MOLDOVA: For several weeks now, the tiny nation of Moldova has been beset with trouble as a fresh new batch of bomb threats descended on the nation earlier this week. The nation’s international airport at the capital city of Chisinau witnessed hundreds of anxious passengers queued up in long lines, overlooking the alarming scene of a squad of bomb-sniffing dogs examining the vicinity for bomb detection.
That is the current scenario in one of the poorest European nations now, as it battles what observers believe are attempts to destabilize the former Soviet republic amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Moldova, an obscure land-locked nation, which borders war-stricken Ukraine and is neither a part of NATO nor the EU, has faced several bombing threats.
Since July, Moldova has received nearly 60 bomb threats, with more than 15 reported just this week, at several crowded and vulnerable locations like the capital city’s hall, international airport, the supreme court, shopping malls and hospitals.
While no one has been conclusively charged for these veiled threats, most of which have strangely arrived by email, officials have been able to trace the addresses back to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
“It is part of the disinformation war against Moldova, which is ongoing,” said Valeriu Pasa, an analyst at the Chisinau think tank Watchdog.md. “It could be part of the Russian effort to destabilize Moldova, as they use many different methods to do so.”
Maxim Moringa, a prosecutor from Moldova’s Office for Combating Organized Crime, notified The Associated Press that since the bomb threats started, “practically every day we open criminal cases.”
“At the moment, all criminal investigations are ongoing,” he said, adding that requests have been made for official assistance from Russia and Ukraine if “certain tracks leading to the respective countries were established.” “I hope we get some answers from those countries,” he added.
Since Russia launched its “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, the tiny nation of Moldova, with a population of 2.6 million, has faced many crises. It has accepted more Ukrainian asylum-seekers per capita than any other country and, consequently, has been involved in heated tensions with the red nation while battling skyrocketing inflation.
“It blocks many of the resources ‘police, investigators, technical services. It’s a type of bullying, or harassment, of Moldovan state systems and public services,” Pasa said.
Political experts and observers noticed that the bomb threats came at a crucial time when Moldova decided to break ties with Russia and attempt to engage itself in the EU and showed a “growing Western orientation”. It was granted EU status in late June, shortly before the bomb threats began.