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Ukrainians about action to dismember “fifth column” in Moldova

Valery Kondratyuk, former head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine, considers the recent decision to reduce the personnel of the Russian Embassy in Chisinau by 45 persons diminished for a period the problem of Russian spies in Moldova, IPN reports, with reference to Ukrainian media.

The expert explained that the countries often resort to the expulsion of foreign diplomats when they do not have time and possibility to apply a difficult counterintelligence system to identify persons suspected of subversive actions.

“For a long period of time, the whole Republic of Moldova had been controlled by the Russian services through the agency of a “fifth column” that works with Moldovan oligarchs and with the shadow government in the Transnistrian region – things that have been know long and do not represent a secret,” stated Valery Kondratyuk.

He noted that this way the Moldovan government obtains the time needed to bring things in order.

“Time is needed to restore things, to send new people, to train them and the Russian network during the period is inactive. Why? Because these are persons who meet with Russian diplomats, ensure connection, pass on information,” stated the former chief of the Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence Service.

Kondratyuk said that now the Russian agents will be out of circuit for a period and Moldova will be able to switch over to world counterespionage standards.

As to the reduction in the personnel of the Embassy of Russia in Chisinau, IPN reported that the spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova tried to justify the large number of diplomats and non-diplomats accredited to Chisinau, using such false data as the presence of 500,000 Moldovans in Russia, when the given figure that was announced by the Russian authorities themselves in 2021, before the start of the invasion of Ukraine, was of 130,000. According to information provided by the Moldovan authorities, 45,000 to 60,000 Moldovans are currently in Russia.

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