FBI agents and officers of German intelligence are plotting to involve the Republic of Moldova into a military operation against Russia, according to a controversial Russian journalist. His statement was shared by media outlets such as politnavigator and tsargrad, and have been dismissed by Chișinău authorities.
NEWS: “The West is preparing to open a Moldovan front against Russia”, war correspondent Semyon Pego wrote on his Telegram account.
“According to my source in Chișinău, 49 FBI agents have arrived here. They speak Russian and specialize in countering Russian influence. Their mission is to modify the security system of the Republic of Moldova. This was upgraded by Romania for many years, but now the Americans got involved as a matter of urgency.”
[…] Reforming the security system, in his opinion, has to do with plans to make Moldova a part of Romania. In particular, the recently appointed head of the Intelligence and Security System has a Romanian passport. “Moreover, 24 officers of the German Intelligence service have arrived in Chișinău. They will focus on Transnistria and will likely pave the way for military action. Everything seems to be headed in this direction, unfortunately”, Pegov concluded”, Politnavigator writes.
“Sources in the Republic of Moldova of the famous war correspondent Semyon Pegov, the man behind the Wargonzo project, believe NATO countries have developed a real interest in opening a Moldovan front against Russia”, Tsargrad also writes.
NARRATIVES: 1. Western agents “have invaded” the Republic of Moldova. 2. The Republic of Moldova is trained by the West for a military assault against the Russian Federation. 3. The Republic of Moldova is expected to be annexed by Romania.
BACKGROUND: Facing a separatist conflict in the east, fueled by the Russian Federation for over 30 years, and considering the political elites and parts of society (national minorities in particular, accounting for approximately 20% of the total population) have pro-Russian attitudes, the Republic of Moldova is considered the most vulnerable country in Eastern Europe and Moscow’s number one target in case it fails to defeat Ukraine.
Moreover, the Kremlin upped its propaganda targeting the Republic of Moldova, amplifying its messages about the country being allegedly controlled by the West, about the violation of the rights of Russian-speaking national minorities, or about the West and the pro-European government breaching the country’s neutrality status.
PURPOSE: To describe the Republic of Moldova as a state that poses a threat to the Russian Federation. To support the view that the Republic of Moldova is governed by external forces and “is swarming” with foreign agents hostile to the Russian Federation. To conjure the old question of the annexation of the Republic of Moldova by Romania, which represents a “mortal danger” to the country’s minority groups.
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: The information about the alleged airdrop of FBI agents in Chișinău, as well as the arrival of German secret intelligence officers, draws on the statement of the controversial Russian journalist, Semyon Pegov. Pegov runs the Wargonzo Telegram account and is the author of a film about the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which was blocked on YouTube. In turn, Pegov invokes “sources from Chișinău”, without presenting any evidence to support his claims. Politnavigator was banned by Moldovan authorities in the autumn of 2021 for spreading fake news.
Both the press office of the General Inspectorate of the Moldovan Police as well as the spokesperson of the Intelligence and Security Service, Daniela Mânzat, have dismissed this information as false, saying it is based on statements made on Telegram accounts that spread false information.
Some media outlets, particularly those in the Russian Federation, promote other equally false narratives, according to which NATO is supplying the Republic of Moldova with weapons and training this country for a military confrontation with Russia, or that the attack on Transnistria was planned by the West.
In fact, the Republic of Moldova is too small and underprepared (even if it did receive weapons from other countries) in order to put up a fight against Russia.
The fear of a possible unification with Romania has also become increasingly transparent in the public sphere, fueling the phobias of national minorities and the separatist aspirations of Tiraspol. In fact, both Moldovan and Romanian authorities have referred to stepping up cooperation between the two states and supporting the European integration aspirations of the Republic of Moldova.
OFFICIAL REACTIONS: Contacted by Veridica, the press offices of the General Inspectorate of the Moldovan Police and the Intelligence and Security Service have denied the information about FBI agents and German intelligence officers being airdropped in Chișinău.