing his pro-Russian views as in the party controlled media, as well as on his social media account. As can be inferred from his Facebook posts, he is prioritizing Russia’s and China’s help in the fight against coronavirus over other countries that contributed such as the EU, Romania, the US, Turkey, Switzerland. On his social media account one can easily notice a predilection for Russian state personalities.
“Russia provided the AN-124 aircraft free of charge, which transported 53 tons of cargo we needed so much from China: tests, masks, and protective equipment” – Dodon emphasized.
The Russian ambassador and the Moldovan Health Minister
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.
Even though Russia boasts around about its efficiency in tackling coronavirus, non-governmental media point out that a fake is being propagated. TV Rain explored the topic in an interview with a renowned Russian journalist and civic activist. Thus, the situation in Russia is said to be worse as the official statistics cannot be trusted (some say that in Moscow the official statistics do present the reality as the Moscow administration was exposed to pressure to be transparent from civil society and journalists). In remote regions there is lack of proper medical devices, as well as lack of human resources. It is rather the media and the PR at the regional and federal level that are doing their work well by presenting the situation in the colors the Kremlin wants to. As of June 2020, Russia ranks third in the world in the number of coronavirus infected.