Moldova President Maia Sandu speaks during a briefing at the presidential palace in Chisinau, Moldova, on April 26, 2022. She warned of Russian provocation in her country on Monday. File Photo by Dumitru Doru/EPA-EFE
Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Moldovan President Maia Sandu on Monday that she believes Russia is planning to destabilize their government using proxies to participate in government protests.
Sandu said she received documents from Ukrainian intelligence that revealed a plan for Moscow to ramp up pressure on the Moldovan government, which borders Ukraine as the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine continues.
"Documents received from our Ukrainian partners show documentation of the locations and logistical aspects of organizing these subversions," Sandu said, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. "The plan also involves the use of people from outside the country for violent actions."
The news comes on the heels of Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita resigning along with her pro-European Union government on Friday following intense Russian economic and political pressure.
Moldova, a former satellite of the Soviet Union, has long been fighting a Moscow insurgency with Russian troops assisting rebels in the Moldovan breakaway state of Transnistria.
Sandu said she expects specially instructed individuals from the Kremlin to cause disruptions under the guise of legitimate demonstrations.
"The plan (drafted by Russia) for the future period envisages sabotage with the involvement of persons with military training, disguised as civilians, to resort to violence, attack government buildings, and take hostages," Saudu said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the European Council last week that Ukraine discovered the plot to destabilize Moldova. Sandu said her state security agencies were working to stop alleged Russian teams of disruptors.
Moldova's opposition Bloc of Communists and Socialists accused Sandu of trying to push the country into participating in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
"Otherwise, such statements [made by Sandu] will be considered a provocation geared to drag Moldova into the armed conflict, whip up tension in society, intimidate the opposition and tighten political prosecution of all those having different views," the group said, according to the Russian news agency TASS.