The Curious Case of the Chisinau Mayoral Race

On May 20, 2018, voters in Chisinau headed to the polls for the first round of what was a very low-key and boring election. Since 2007, Chisinau has been run like a personal fiefdom by Dorin Chirtoaca, a close personal friend of former Romanian President Traian Basescu. Chirtoaca was re-elected in 2015 and should still…

The Man Behind the Curtain Speaks

Although he normally toils away in obscurity, speaking only to his minions and the foreign governments that prop up his regime, Vladimir Plahotnyuk took the opportunity last week to speak to the press. The reason? Well, 2018 is a mandatory election year for parliament. Although people have been protesting (especially in the winter of 2016/17)…

RIP, Democracy in Moldova

Well, today was a very sad and tragic day for the people of the Republic of Moldova, as now this country is officially a regime: A government, especially an authoritarian one. On paper, RM is a democracy, complete with elections, a parliament, and a head of state. But in reality, a single mob boss controls…

The Price of Democracy

Yesterday here in the Republic of Moldova it was Independence Day. I was too busy working to attend any of the celebrations but I did see a rather anemic five-minute firework display from my balcony in the evening. It turns out that the pathetic light show pretty much sums up the state of democracy around…

Nuland Endorses Moldova’s Most Hated Politician

Hmm…. this all sounds very familiar. First, the staid New York Times piece: These days, however, it is a different photograph that is rallying support for Moscow’s allies in Europe’s Poorest Country™. It shows a United States assistant secretary of state, Victoria J. Nuland, standing shoulder-to-shoulder in Washington with Vlad Plahotniuc, Moldova’s most-feared figure, a…

Pot Calling Kettle

Well this is certainly interesting: Romania plans to counteract Russian mass media in Moldova. Dan Stojanescu, the head of the ministry’s department for politics towards and communications with fellow-Romanians abroad said at the first session of the board the time was ripe for supporting Moldova in the sphere of European values through the creation of…

The Theft of the Century

The other day, after briefly mentioning how Kroll’s second report is now a month overdue (with no information about when it will ever be released), I remembered that somewhere in my archives I had a copy of the original Kroll report from April 2015. It’s a rather long and “boring” document but it is written…