Over the past three days, the sheer volume of “reports” from pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian sources has been overwhelming, much of it hyperbolic, exaggerated, and/or downright false.
For every one story you hear in the “regular” media in English, there are about 50 to 100 reports flying back and forth on pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian social media channels, and there is no way in hell I’ve got the time to monitor all of them and write up a summary.
What I can say, however, is that there is a clear split between what the Empire media, particularly in Romania, is showing and what the reality is on the ground. All of the Empire’s media (which includes 100% of Romanian news) are clearly and unambiguously sectarian in support of literally anything and everything that makes Ukraine look good and Russia look bad.
Interestingly, in Moldova, all the Romanian-language channels are carrying pure Empire stories while the Russian-language channels are far more balanced. As a result, the Moldovan SIS (think “CIA” or Romania’s SRI) has shut down two news channels for “spreading hate,” which is a fucking joke.
One of the websites shut down was Gagauz News, which isn’t likely to help the continuing tension between the underrepresented Gagauz people in Moldova and the central government. They literally just pulled the plug on these websites directly from their DNS listing, all without a trial or court order, because Moldova is now in a “state of emergency.”
To give you an idea about the propaganda war being fought, here is the kind of thing that’s going on incessantly. In the story (see picture at the top of this post), a “Ukrainian” father breaks down crying as he kisses his daughter (wearing a pink coat) goodbye before going “off to fight the Russians.”
Yet you can tell it’s a lie by this admission:
She [the child] begins crying loudly too as they embrace one more time before she and the woman board a bus, presumably heading away from the fighting toward a safety zone.
It’s not known where exactly the video was filmed.
First, there are no “safety zones” right now in Ukraine.
Secondly, the fucking video was filmed in Gorlovka (also spelled Horlivka) and published ten days ago by the mayor of the city. The child in question is boarding a bus for evacuation to Russia because the family lives in Donbass, the independent/separate people’s republic, not Ukraine.
I literally confirmed this after about five minutes of searching. But hey, such is the “quality” of journalism these days – profiting off the misery of the same victims that they’re trying to kill!
Another story making the rounds in Empire media (especially in Romania 🇷🇴) concerns the story of how Snake Island fell to Russian forces.
Supposedly, 13 heroic Ukrainian defenders told a nearby Russian warship to “fuck off/go to hell” before getting killed.
However, Russian media clearly showed the 82 (not 13) Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered. They even did an interview with a couple of them.
So, which is right? Video reports of actual people talking or unsubstantiated rumors without any photos or video?
I can’t say for sure, as I was not there, but I can say the general consensus amongst the channels I’ve seen is that Ukraine is winning the war on Twitter while Russia is winning the war on the ground.
The only fact that I can reliably report is that the Empire is busy as hell censoring, blocking, restricting, demonetizing, and deplatforming as many pro-Russian media sources as they can around the world, even in places like Australia. Meanwhile, Russia has not made a move to block access to pro-Ukrainian websites or media.
Thousands of Ukrainian “refugees” continue to stream into Romania, Moldova, and Pridnestrovie. Again, I truly feel sorry for ordinary civilians caught up in a combat zone, but I am not convinced that every “refugee” is actually a real refugee.
In Moldova, there seems to be a genuine outpouring of sympathy and help from the people. Collection centers have been set up for donated items, and there’s even a fund you can contribute money to. And the government (especially President Sandu) is constantly bragging about how helpful they are.
In Romania, it seems like most everything is being done by the government. They even waived all of the normal paperwork requirements, allowing Ukrainians to cross over without a passport, without any Covid tests/proof, and without any papers even for their animals. I literally never thought I’d see a day when Romania stopped being utter assholes about paperwork.
In Moldova, everyone speaks Russian, as do all of the refugees, so everything seems to be going quite swimmingly.
Unfortunately, those poor Ukrainians in Romania (aside from those who made it to Sighetu Marmatiei, the only city in the country with a sizeable Ukrainian population already) are going to find out really quickly that Romanians are racist assholes who treat all foreigners like shit, especially ones who don’t speak Romanian.
Let’s check back in six months and see how well those Ukrainians are being treated in Romania, is all I’m saying.
Note: I haven’t written about immigration issues in Romania for several years, and yet I still get one or two emails per week from folks asking for advice and help as they get persecuted by those evil fuckers in Romanian Immigration.
Unfortunately, over in Moldova, while the people are genuinely compassionate and want to help the refugees, the commercial banks (one of which is owned by a Romanian firm) got caught doing some really shady shit (🇲🇩).
Officially, the exchange rate between the Moldovan leu (MDL) and the Ukrainian hryvna (UAH) is 1 MDL to 0.6 UAH. In other words, if you have 100 UAH, you should get 60 MDL in return.
However, the commercial banks in Moldova unilaterally decided to only offer ONE MDL for every 100 UAH, or sixty times less than they should. This is an obvious robbery of all the refugees who showed up with nothing but Ukrainian currency in their pockets (as opposed to dollars/euros, which a lot of people in this part of the world keep at home).
I haven’t seen anything similar going on in Romania, but I do know that UAH is almost impossible to change anywhere in the country aside from a few border areas. So far, I haven’t heard about any refugees stuck, unable to convert their hryvnia, but I’m sure it’s happening.
Meanwhile, Moldova is (so far) adhering to its neutral status, and has not imposed any sanctions or restrictions on either the Russian government or Russian companies (except for pulling the plug on Sputnik.md, a Russian government media company).
But Romania is going hog-wild, trying to ban and sanction everything Russian, including calls to completely ban all Russian citizens and block all Russian companies (even independent ones) from doing business in the country.
One last thing – here’s a photo posted by the PMR government of the food being served to Ukrainian refugees. Looks like some kind of juice (tomato?) to drink, two kinds of bread, a sausage, some form of pasta, pickled beets, a cucumber and tomato salad, and some kind of soup (with chicken and dumplings? not sure).
Not exactly my cup of tea, but then again, I’m not Ukrainian, am I? :)