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Authorities in Chişinău have announced the dismantling of a network coordinated from Moscow whose aim was to destabilize the situation in the Republic of Moldova
Part of Moscow's sphere of influence not long ago, the Republic of Moldova is being presently ruled by authorities firmly oriented towards the country's European integration.
Protest actions, which have invoked social aspects such as poverty or the latest price hikes, have been directed against these pro-European authorities for months now. However, the aforementioned protest actions aren't large-scale events, involving the participation of a large number of people, but according to investigators, those involved do not believe in the principles they sustain, but are actually paid.
The money they get is suspected to have been provided by the party of the controversial pro-Russian oligarch, Ilan Shor, who in 2017 got a 7 years-and-a-half prison sentence for fraud and money-laundering and is allegedly hiding in Israel.
Several suchlike meetings have been staged since last autumn, and the latest took place on Sunday, the day when the authorities in Chisinau announced they had dismantled a network coordinated from Moscow, whose aim was to destabilize the situation in the Republic of Moldova. The network consisted of 10 groups of up to 10 people, who were supposed to create chaos during the protest rallies held in Chisinau during the weekend. The groups were coordinated by a representative of the special services from the Russian Federation and got orders through people with double citizenship, Russian and Moldovan. The head of the General Police Commissioners' Office in the Republic, Viorel Cernăuţeanu, presented several video and audio recordings as well as fragments of correspondence in an attempt to prove the involvement of Russian nationals in the process of destabilizing the mass demonstrations in Chişinău. 25 suspects have been questioned and seven detained. According to Cernăuţeanu, there is a direct connection between Moscow coordinators, the Russian private military company Wagner and the recently-dismantled network. Only a day before the Sunday's protests, the anti-corruption prosecutors in Chişinău announced that following the searches conducted at the headquarters of Shor's party, the equivalent in local currency of 230 thousand euros have been sized, money for paying the protesters. The searches have been conducted in several localities and at the houses of those suspected of being involved in actions aimed at destabilizing the political situation in the Republic of Moldova and instating of a pro-Russia government.
During the searches, policemen have also discovered handcuffs, marijuana-based substances, communication and data-storage devices.
Those under investigation are men with ages between 23 and 50, who had previously served various court sentences. Some of these have recently returned from Turkey, where, according to the Moldovan secret services, were trained how to oppose the riot police and use pyrotechnical materials and weapons during the protest rallies. The aforementioned investigations have been carried out amid the latest allegations from Washington that Moscow has been trying to destabilize the Republic of Moldova with a view to instating a more Russian-friendly administration.
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