Moldovan President Maia Sandu Unearths Secret Plot by Wagner Mercenaries to Destabilize the Country, Revealing Russian Financing and Coup Plans
Chisinau, Moldova – October 6, 2023 – In a startling revelation, Moldovan President Maia Sandu exposed a clandestine coup plot allegedly orchestrated by the Wagner mercenary group, originally founded by the now-deceased Yevgeny Prigozhin. According to government intelligence, the coup scheme was devised earlier this year by Prigozhin’s team.
President Sandu, in an interview published on October 6, divulged that substantial sums of money were funneled from Russia into Moldova to fund this operation. The funds were reportedly transported through a combination of couriers and bank accounts in Dubai. She further claimed that Moscow continues to financially support pro-Russian forces within Moldova, with the intent of destabilizing the nation.
In her interview, President Sandu expressed the gravity of the situation, stating, “The situation is really dramatic, and we have to protect ourselves.”
The allegations of a coup plot first surfaced when President Sandu and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy publicly commented on the issue back in February. At the time, President Zelenskiy revealed that Ukrainian intelligence had intercepted the alleged coup plan aimed at toppling Moldova’s pro-Western government.
Following these revelations, the Kremlin advised Moldova to exercise caution in its statements regarding Russian forces stationed in the breakaway Transdniester region, where approximately 1,100 Russian troops remain deployed.
President Sandu’s interview coincided with a meeting of EU leaders in Granada, Spain, where they discussed the prospects of Moldova’s accession to the EU. President Sandu emphasized that welcoming Moldova into the EU represents the best way to ensure the country’s security.
Notably, Yevgeny Prigozhin, aged 62, and several of his associates met an unexplained fate in a plane crash in late August. Prigozhin’s discreet burial took place on August 29.
Two months prior to his demise, in June, Prigozhin had sent thousands of his fighters into a brief and unsuccessful rebellion against the military command involved in the conflict in Ukraine. This move marked one of the most significant challenges to President Vladimir Putin’s rule in his over two-decade tenure.
The rebellion followed months of intense public disputes between Prigozhin and Russia’s military leadership concerning Ukraine’s war strategy and ammunition supplies. Following the failed uprising, Wagner troops relocated to Belarus. Telegram channels linked to the mercenary group have indicated that some fighters left Belarus for Russia or embarked on vacations, while others were assigned to operations in Africa.