Moldova Shaken By Massive Pro-Russia Protests

Several thousand pro-Russia protesters demonstrated in front of the parliament building in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau on February 1 demanding the resignation of the country’s pro-Western president, the Associated Press reported.

The rally, led by the Russia-friendly Revival Party, was protesting the governing party Action and Solidarity and calling for early elections and the resignation of President Maia Sandu.

In response to the Revival Party’s demonstration, scores of Moldovans waving EU flags took to the streets in Chisinau to show their support for President Sandu.

Moldova’s presidential elections are set for later this year with parliamentary elections set for 2025. Currently, the Revival Party holds only four seats in the 101-seat parliament.

The February 1 protest was the latest in a series of anti-government demonstrations over the last year and a half. Most of the demonstrations were organized by the pro-Moscow Shor Party, which the Moldovan Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional in June 2023.

Government officials accused the Shor Party, which only held six seats in the parliament before it was banned, of attempting to destabilize the country.

The head of the party, Ilan Shor, was sentenced in 2023 in absentia to 15 years for fraud. Shor is currently living in Israel.

Some senior Shor Party members took part in the February 1 protest and Ilan Shor posted a video of the demonstration to his Facebook page.

Moldova’s Intelligence and Security Service warned in January of a rise in disinformation campaigns designed to destabilize the country and undermine Moldova’s relations with the European Union and neighboring Ukraine.

Just months after Russia invaded Ukraine, Moldova was granted official candidate status for membership in the European Union. In December, Brussels announced that it would begin accession negotiations for Moldova to join the EU along with its neighbor Ukraine.