Russia looking to oust Moldova leader Sandu through paid protests, says Chisinau journalist
Police block a street during an anti-government protest in Chisinau, Moldova. October 23, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/Vladislav Culiomza)
Russian security services are working to undermine Moldova’s pro-Western government, staging numerous pro-Russian protests in the past five weeks, Alina Radu, editor of Moldovan investigative news outlet Ziarul de Garda, told Radio NV on Oct. 29.
"Russia has been doing all that for 30 years in Moldova and, I think, in Ukraine, Georgia, and other post-Soviet states,” Radu said.
“Of course, after the war Russia unleashed in Ukraine, they want things to go bad for Moldova, because it may give them some chance or opportunity to surround Ukraine from our side.”
However, over the past five weeks, there have been numerous, aggressive protests in the national capital of Chisinau. Radu notes that they come out with slogans calling for the removal of pro-Western President Maia Sandu from power in order to let Russia supply gas to the country:
"It is clear that Russia is convincing the opposition and somehow threatening that Moldova will get frozen if this government remains in place; and Moldova will have a very cosy supply of gas if this government leaves."
Radu noted that while the protests did not attract large crowds, they have managed to make the headlines in the European country. Ziarul de Garda found the protests odd and therefore conducted their own investigation.
"We found out how all those people got paid,” the journalist said.
“It is, of course, terrible. This is not a protest for democracy, it's just the screams of some people who are paid every day to go to the center of the capital and shout that they want to be friends with Russia.”
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