Maia Sandu Is Going to Kill Us All

My lord, I really don’t know what to think anymore these days. Evil forces truly are taking over.

This week, Maia Sandu completed her soft coup in a rather ingenious way, but unfortunately, nobody but me has put the pieces together (in English, anyway), as far as I am aware.

This is probably because it’s a complex issue that nobody’s much interested in studying, and there aren’t many people who can write in English who also speak Russian and Romanian (aka Moldovan).

History Lesson

To understand what happened this week, we’ve got to briefly recap some history.

Maia Sandu was elected president of Moldova in November 2020 after an earlier failed bid in 2016.

Since the very start, she positioned herself quite clearly as vehemently anti-Russian and pro-Romanian (she’s a dual citizen of Romania) and, of course, “pro-European” which means she supports Moldova’s plan to become a member of the European Union.

At the time she was elected, some folks voted for her because they support these policies, but other folks voted for her simply because they were tired of the incumbent (Igor Dodon).

Ever since the end of the Soviet Union, Moldova has been either the poorest country in Europe or the second-poorest, and that remained true under President Dodon. Therefore, there was a lot of hope and optimism that her pro-EU stance would lead to an improvement in the economy and put more money in people’s pockets.

And all that’s fine and reasonable. But what nobody could’ve foreseen was the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Officially, Moldova’s constitution pledges the country to be militarily neutral, and the majority of folks in Moldova did support (and still do) a policy of neutrality. Whatever one’s personal feelings about the war, Moldova’s cultural and economic sphere depends on both Ukraine and Russia, so there was no call for imposing sanctions or officially taking sides, et cetera.

Right away, though, Maia Sandu began doing everything possible to push back against that neutrality, going so far as to outlaw “Russian symbols” and make it a crime for Moldovan citizens (even ones with dual Russian citizenship) to serve in the Russian military while simultaneously she encouraged Moldovans to enlist on the side of Ukraine.

This is literally Maia Sandu’s official portrait – no, it’s not a joke

One of Sandu’s personal bugbears, even before the war, was the “Russian occupation” of Pridnestrovie, which is beyond ridiculous as I’ve explained many times before. Furthermore, Sandu’s always had the power to stop Russian soldiers from entering Moldova (and into PMR), but she just chooses not to do anything about it.

As the war in Ukraine dragged on, she started really amping up the rhetoric, talking about how Moldova needs military assistance to “defend itself” against Russia, which, of course, is lunacy.

Moldova is a tiny country with a tiny military (roughly 5,000 people in total) and would never stand a chance in a war against Russia. And, of course, Russia has no intention whatsoever to invade Moldova, no matter how many times “experts” say it’s possible.

Anyway, despite all the talk and the rhetoric, there really wasn’t a whole lot that Sandu could do except rake in money and weapons from the United States and the EU.

But then, an evil plan was hatched in the one area where Sandu does have leverage – Moldova’s energy supply.

Energy Review

Before we can discuss that, it’s important to understand where and how Moldova gets its energy.

During the time of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Union was entirely self-sufficient in both natural gas and electricity, and Moldova, of course, was plugged into that grid.

But nobody designed the grid so that the different republics of the Soviet Union could function independently, so when the Soviet Union ended, Moldova was in a difficult situation as all of its electricity came from Pridnestrovie (from the gigantic Kuchurgan plant just east of Tiraspol), which broke away to become an independent country in 1992.

In terms of natural gas, Moldova gets all of it from Russia, but all of it has to transit via three pipelines in Ukraine, one of which goes through PMR first before continuing onwards to Moldova.

Note: After 10 years of construction and dilly-dallying around, a gas pipeline from Romania to Moldova was finally opened for business this year, but it can only carry a fraction of Moldova’s needs, so it doesn’t really do anything except get used as a storage facility.

However, despite one gas pipeline going through PMR, PMR has never had a way to tap into it, so all the gas that is sent from Gazprom in Russia goes through Ukraine (and sometimes PMR) and onto Moldova where it is then sent (back) to PMR.

For some bizarre reason, for 30 years, Moldova has accused PMR of “stealing” gas because PMR never pays Moldova for the (Russian) gas that it sends PMR. Moldova, however, is debited for the gas used by PMR, and Moldova has refused to pay that bill, so Moldova has, over the years, run up quite a debt to Gazprom.

