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Moldova: Protestors rally against the government over increased gas and power prices, seek Russian intervention

Several of those who gathered in Chisinau demanded the resignation of the country's president, yelling "Down with Maia Sandu!" Some carried signs depicting images of Moldova's leaders and politicians next to big mansions and expensive automobiles. "They have millions. We're dying of hunger," they screamed.

Thousands of protestors marched in Moldova’s capital Chisinau on Sunday, demanding that the country’s new pro-Western administration completely pay people’s winter heating expenses in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis and increasing inflation. The protestors also expressed that they would prefer to be a part of Russia.

The protest was organized by the newly created Movement for the People and sponsored by members of Moldova’s Russia-friendly Sor Party, which had six seats in the former Soviet republic’s 101-seat legislature.

Several of those who gathered in Chisinau demanded the resignation of the country’s president, yelling “Down with Maia Sandu!” Some carried signs depicting images of Moldova’s leaders and politicians next to big mansions and expensive automobiles. “They have millions. We’re dying of hunger,” they screamed.

On 13th February 2023, Maia Sandu alleged that Moscow is planning to overthrow her government in Moldova so that it can be put at the disposal of Russia and to derail it from its course to one day join the European Union. According to Moldova’s president, the energy bills in Moldova consume around 70% of household income.

She said, “Through violent actions, masked under protests of the so-called opposition, the change of power in Chisinau would be forced. In carrying out the plan, the authors rely on several internal forces, but especially on criminal groups such as the Shor formation and all of its derivatives.” The allegation, according to Moscow, is an attempt by Moldovan authorities to divert attention away from their own social and economic problems.

Moldova, strategically positioned on Ukraine’s border and host to its own pro-Russian breakaway area, is reliant on Russian gas. Last year, Moscow cut its supply to Moldova in half, exerting pressure on the Chisinau regime as it tries to keep its Romanian and Russian-speaking populations together. Protests over increased gas and power prices began last autumn.

Sor’s general secretary, Marina Tauber, who spearheaded these protests outside parliament on Sunday, insisted her party is not hostile to the EU and seeks good cooperation with other parties. Nonetheless, some members of her party concede that they would welcome Russian intervention.

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