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Police: Russia plans to organize riots to destabilize Moldova
Russian intelligence agencies are planning to destabilize the situation in Moldova through riots organized by Shor, a pro-Russian party, Viorel Cernauteanu, head of Moldova's National Police, said on March 10, as cited by the NewsMaker news site.
On March 12, the police detained 54 pro-Russian protesters in Chisinau, according to NewsMaker. The protesters clashed with the police during a rally organized by the Shor party.
According to the police, the detainees had prohibited items, including knives.
On March 9, a Russian citizen named Andrey arrived in Moldova to organize the riots, according to Cernauteanu.
He added that the details of the riots were coordinated from Russia, and unnamed figures in Russia promised $10,000 to organize the rallies.
The U.S. has recently warned that people with ties to Russian intelligence were preparing to start riots in Moldova in an effort to topple the pro-Western government.
Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Rechan said in an interview to Moldova's TV8 on Feb. 21 that the authorities were aware of "several" Russian destabilization scenarios, including Russia's plan to take control of the Chisinau airport in the Moldovan capital.
On Feb. 9, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukrainian intelligence had intercepted a Russian plan to destabilize the political situation and seize power in Moldova.
Russian propagandists have claimed that Ukraine, Moldova or NATO are preparing an attack on Transnistria. There is speculation that this is a facade for a Russian plan to invade or destabilize Moldova.