Russia shows interest in the socio-political situation in the Republic of Moldova because the country shares a border with Ukraine, including the Transnistrian region. Historian Serghei Erlih suggests that the Kremlin is attempting to destabilize Moldova through various elements of hybrid warfare, including Russian propaganda and pro-Russian groups suspected of receiving funding from Russia, IPN notes.
According to Serghei Erlih, Russia has intensified its propaganda in Moldova, promoting similar messages as in Ukraine. Moscow emphasizes anti-NATO rhetoric in both Ukraine and Moldova, claiming that politicians in Chisinau and Kiev serve the interests of other states, and that NATO triggered the conflict in Ukraine.
Erlih believes that Moldova may not be at the forefront of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s and Russian propaganda’s attention, but it holds peripheral interest due to its proximity to Ukraine and the Transnistrian region, which some consider as Russian territory. Russian propaganda goes further by suggesting that the conflict is not with Ukraine but with NATO. Erlih also mentions that the stakes in modern conflicts are more economic, but Putin’s mindset seems rooted in the territorial struggles of World War II.
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He also points out that Russia relies on groups led by Ilan Shor in Moldova, with suspicions that their activities are financed by the Kremlin.
To counter Russian propaganda and disinformation, the authorities in Chisinau suspended broadcasting licenses for six TV stations during a state of emergency to protect the national information space and prevent the spread of false information or attempts to manipulate public opinion.