Amidst its large-scale war with Ukraine, Russia maintains a firm grip on its influence over the Republic of Moldova, as revealed by recent press investigations. These reports expose the Kremlin’s persistent efforts to maintain a presence in Moldova through influential groups. Individuals connected to Putin have engaged entities to manipulate Moldovan governance and citizens, with their ties to sanctioned organizations and persons suggesting a deep-seated involvement of Russia in Moldova’s internal affairs.
Both international and Moldovan media have recently highlighted the actions of this group, revealing their connections to individuals on the U.S. and European Union sanctions lists. Figures such as Konstantin Prokopyevici Sapozjnikov, Iuri Iurievici Makolov, Gleb Maksimovici Khloponin, Svetlana Andreevna Boyko, Aleksey Veaceslavovici Losev, Vasili Viktorovici Gromovikov, and Anna Travnikova have been involved in various activities aimed at undermining the Moldovan government. It’s noteworthy that some individuals from the aforementioned list were present in Igor Dodon’s 2020 electoral campaign.
Recently, the U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned Yuri Igorievici Gudilin, Olga Yurievna Grack, and Leonid Mihailovici Gonin for their efforts to influence the outcomes of elections in the Republic of Moldova. Additionally, the European Union imposed sanctions on individuals from Russia and Moldova, accusing them of actions against the Moldovan government.
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The group includes leaders like Konstantin Prokopyevici Sapozjnikov, involved in destabilization actions and associated with neo-Nazi organizations. Iuri Iurievici Makolov supported the logistical aspects of the plot against the Chisinau government, while Gleb Maksimovici Khloponin gathered information about the security of Moldovan government buildings.
Svetlana Andreevna Boyko, a high-ranking member of the group, managed the budget for destabilization attempts and actively promoted pro-Russian narratives. Other members such as Aleksey Veaceslavovici Losev and Anna Travnikova were involved in recognitions in Moldova and held businesses, such as the Perko Julleuchter ceramics workshop.
Vasili Viktorovici Gromovikov was implicated in financing destabilization operations, and the group had connections with the Material Evidence project and the Association of Journalists in the Struggle for Peace (AJKF), which granted journalists funds to promote pro-Russian narratives.
These revelations underscore a deep-seated involvement of the Russian Federation in the internal affairs of the Republic of Moldova, emphasizing the need for citizens to remain aware and vigilant.