Bloomberg: Russia is strategizing a series of “hybrid” assaults targeted at Moldova

Reports indicate that Russia is strategizing a series of “hybrid” assaults targeted at Moldova in the lead-up to its forthcoming presidential election and referendum on European Union accession later this year, as per individuals acquainted with UK intelligence evaluations.

Britain intends to collaborate with Moldovan authorities, sharing intelligence to assist them in countering the perceived threat posed by Russian agents in the upcoming months will counter with intelligence shared by Britain with Moldovan authorities, as revealed by these individuals who, for confidentiality reasons, choose to remain anonymous when discussing sensitive issues. On Tuesday, Moldova’s Foreign Minister, Mihai Popsoi, is slated to convene with UK Europe Minister Nusrat Ghani in London to address concerns regarding “subversive Russian meddling,” alongside a scheduled meeting between defense ministers from both nations, as stated by the British Foreign Office, Bloomberg reports.

Despite repeated denials from Moscow regarding interference in the electoral affairs of other nations, including Moldova, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented that Moldovan officials’ public criticisms against Russia have become a regular event.

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Popsoi, in an interview last week, underscored that the Kremlin employs an array of tactics, ranging from AI-generated deep fakes to financial incentives, to undermine democracy in Moldova.

“Moldova is sort of a petri dish of Russian hybrid warfare and election meddling,” he warned, adding: “What we see in Moldova now will most likely be deployed in upcoming elections in our partner countries in the West.”

Since the early 1990s, Russia has upheld a continuous presence in Moldova by stationing Russian troops in the breakaway region of Transnistria.

The UK’s efforts mark the latest initiative in expanding intelligence-sharing on electoral interference beyond its Group of Seven allies. Moldova has faced mounting pressure since the onset of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine more than two years ago, marked by a series of cyber-attacks targeting governmental communications.

Last month, Moldova’s intelligence chief, Alexandru Musteata, issued a warning about Moscow’s anticipated campaign characterized by “unprecedented intensity,” citing intelligence indicating Russia’s intent to disrupt both the upcoming presidential election and EU referendum this year.

Moldova’s pro-European President, Maia Sandu, is poised to vie for a second term in the election scheduled for October, coinciding with the referendum on EU accession.

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