Moldova crisis – level 3
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, a host of crises have rippled through the small European country Moldova.
There have been security threats from a coup attempt to bomb hoaxes, internet hacks, fake conscription call-ups, and mass protests.
The former Soviet republic with a population of 2.5 million nestled between Ukraine and Romania is home to the semi-autonomous region of Gagauzia which is overwhelmingly pro-Russian. The current government of president Maia Sandu was elected in 2020 on a promise to seek membership of the European Union, which angered Moscow. Besides this, there’s apparently misinformation and propaganda campaign orchestrated by Moscow to destabilize and undermine the pro-western government. Since the summer 2022, authorities have received more than 400 fake bomb threats. Government websites temporarily crashed and the phones of several officials were hacked.
Moldova officials said that they wanted to avoid being involved in the conflict between the West and Russia at all costs. However, in Gagauzia where most people speak Russian, there appears to be legitimate support for Moscow because of strong historic bonds.
Difficult words: conscription (forcing people by law to join the armed services), propaganda (information, ideas, or images that influence public opinion), undermine (to make someone less confident or powerful).
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What implications do the recent events in Moldova have for other former Soviet republics?
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