This “stolen gas” has always been something of a bone of contention between PMR and Moldova. PMR’s position is that it will pay off the debt once it receives recognition from Moldova as an independent state. Russia, meanwhile, “overlooks” the debt as a way of assisting PMR but sometimes uses the unpaid debt to pressure Moldova.

Even stranger, the company that owes the debt to Gazprom is Moldovagaz, which was a state enterprise during the Communist days but is now privately owned. Half of the shares in Moldovagaz are owned by Gazprom. A state-owned enterprise from PMR owns just over 12%, and most of the rest is owned by the government of Moldova.

Therefore, half of the unpaid debt to Gazprom is Gazprom owing itself, and PMR has been allowed to profit from the money consumers in Moldova are paying to Moldovagaz, and everyone has allowed this extremely strange situation to continue for the past 30 years.

In terms of electricity, Moldova has always purchased all of its electricity from PMR’s Kuchurgan plant, which is described as “hydroelectric” but principally uses natural gas to generate electricity, although it is designed to run on coal in emergency situations.

Throughout the past 30 years, there were calls at different times for Moldova to buy electricity from somewhere else. But the relatively short duration of the average government’s reign in Moldova plus the fact that PMR sells its electricity for a cheaper price than anyone else in the region means that the system remained unchanged.

A couple of years ago, however, Romania paid for the cables and other infrastructure to make a connection between its electrical grid and Moldova’s.

Unfortunately for Moldova, Romania uses the ENTSO-O system while Moldova (and Ukraine) use a legacy Soviet system known as SEU, which makes it (virtually) impossible to synchronize Moldova’s grid to Romania, so it’s really not feasible for Moldova to get electricity via Romania right now.

Note: In March 2022, the EU financed a project that now allows Ukraine to import electricity from ENTSO-O systems, but Ukraine still uses the old system for much of its network, including all the connections going into Moldova.

And that’s where everything stood before this year.

The Coup Begins

As the war in Ukraine dragged on past summer, it came time for the Moldovan government to figure out what to do about getting natural gas for the winter.

There is very little heavy industry in Moldova, so most of the gas is used for heating, although some light industries such as bakeries also rely on it. Certainly, every school, apartment building, house, and hospital in Moldova relies on it for heat.

Normally, Moldova signs a long-term contract with Gazprom because Russia has always supplied 100% of the gas that Moldova uses. Furthermore, since Moldova hadn’t imposed any sanctions on Russia and Moldova is a member of the CIS, Moldova usually gets a pretty good price, especially since some of that gas is going to Pridnestrovie.

But that’s not what Sandu did. Instead of her government going to Moscow and locking down a good supply for the upcoming winter, Moldova, instead, began dithering and fucking around, choosing to buy gas on a month-to-month basis from Russia at ever-increasing prices, despite a heck of a lot of pushback from citizens and opposition political parties in Moldova.

As Sandu continued her vehemently anti-Russian rhetoric, Gazprom responded by increasing the price. As prices on consumer goods rose as well (thanks to inflation around 20%), large segments of Moldovan society began to get upset and large street protests began. Sandu denounced all of these protests as “Russian instigation” and made the usual claims that everyone protesting was only doing so because some nefarious organizer was paying them in cash to do so.

In June (🇲🇩) of this year, Moldova suddenly decided to start buying around 30% of its electricity from Ukraine. This was at a higher price than PMR sells, but it was touted by Sandu as helping Moldova become energy “independent” (from Russia).

Ominously, the details of the contract with Ukraine were kept secret because the contract literally requires(!) Moldova not to disclose any details. How that is supposed to be a “democracy” working its way up to EU standards is beyond my ability to understand.

But since the weather was pleasant all summer and the price increase only barely registered on people’s monthly bills, it didn’t cause much of a stir. And some pro-EU/pro-Romania folks in Moldova, of course, saw buying electricity from Ukraine as a way to help out Ukraine’s government in its war with Russia.

Concomitantly, as Sandu continued her open hostility against Russia, Gazprom began demanding that Moldovagaz conduct an audit (to get a detailed accounting of the unpaid debt). Gazprom also began requiring Moldova to pay 50% of its estimated gas bill for the next month upfront, and Moldova had to perform some legally dubious maneuvers involving state-run enterprises to cough up the money.


Unbeknownst to anyone in the public, however, Sandu made her next move in Octoberm the most devious one so far.

