After revelations last week that Moscow was allegedly attempting to destabilize the country, tensions have been running high in Moldova, a pro-Western nation.
The impoverished former Soviet republic of 2.6 million people, sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, is currently dealing with a number of challenges that have been made worse by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
President Maia Sandu of Moldova said on Monday that Russia was attempting to violently overturn her government by using saboteurs who were dressed as protestors. Russia refuted these charges.
The claimed Moscow plan would also include “attacks on state institutions and hostage snatching.”
Since Russia has been attacking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, Moldova is already dealing with an energy crisis, and tensions have risen as a result of missile overflights related to the conflict in Ukraine.
“Moldova is under hybrid attacks,” the country’s new Prime Minister Dorin Recean said Thursday.
“We fought against these threats last autumn, but a new, stronger wave is just beginning,” he warned.
Since then, security measures have been strengthened.
Due to a “unidentified flying object” on Tuesday, Moldova’s airspace was briefly shut down. On Thursday, a football game was staged behind closed doors due to concerns that agitators might mix with Serbian fans.
“Russia is flexing its muscles and this latest attempt is probably the most serious one” since the beginning of the war, said Stefan Wolff, an expert on post-Soviet societies and professor at the University of Birmingham.