Could Russia Set It’s Sights on Moldova Next?

Could Russia Set It's Sights on Moldova Next?

( – Russian President Vladimir Putin may have sent his military across the border in an all-out attack on Ukraine on February 24, 2022, but that was hardly the first step in a much larger plan, and it may not be his last. When he invaded and then annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014, there was speculation he was trying to resurrect the Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), where he served as a KGB officer — his desire to do just that may have been signaled far before then.

Next Up?

Many analysts in the West believe Putin will soon order his military to launch a major offensive in an effort to strike a major blow to Ukraine’s defenders, possibly on the anniversary of the day he started this war. There is great concern that he will then set his sights on the country of Moldova (formerly known as the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic) amid accusations he is already working behind the scenes to topple the current government.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu spoke out after the surprise resignation of Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita — they both advocate for their country to join the European Union (EU). Sandu believes that Putin has put operatives in place to stage a coup that would “put [Moldova] at the disposal of Russia,” with the goal of derailing the process of becoming full members of the multi-country body.

In a speech before the EU parliament in Brussels on February 9, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the intelligence agencies of his country intercepted “a detailed Russian plan to undermine the political situation in Moldova.” He also claimed the document gave details like who, when, and how Putin intended to “break” the small nation.

Moldova is bordered on the west by Romania (another former Soviet bloc country) and by Ukraine on its other three sides. On the eastern side of the country, there is a Russian-backed separatist region called Transnistria, where Putin has roughly 1,500 soldiers stationed. With that threat looming nearby, Sandu claims that the Russian agents will pose as opposition protesters who will turn into saboteurs attempting a violent overthrow of the legitimate government.

A Little Putin History Lesson

When Putin swept in and took over Crimea, Western pundits took notice and began looking back at the early days of his political career, which began in 1999 when he was nominated to become Prime Minister by then-President Boris Yeltsin. A 2014 BBC article revisited his speech before Russia’s parliament (the State Duma), and with 15 years of a new context, they noted he spoke as a man who wanted to return to the glory days when his country was a formidable world power. In his 2005 annual speech, he still seemed to yearn for the respect Russia had during the Soviet Union and even the tsarist period in history before that. Moldova may be his next stepping stone on that path to former glory.

Copyright 2023,