In terms of weather in this region, August is hot and sunny, September is slightly cooler, but the first signs of any real cold (i.e. when you’d need to fire up the heat to warm your house) happen in October, and this year was quite typical.

Sandu, echoing the other leaders in Europe, started exhorting Moldovans to reduce how much gas (and electricity) they used, and a few public institutions (notably the Eternal Flame monument at the Soviet-era war cemetery in Chisinau, now not quite so “Eternal”) cut down on their gas usage.

But when the monthly usage report (🇲🇩) from Moldovagaz came out in early November, it revealed something astounding – during the month of October, Moldova had somehow cut its gas use by 57% compared to October of last year. Woah!

How in the world could that be? Well, nobody in the outside world paid it much mind, but the government of PMR began asking questions (🇷🇺).

According to the calculations, at least half the gas supplied to Moldova in October was missing. It hadn’t been sent to PMR, and it hadn’t been consumed in Moldova, so where was it?

This is especially odd because Moldova does not really have any natural gas storage facilities, so PMR began speculating on whether Ukraine was just straight-up stealing it with Moldova’s permission as a backdoor way for Moldova to help Ukraine. But the government of Moldova said nothing.

Meanwhile, Russia began blasting Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure with missiles on October 12, which cut off Moldova’s supply of electricity from Ukraine. The shortfall was then made up by Romania which “gifted” the electricity to Moldova (all of it supplied via Ukraine’s electrical grid).


Starting on November 1, Gazprom reduced the volume of natural gas it was sending to Moldova by half, which Sandu and her allies proclaimed was Russia enacting “revenge” on Moldova.

Sandu, however, took it a step further by reducing the supply of gas to PMR and not just by half. Instead, PMR got approximately 30% (instead of 50%) of what it was supposed to receive.

As a result, PMR had to shut down all of its heavy industry and factories, close schools, reduce (electrically powered) buses to peak hours and otherwise conserve gas wherever possible. And the electrical plant in Kuchurgan was switched to running on coal.

Furthermore, without the gas to power the Kuchurgan electricity generating plant, PMR no longer had any excess electricity to sell to Moldova. But that was okay with Sandu, even though it meant that Moldova had to buy 80% of its electricity on the European open market (at a huge markup in price). The other 20% of Moldova’s electrical use was donated for free by Romania.

Supposedly, this move by Gazprom to cut gas supplies in November came as a “surprise” to everyone, but Sandu’s close ally, Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita, seemed to have known about it ahead of time, saying that Moldova had stockpiled 53 million cubic meters of gas without quite saying where that gas was being stored.

Meanwhile, on November 15, Sandu’s government held a high-level meeting with Ukrainian officials (🇲🇩) to discuss how much they jointly hate Russia.

What wasn’t publicized from that meeting, however, was that Ukraine told Moldova to stop publishing information (🇲🇩) on how much electricity (and gas) it was using.

Here’s what PM Natalia Gavrilita had to say (my translation) once that was discovered:

After those attacks [by Russia on Ukraine’s electrical grid], Ukraine no longer publishes information on its various websites. And indeed, this is what lots of countries in Europe do. So we’re not going to publish any more data [about Moldova’s electrical usage] because I spoke with many people from both Ukraine and other European countries, and they told us not to publish this information because otherwise, it’s easy to figure out where and how they can hurt us.

The “they” isn’t specified there but obviously she means Russia.


On the morning of November 22, Gazprom decided to reveal what’s been going on since October – Moldova has been “storing” the missing gas in Ukraine.

As a result of that, Gazprom announced that, beginning November 28, it will only supply the amount of gas that is stipulated in Moldova’s contract if it exceeds the amount being “stored” in Ukraine. In other words, Moldova either needs to use the gas it has “stored” or else it’s not going to get any more.

Moldovagaz, meanwhile, responded (🇲🇩) with an extremely legalistic reply that basically says that the mismatch in numbers is due to some arcane technological stuff about how gas flows are measured.

Moldovan deputy PM Andrei Spinu, however, told the press that the missing gas is being stored in Ukraine and accused Gazprom of lying about the whole situation.

Furthermore, Spinu said that Moldova has stockpiled 200 cubic meters of gas in Ukraine, which differs from what Gavrilita had said earlier, that Moldova has 53 million cubic meters stockpiled. Gazprom, by the way, agrees with Gavrilita’s numbers, so I don’t know where Spinu is getting this 200 million cubic meters figure from.

