Igor Boțan: Most of citizens of Russia are victims of propaganda

The coming to the Republic of Moldova of a considerable number of Russians citizens who flee form mobilization can lead to provocations in society, expert Igor Boțan stated in a public debate hosted by IPN. According to the expert, Moldova’s modest potential and the overlapping crises do not allow hosting a large number of Russians citizens as refugees or asylum seekers.

According to Igor Boțan, the Moldovan authorities cannot ban the Russian citizens who flee from Vladimir Putin’s mobilization to come to the Republic of Moldova if they didn’t break the law. But a new wave of foreigners on the country’s territory can generate additional problems in society.

“The authorities of the Republic of Moldova should primarily take care of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova. We now have 80,000 to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees towards whom we have obligations in accordance with international law. We must find jobs for them, places for their children at kindergartens. With our modest potential, with a series of overlapping crises, with provocations caused by political parties that stole billions and now take the people to the streets, we must see what we can do for those who flee Russia. My attitude is positive towards the Russian citizens who flee the war. We do not have reasons to ban the Russians citizens from coming to the Republic of Moldova without asking for political asylum or the status of refugee,” stated Igor Boțan.

According to the expert, the Russians citizens’ attitude to the policy pursued by Vladimir Putin is explicable amid the propaganda that dominates all the information sources in Russia. Even if most of the Russian citizens are victims of disinformation, a large part of the Russian intellectuality condemns the Russian military aggression.

“The Russian intellectuals consider the collective blame exists. Before the Russian aggression, the Russian press disseminated articles that prepared public opinion for the aggression launched two months later with the intention of destabilizing the former Soviet space so as to later reconquer it and bring it into the empire. The goal to restore the empire hasn’t been hidden. Most of the Russian citizens are victims of the propaganda. This collective victim has a substratum and this substratum is the Russian literature,” said the standing expert of IPN’s project.

The Moldovan authorities reported that 3,802 Russians had entered Moldova since September 21, when the partial mobilization was announced in Russia, until October 7. Igor Boțan said that as our society is divided, a significant number of Russians in Moldova can cause new problems.

“There were multiple articles about how Putin restores the grandeur of the Russian nation. In pursuit of such a goal, they say they lost the cold war and now fight for the restoration of grandeur. In pursuit of this grandeur, we see aggression against Ukraine. We do not have potential to attract qualified personnel from the Russian Federation for them to develop roots here. Those who flee Russia now need a shelter for a period, until things calm down, and will then leave. But the coming of a significant number of Russians citizens can cause misunderstandings in society. The authorities should have a clear position in this regard and should make it public. I would feel inconvenient if the Russians citizens who flee from the war and reached the Republic of Moldova with difficulty were told at the airport to go back,” noted Igor Boțan.

The public debate entitled “About the Moldovan state’s and society’s attitude to persons who flee from mobilization in Russia, with and without Moldovan nationality” was the 263rd installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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