The Intelligence in Chisinau: Moldova is Kremlin's Next Target, Russia has Plan to Invade in early 2023
“The Russian army has prepared a plan to attack Moldova”, said the head of the Information and Security Service (SIS) of the country, Alexandru Musteata on TVR Moldova. According to the head of Moldovan intelligence, the attack is planned for the beginning of 2023.
Musteata explains that the Russian invasion of Moldova depends on the situation on the front in war-torn Ukraine.
"The Russian Federation plans to invade the Republic of Moldova in early 2023, but the implementation of this scenario depends on the development of the conflict in Ukraine. (...) The question is not ‘will it happen?’ but ‘when will it happen?’” commented the intelligence chief.
According to the head of the service, the Russians could use weapons to attack Moldova from the warehouses in the village of Cobasna, located in the separatist region of Transnistria.
According to the head of the SIS, a possible new Russian offensive in Ukraine would serve, among other things, to open a land corridor for Putin's army to pro-Russian Transnistria
On Saturday, Moldovan authorities announced that for the first time in the country's more than 30-year history, Chisinau will import gas that does not come from the Russian company Gazprom. The authorities have announced that they are cutting Gazprom and Moldova will no longer use the services of the Kremlin-linked company.
Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu explained that the decision of the Moldovan authorities to stop the supply of natural gas from Russia is related to politically motivated blackmail by the authorities of the gas supplier.
Spinu, who is the minister of infrastructure and regional development in the Moldovan government, recalled that in October the Russians cut the supply of natural gas to Moldova by more than 30 percent and also threatened to cut the amount of gas again in December.
With the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Moldova began to import natural gas from international markets, mainly from Romania. Previously, all gas supplies to Moldova came from Russia's Gazprom.
Moldova angers Russia by banning six TV channels
Moldova temporarily suspended six Russian TV channels because of "false information" about the country and the war in Ukraine.
The decision angered Russia, but also dealt a blow to the interests of fugitive politician and businessman Ilan Shor, whose party was behind pro-Russian protests in Chisinau this fall and boosted its popularity at a difficult time for the pro-European government.
From Israel, Shor supported the protests demanding that the government appointed by President Maia Sandu resign.
On Saturday, Russia condemned the decision as "political censorship". "We view this ban as an unprecedented act of political censorship, as an abuse of the principle of media pluralism and a gross violation of the right to free access to information, which the political leadership of the republic regularly declares to adhere to," said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
"In light of the unprecedented consequences of its implementation for the Russian-speaking part of the country's population, we also qualify it as a cynical violation of the rights of national minorities."
The ban came into effect at midnight and will last for the duration of the state of emergency Moldova declared after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 (it is currently due to last until February 2023, but has been renewed several times and is not out of the question to do it again). Among the six channels are some of the most popular in Moldova, with Shor owning three of them. Of the remaining two, they belong to close associates, and the last one sympathizes with him.
"Moldova must be protected from propaganda and lies," Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu wrote in Telegram. In his words, the six channels cover both Moldova and the war "in a biased and manipulative way".
One of the channels called the decision illegal and an unprecedented attack on freedom of speech.
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