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Russian influence in Romania: Pleșoianu, the ‘Manchurian candidate’

Liviu Pleşoianu [YouTube]

By Dan Alexe

This year, Romania will elect not only its future MEPs, but also, more importantly, its president.

It is no wonder that Russia takes a keen interest in the outcome of the elections, given Romania’s geopolitical importance. Not only does Romania host important elements of the anti-missile shield installed by the US in Eastern Europe, but Romania has also the biggest port in the Black Sea basin: Constanta. Moreover, Romania is historically, for Russia, a hostile neighbor.

Russia is thus putting a lot of effort into propaganda directed at the Romanians.

The first candidate to make a public announcement for the presidential election is the Socialist MP Liviu Pleşoianu, the Romanian politician who seems to be the most loved by Russia and who, in his turn, is very much promoted by Sputnik, the main vehicle for Russian propaganda in Romania.

A colourful figure, Pleşoianu insists he has the best chances to become president of Romania, because astrologers have predicted the victory of an Aquarius, and he is born in January.

Of course, Pleşoianu may indeed have many trump cards up his sleeve, including the protection of the stars, or the Russian propaganda, through Sputnik, which constantly publishes laudatory articles about him, calling him “one of the politicians of the new wave who proved balance, professionalism and originality”. The fact is that most of what we can find on the internet about such a baroque character comes mainly from the Russian propaganda platform Sputnik.

As in that classical Cold War novel about insidious political propaganda and brain washing, The Manchurian candidate, one finds, on the Sputnik platform, from the fist search, no less than 226 articles either about Plesoianu, or in which he is quoted favourably. Speaking in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Pleşoianu has thus pleaded for an understanding of Russia, and this was, of course, immediately applauded by Sputnik.

Pleşoianu is also the Socialist politician who demanded the expulsion of the US ambassador, who had criticized the ruthless way in which the ruling Socialists try to amend the function of the justice.

The hard work on promoting him started two years ago, through websites such as Alături de Liviu Pleșoianu (Together with Liviu Plesoianu, 40.000 members) or LIVIU PLESOIANU, PREȘEDINTE (10.000 members, a site allegedly created by simple people who love him and want him to become president). A simple, empirical verification shows that a vast majority of the Facebook accounts on both pages are fake.

It is obvious that the strategy of creating a character such as Liviu Pleşoianu’s is similar to the one applied in neighboring Ukraine, in view of the presidential elections at the end of March. In Ukraine too, the Kremlin is opposed to the main candidates, Petro Poroshenko and Yulia Tymoshenko, who are confronted with no less than 30 counter-candidates, philo-Russian outcasts, ultranationalists, or exalted anti-Western religious fanatics who preach, like Plesoianu in Romania, a rapproachment with Russia. It would seem legitimate to ask why Liviu Pleşoianu, who insists that he is of the traditional Christian Orthodox faith, is also promoting astrology in support of his candidacy.

The answer resides in the large strategy of undermining what is left of the social cohesion and national Romanian identity. In order to undermine it, it is necessary to throw in religion and occultism and everything that is irrational: astrology, homeopathy, rejection of vaccines, hate of the West, anti-Semitism, pilgrimages to shrines, in order to arrive at the destruction of everything that is logical and still holds together the social fabric in Romania.

Another horoscope, another pilgrimage – a new blow for the West!

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