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Moldova's president proposes new agency to tackle Russian disinformation, propaganda

by Martin Fornusek May 29, 2023 2:14 PM 2 min read
Moldova's President Maia Sandu on a visit to France's President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, May 19, 2022. (Photo Credit: NurPhoto/GettyImages)
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At a May 29 press conference, Moldova’s President Maia Sandu warned against the dangers of Russian propaganda and disinformation in the country and proposed the creation of a new governmental body to counter this threat.

The envisioned “Patriot Center” would coordinate and implement the state's strategy on combatting disinformation, Sandu said.

“Russia cannot attack our country through military means, so it keeps attacking us through lies, propaganda, and disinformation,” the president commented.

“The Kremlin spends massive sums on spreading lies in the media, on social networks, and uses dirty money to finance criminal groups that seek to hinder our country’s development… With large amounts of money, with troll factories working around the clock, they are trying to weaken Moldova with repeated attacks”

According to Sandu, these hybrid attacks seek to sow distrust between Moldova’s citizens and their government.

Investigation: Leaked document exposes Kremlin’s 10-year plan to undermine Moldova
Editor’s note: This story is a collaboration between the Kyiv Independent and media partners, including Delfi Meedia (Estonia), Expressen (Sweden), Dossier Center (U.K.), Rise Moldova, Frontstory, VSquare (Poland), Süddeutsche Zeitung, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Rundfunk WDR, Norddeutscher Rundfunk (Ge…

Moldova has faced escalating security concerns due to the full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine, which poses a significant risk of spillover into the country.

On Feb. 13, Sandu warned that Russia is planning a coup d'état in Moldova, involving attacks on government buildings and hostage-taking.

Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Rechan confirmed in an interview with Moldova's TV8 on Feb. 21 that authorities were aware of "several" Russian destabilization scenarios, including Russia's plan to take control of the Chisinau airport.

On May 8, Leonid Manakov, who represents Transnistria in Moscow, requested more Russian "peacekeepers" due to what he called the "deteriorating security situation" in an interview with Russian state media.

Transnistria is a breakaway region internationally recognized as part of Moldova, kept afloat with the help of the illegal presence of Russian troops.

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