Either way, Sandu’s government has said it will pay for all the gas that Russia sends, so it doesn’t really matter whether it’s consumed right away or stored for later. This is kind of bullshit for several reasons, partly because it’s destroying PMR’s economy and partly because Moldovans are being forced to economize their gas usage when there’s apparently plenty of extra gas on hand.

For the record, Ukraine denies it is stealing Moldova’s gas, but they’re inveterate liars so their word means nothing.

Beggar’s Banquet

How in the world can Europe’s poorest country afford to buy electricity on the spot market? And why in the hell would Moldova consistently dick around with buying natural gas on a month-to-month basis instead of assuring itself a steady supply with a long-term contract?

Well, folks, the answer is that the European Union is footing the bill for Moldova’s energy requirements. As in, all of it.

Luxury life while the people of Moldova suffer

Last week, Sandu and Gavrilita flew on French President Macron’s fancy plane (pictured above) to go to Paris to meet a gaggle of “supporters” who all agreed to throw hundreds of millions of dollars Moldova’s way in order to help it gain energy “independence” from evil old Russia.

Sandu’s speech to her benefactors contained some interesting information:

Along with Ukraine, Moldova is now connected to the European electricity network and we are making progress on building a new electricity connection to Romania.

Except that the connection to Romania is useless until Moldova overhauls its entire national grid to make it compatible with Romania’s.

Of course, you’re not allowed to know this because Moldova’s state-run electrical enterprise erased all this information from its website thanks to that “good advice” from Ukraine (it’s easy to find it cached elsewhere, though).

Sandu, the ingrate, then continued her speech:

Moldova also faces an acute energy crisis. The war is endangering the supply of electricity and gas. We are not certain we can find enough volumes to heat and light our homes. And even if we do – the prices are unaffordable for our people and economy. This could jeopardize our social peace and security.

I know everyone in Europe pays a very high price for energy. But these same prices have a much more ruinous impact on our country and people.

In other words, she’s saying “we cut ourself off from cheap energy from Russia and now you’re making us pay high prices so we’re the victim here.”

Quite a circus act, let me tell you.


Just in the past year, the cost of natural gas went up 7 times and the cost of electricity increased 4 times. Many Moldovans will be unable to pay their bills this winter if the government doesn’t step in.”

That is true, and it’s all entirely her fault.

But nobody cares. All they care about is “hurting Russia” so the EU decided to chip in with a few hundred million to (essentially) pay themselves to furnish overpriced gas and electricity to Moldova.

This Afternoon

As I was writing this article today, the electricity went out in my house. Thankfully, the gas-powered heat stayed on, so at least my family didn’t freeze.

As it’s cold, windy, and raining, I just assumed that a power line got knocked down. But when the lights came back on, and I could access the internet again, I found out that all of PMR and Moldova lost power for at least 90 minutes.

Indeed, as I write these words, the power is still out in much of Moldova, including in the capital.

Something similar happened on November 15 (the day of the Polish missile incident) for the same reason that it happened today: Ukraine’s electrical grid is being blown to bits by Russian missiles.

Thanks to Sandu’s tomfoolery, aided and abetted by Romania and the EU, Moldova is now completely dependent on Ukraine for electricity because even if the seller is a third country from somewhere in Europe, it still has to go through Ukraine to get to Moldova (PMR’s electrical grid is still meshed with Moldova’s, particularly in the north of PMR, hence the knock-on effects).

Therefore, it doesn’t matter if the EU drops pallets of cash from a helicopter onto Moldova. If Ukraine’s electrical grid gets destroyed, the lights will go out in Moldova.

And thanks to the weird “storage/theft” situation with the natural gas, Moldova is set to get its gas supply cut off next week (or reduced to a mere trickle).

And how do you think that is going to be interpreted by the media? Of course, it will be evil Russia to blame.

Winter is just beginning, folks, and only god knows how many of us will survive it.

And it’s all this crazy bitch‘s fault.
And thanks to the weird “storage/theft” situation with the natural gas, Moldova is set to get its gas supply cut off next week (or reduced to a mere trickle).

And how do you think that is going to be interpreted by he media? Of course, it will be evil Russia to blame.

Winter is just beginning, folks, and only god knows how many of us will survive it.

And it’s all this crazy bitch‘s fault.

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