Moldova spy chief: The chief of intelligence for Moldova, Alexandru Musteață, stated that Russia had spent almost one billion lei, or $55.5 million, to try to overthrow the country’s democratic government and instigate unrest.
In a statement to the media, Alexandru Musteață claimed that Russia had attempted to sway the results of the municipal elections in Moldova by working with a criminal gang under the direction of the wanted oligarch, Ilan Shor.
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According to the head of Moldova’s Information and Security Service (ISS), Shor’s group has specifically spent over 90 million Moldovan lei ($5 million) in the last two months to bribe voters and unlawfully support a political party connected to Shor.
ISS data indicates the preparation and implementation on the territory of Moldova, starting in the second half of 2022, of a diversionary scenario of foreign interference to forcibly overthrow the democratic government and seize political control by criminal groups subordinate to other countries,” Alexandru Musteață said.
He claimed that those who are behind this initiative are connected to Russian organizations that handle political strategy, as well as to President Vladimir Putin’s administration and Russian intelligence services.
Alexandru Musteață claims that Shor is destabilizing Moldova using several political parties, notably the Ęansă (Chance) party.
“Together with other law enforcement agencies, a large-scale operation has been uncovered, the purpose of which is to influence electoral processes, including through the hidden financing of the election campaign of the Șansă party. This amount exceeded 90 million lei. It has been confirmed that most of the money came from abroad, in particular from Russia,” the ISS chief stated.
He asserted that Vladimir Plahotniuc, the fugitive oligarch, is supporting Shor’s criminal enterprise. Furthermore, Alexandru Musteață charged that candidates for the Şansă party had promised to implement several social and infrastructure projects with the help of Igal Shved, a dual Russian-Israeli citizen.
The amount of funding allegedly transferred by the ‘sponsor’ Igal Shved is €1,032,737 and $280,000. The investigation established that the money was transferred to Shved’s accounts in Kazakhstan from Russia by Moldovan-Russian citizen Viktor Gutsulyak, who is closely associated with Ilan Shor and a Russian oligarch,” he added.
Mustyats said that the Central Election Commission, the National Anticorruption Center, and the Prosecutor General’s Office received a lengthy paper that the International Space Station (ISS) prepared about Russia’s attempts to subvert Moldova through Shor’s group.
- On the same date, November 3rd, the Moldovan Prime Minister announced that Șansă had been disqualified from participating in the local elections scheduled for November 5th.
- On September 16th, it was revealed that the head of Moldova, Sputnik was a career GRU spy, exposing Russia’s espionage activities in Moldova.
- According to The Times’ report on May 12th, there is an alleged Russian conspiracy to overthrow Moldova’s pro-Western government, purportedly orchestrated from the UK by former Moldovan police chief Gheorghe Cavcaliuc.
- An investigation on March 15th suggested that Russia has a plan to gain control over Moldova by 2030, primarily to thwart pro-NATO and pro-European influences, although not necessarily through annexation.
- On February 9th, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that Russia had been working to destabilize Moldova, a statement corroborated by Moldova’s intelligence service.