Opinion: It’s worrying two-thirds of Moldovans think you can talk with terrorists

Moldova must secure its infospace, as a large part of the population are still victims of Russian propaganda, suggest the columnist Alecu Reniță and Valeriu Pașa, policy expert with the Moldovan think tank Watchdog Community.

According to a recent poll on national and regional security, 44.1% of Moldovans think that neutrality is the best solution for Moldova’s security. Another 12.2% think EU membership would be the better option. At the same time, if Russia were to attack Moldova, a whopping 67% say that “we should engage in dialogue” with the intruder, while only 17.9% respondents say that the Moldovans should stand up and defend their country, “weapons in hand”.

“The recently published poll reveals a massive misunderstanding of the situation. We have a society that imagines that when missiles land on you, the first thing you do, you engage in dialogue with those who launched them. The fact that 67% of Moldovans say that they can talk with terrorists shows a serious distortion. We must have a law on information security. These huge distortions we see in public perceptions are directly related to how our infospace is protected. Today we have to recognize that collective mentalities in Moldova are being shaped by Russian propaganda”, Alecu Reniță said during a show on TVR Moldova.

However, according to the same poll, 36.8% of respondents believe that Vladimir Putin is to blame for the war in Ukraine, and 17.5% point the finger at the U.S.

“There is a lot of confusion in the minds of Moldovans. Because there is little education on international matters. Here, people are locked in a bubble of the information space, as if everything happens only in Moldova, as if there are no important events outside. The Kremlin-sponsored media has always been one of propaganda. A significant part of Moldovans are exposed to this propaganda. We see what is happening in Gagauzia. In terms of opinions and visions held, the autonomy is rather part of the Russian Federation than of the Republic of Moldova. This is because of propaganda and the lack of a state policy of integration. If you don’t integrate ethnic minorities into a common infospace, what kind of political and social integration can we talk about?”, said the Watchdog expert Valeriu Pașa.

Published on Wednesday, the poll was conducted by the Platform for Security and Defense Initiatives, in cooperation with CBS-Research, and with the financial support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

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