May 18, 2017  |  Updated July 11, 2018

Russian Propaganda Meets Romanian Nationalism

By Corina Rebegea

This article was originally published by CEPA.

The Kremlin’s arsenal of disinformation in Romania—and across southeastern Europe—includes narratives that are tightly connected with existing homegrown nationalist discourse. Many times this blurs the lines between various actors (pro-Russian trolls or Romanian right-wingers?) and their goals, which in the end provides a perfect camouflage for Russian propaganda.

Over the past 15 years, nationalism has become a rather marginal trend in Romania. With the nationalist Greater Romania Party (PRM) now out of the game, three groups have been pushed to the margins of public debate: the nativists (centered on ethnic concepts of Romanianness), the right-wingers (some harking back to the fascist movement between the two world wars) and the nationalists (of the irredentist or economic protectionist type). In the past few years, however, some of these tendencies have found their way back into the mainstream, through social media and the voices of some opinion leaders.

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