At a sensitive edge of Russia’s war on Ukraine, Moscow is sustaining a campaign to regain control in Moldova, the small, ex-Soviet republic landlocked between Ukraine and Romania. Russia has maneuvered for years to scuttle Moldovans’ aims to join the European Union, crimping their economy and controlling easternmost Moldova with Russian troops and proxies. A Kremlin-backed party won a Moldovan regional election in May and Moscow will aim to defeat Moldova’s pro-European national government in elections by 2025. The United States and its partners should urgently unify efforts to help Moldovans sustain their independence and stability.
The past week underscores a rising threat in Europe from Russia’s savage assault on Ukraine: the Kremlin’s parallel destabilization of tiny Moldova, between Ukraine and Romania. The Kremlin is escalating a hybrid subversion campaign against Moldova’s effort to build a stable democracy and join the European Union. It is choking off vital gas supplies to tank the economy, sponsoring mass anti-government protests and helping a fugitive Moldovan oligarch launch the latest of several pro-Russia political parties. European policymakers say Moldova, partly occupied by Russian troops, is one of the countries most vulnerable to a spread of the war in Ukraine.
Electing Peace: Violence Prevention and Impact at the Polls examines election violence prevention and assesses the effectiveness of different prevention practices—which are effective, which are not, and under what circumstances.