Exclusive: For @YahooNews, @holger_r and I have obtained the Russian Presidential Administration's strategy plan for installing a pro-Russian government in Moldova. A collaboration with a team of international investigative partners. #kremlinovici: news.yahoo.com/exclusive-russ…
(Our partners: @DelfiEE, @Expressen, @dossier_center, @KyivIndependent, @risemoldova, @FRONTSTORY_PL, @VSquare_Project, @SZ, Westdeutscher Rundfunk WDR, and Norddeutscher Rundfunk.)
On Friday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby gave a presser in which he said: "Russian actors, some with current ties to Russian intelligence, are seeking to stage and use protests in Moldova as a basis to foment a manufactured insurrection against the Moldovan gov."
On Sunday, protests did indeed rock Chisinau, underwritten by the pro-Russian Shor Party. Dozens were detained for public order violations; and Moldova said in the past week it's stopped over 180 foreigners from entering the country, including one alleged Wagner Group operative.
The Shor Party is named for pro-Russian Moldovan oligarch and fugitive fraudster Ilan Shor, who now resides in Israel. According to numerous media reports, Shor has been paying people, particularly the poor, to demonstrate against the Moldovan government.
Shor was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in October 2022 for working "with Russian individuals to create a political alliance to control Moldova’s parliament, which would then support several pieces of legislation in the interests of the Russian Federation."
We obtained the Russian strategy document *before* Kirby's press confernece. It was written in the Fall of 2021, as was the previous one we reported on for Belarus. news.yahoo.com/russia-belarus…
As with that document, the Moldova strategy was compiled by the Presidential Directorate for Cross-Border Cooperation. This one, too, is divided into chapters: "the political, military and defense sectors; the humanitarian sector; and trade and economy sectors."
And it similarly envisages achievements in short (2022), medium (2025) and long term (2030). The end goal should be "creation of stable pro-Russian groups of influence in the Moldovan political and economic elites" and...
Moldova's integration in the Eurasian Union and Collective Security Treaty Organization, Russia's answer, more or less, to the EU and NATO. (Moldova was granted EU candidate status in June 2022, along with Ukraine.)
The problem for Moscow, unlike in Belarus, which is a reliable client state, is that Moldova has a solidly pro-Western liberal government headed by President @sandumaiamd. Weeks ago she warned of a Russian-orchestrated "coup" attempt in Chisinau. bbc.com/news/world-eur…
We interviewed Moldova's new Prime Minister @DorinRecean, also of Sandu's Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS), in Chisinau. We showed him the Russian plan for his country in his office.
Of last weekend's protests, @DorinRecean told us: "Obviously Russia is co-financing these protests and attempts to destabilize the country. They are looking to recruit tough guys in order to attack police, in order to attack government buildings..."
"... and companies and make these kinds of provocations that would lead to destabilization."
The most eyebrow-raising content is in the so-called "humanitarian sector," meaning the realm of Russian NGOs, TV networks and cultural centers tied to Rossotrudnichestvo, a clearinghouses for Russian intelligence operations and propaganda.
Moscow seeks the “neutralization of attempts to limit the activities of Russian and pro-Russian media in Moldova,” “the creation of a network of NGOs promoting the development of Russian-Moldovan relations” and...
the expansion of opportunities for Moldovan students to receive education in Russian language. They even cite remote learning, in an obvious sign of the document's drafting during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
.@DorinRecean: “For years we didn’t pay attention to propaganda and to Russian TV channels that were always present here. And when we started to close them, the propaganda moved to Telegram, Facebook, VKontakte, TikTok..."
"... With Telegram and TikTok, we cannot do anything about it except cut the wire. Thirty-something years of propaganda — we see the effect of it now.”
Also, as you might expect, the Kremlin is very worried about resolving the Transnistria issue -- or rather not resolving it. It wants to "neutralize" attempt by the Moldovan government to "unfreeze" a frozen conflict that has obtained since 1992.
Transnistria is occupied by hundreds of Russian soldiers -- excuse me, "peacekeepers." It also a hub of corruption, smuggling and gangsterism. Its return to Moldovan sovereign control would be rather inconvenient for Moscow.
As per the source who leaked it, this document was written with input from the Russian General Staff and Russia's three top intelligence services: the FSB, SVR and GRU.
The FSB's foreign arm, or Fifth Service, has a Department of Operational Information, whose deputy chief Gen. Dmitry Milyutin, had originally advocated opening up a “second front” against Ukraine from Transnistria at the start of Russia’s invasion.
That gambit was never realized. But Milyutin, along with his boss, Gen. Georgy Grishaev, who heads the DOI, is part of “a cohort of those FSB generals who dream of the revival of the USSR and are ready to serve this idea faithfully and truthfully,” as a Duma representative said.
(Correx: Recean isn’t a member of PAS.)
The primary author of the document is Andrei Vavilov, an FSB Academy graduate. Our partner @risemoldova gave him a ring:

