Russian hybrid warfare threatening to topple the government of Moldova

Moldova does not currently under “imminent military danger”, but is vulnerable to “hybrid warfare manufactured by Russia” in an effort to “overthrow state power”, according to its defence minister Anatolie Nosatii.

Moldova is in a hazardous geographic and political position within Europe, bordering Ukraine and sharing a border with the breakaway territory of Transnistria, which is governed by Russia.

One of the poorest countries in Europe, the situation there has gotten worse since the start of the conflict in Ukraine as a result of the ongoing energy crisis. High levels of public unhappiness frequently result in disorderly large-scale protests.

Authorities believe that Russian meddling is to blame for the ongoing anti-government protests that have occurred since the formation of a new, pro-Western government in February.

In fact, Moldovan police claim that on Sunday they discovered a plan by operatives sponsored by Moscow to incite widespread unrest during a rally.

Anatolie Nosatii, Moldova’s defense minister, claimed that Russia threatens the country: “I’m referring to a hybrid conflict. It takes the shape of fake news and disinformation, which are mirrored in the tensions in our society and were created by Russia in an effort to alter the political system, cause instability, and usurp state authority”.

After meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Munich, Moldova’s president, Maia Sandu, stated that her country would be open to joining the political alliance.

According to Anatolie Nosatii, working with NATO and “deepening” relationships, as they have done over the last year, is the “priority” at the moment.

Transnistria, a narrow strip of land between the Dniester River and the Moldovan-Ukrainian border that is recognized internationally as Moldovan but is under Russian authority, is the source of Moldova’s vulnerability to Russian influence.

Anatolie Nosatii reiterated Moldova’s request for a “unconditional departure of Russian armed forces that are illegally stationed in Moldovan territory” in an interview with AFP.

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