Russia-Friendly Party Holds Protest in Moldova

Russia-Friendly Party Holds Protest in Moldova

( – Tensions are on the rise once more in Moldova after several thousand Russia-friendly activists staged a massive protest in front of Chisinau’s parliament building on February 1. Demanding the resignation of the “pro-Western” government led by the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) and President Maia Sandu, they are also calling for early elections.

The demonstration was primarily organized by the Russia Revival Party, which currently holds a total of four seats in Moldova’s legislature. It has emerged as a significant player in the country’s ongoing political unrest over the past six months.

Leaders from the notorious Shor Party also attended the protests. It previously held a total of six seats in the legislature but gained infamy last year after it was ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court of Moldova on June 19, 2023. At the time, lawmakers accused the Shor Party of attempting to destabilize the country.

Moldova was forced to contend with complex political dynamics from the very moment Russia invaded Ukraine. Conflicting opinions from citizens and pressure from political groups sparked heated debates, protests, and in some cases, violent demonstrations. Those efforts did not stop the government from making arrangements to take in over 120,000 Ukrainian refugees, the most per capita in the world. Those tensions are even higher now, almost two years into what seems to many like a never-ending war.

The EU extended candidate status to Moldova in June 2022 in an attempt to better integrate the country with the rest of Europe and strengthen regional stability. However, it almost immediately faced criticism from Russia-friendly individuals and groups, many who felt that lawmakers should be focusing on forging stronger relationships with Moscow instead.

Presidential elections are scheduled to begin in Moldova later this year. While parliamentary polls won’t occur until some time in 2025, demonstrators are clearly ramping up efforts to gain attention well in advance of both events.

Moldova’s Intelligence and Security Service (SIS) warned citizens last month about an increase in disinformation and misinformation campaigns. President Sandu had previously accused Russia of deploying disguised agent provocateurs with military training in an attempt to destabilize the country after she received intelligence from Ukraine in February 2023.

Russia, for its part, continues to call those claims false. The Kremlin has repeatedly accused Ukraine of meddling and falsifying intelligence just to sour relations with Moldova.

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