Moldovan police said on Sunday they have foiled a plot by groups of Russia-backed actors who were specially trained to cause mass unrest during a protest the same day in the capital against the country’s new pro-Western government.
The head of Moldova’s police, Viorel Cernauteanu, said in a news conference that an undercover agent had infiltrated groups of “diversionists,” some Russian citizens, who had been promised $10,000 to organize “mass disorder” to destabilize Moldova during a protest in the capital, Chisinau. Seven people were detained, he said.
Separately, police said they arrested 54 protesters on Sunday, including 21 minors, who exhibited “questionable behavior” or were found to be carrying prohibited items, including at least one knife.
The protest Sunday is one of several held in recent weeks organized by a group calling itself Movement for the People, which is backed by Moldova’s Russia-friendly Shor Party, which holds six seats in the country’s 101-seat legislature.