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More from @michaeldweiss

Mar 10
Ha! One of the stories I chased during my L.A. days was that Dmitry Rybolovlev, the billionaire Russian oligarch who bought Donald Trump's Palm Beach mansion for $100 million, was secretly financing the Hollywood production company New Republic Pictures. palmbeachpost.com/story/news/202…
Had two industry sources on background who said Rybolovlev was indeed the silent partner in Brian Oliver and Bradley Fischer's NRP. He evidently hosted lavish parties for movie stars aboard his yacht, etc. Numerous emails and VMs with NRP went unanswered. deadline.com/2020/08/paramo…
Rybolovlev's bankrolling of NRP only came to light in January when cofounder Bradley Fischer sued the company owing to the oligarch's withdrawal of funds following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (Rybolovlev feared he'd be sanctioned by the U.S.) news.artnet.com/art-world/russ…
Read 5 tweets
Mar 7
This has been kicking around intel circles for months. And no, the question of current Ukrainian government involvement (or the true extent of it) isn't a smokescreen.
No doubt the Hersh bullshit prompted the U.S. to leak this to the NYT now. The Germans almost certainly knew/know. And it's worth reviewing Scholz's antics in the last few months over Ukraine and Leos, etc. in the that light.
I'd also retrospectively read the Dugina assassination attribution (also leaked to NYT) as a warning from the IC to vested interests in Ukraine not to go off-script in so dramatic a fashion again.
Read 11 tweets
Feb 26
Ah yes, the "coup" in which Viktor Yanukovych, with the EU's arbitration, signed an agreement with Ukraine's opposition leadership for early presidential elections -- then defected to Russia with $40 billion in stolen Ukrainian state assets. buzzfeednews.com/article/tanyak…
Signers of the agreement on behalf of the opposition included V. Klitschko (now mayor of Kyiv), A. Yatsenyuk (post-Maidan prime minister) and O. Tyahnybok of the far-right party Svoboda, said by the conspiracists to be an integral component in the "coup." politico.eu/article/yanuko…
A "coup" in which then Polish FM @radeksikorski -- one of three EU envoys to Kyiv and a key negotiator in Ukraine's association agreement process -- told the opposition: "If you don’t support this, you’ll have martial law, you’ll have the army. You will all be dead."
Read 5 tweets
Feb 20
Exclusive: a consortium of international investigative journalists including @holger_r and myself have obtained the Russian Presidential Administration’s strategy document for Vladimir Putin’s takeover of Belarus by 2030. news.yahoo.com/russia-belarus…
The strategy builds on the long preexisting “Union State” between the two countries, but offers details about how Belarus’ economy, agriculture, industry and military will be subsumed by Putin’s regime in the short, mid and long term. @USAmbOSCE called it the “wholesale… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Read 18 tweets
Feb 18
They pay credence to the Sy Hersh bullshit about Nord Stream 2 and uncritically cite this: “Between 300,000 and 500,000 troops are massed at the border with Ukraine” — neglecting that US and UK intelligence analyses that have poured cold water on such claims.
Read 6 tweets
Feb 16
Hilarious. "The leadership of the Left group in the European Parliament is to seek answers from Ireland South MEP Mick Wallace after he claimed to “have three wine bars in Dublin”, though none are on the official register of his financial interests." irishtimes.com/politics/2023/…
From 2017: "A High Court judge has disqualified TD Mick Wallace from involvement in companies for six years arising from his stewardship of the affairs of his construction company, MJ Wallace." irishtimes.com/business/mick-…
Mick Wallace and George Galloway should start selling drywall to the Trump Organization.
Read 4 tweets

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