Hybrid warfare of government and opposition. Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“The final result of this confrontation depends on the way in which the Russo-Ukrainian war will end. In such circumstances, the sympathy of the government and the opposition for the belligerent sides becomes more evident…”

Disorientation of Communist-Socialists

During over a month and a half, the political struggle between the government and the opposition had been overshadowed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Only last week, the normal confrontation between the government and the opposition regained its amplitude and gained new proportions. This way, the hot phase of the Russo-Ukrainian war causes reverberations all over the world, including in the Republic of Moldova. The substitution of notions, use of the phrase special military operation instead of naming things – that we have a war of attrition - is only a propagandistic element of the hybrid warfare launched by Russia in order to achieve its objective of changing world order. By all appearances, the Republic of Moldova was unable to avoid its involvement in this hybrid warfare. At foreign level, in this confrontation the government is on the side of the international institutions – the UN, the Council of Europe, the EU, etc., while he Communist-Socialist opposition is on Russia’s side. So, at domestic level, the government and the opposition are parties to this hybrid warfare.

Even if the government faces major socioeconomic difficulties caused by the war, the new circumstances open up opportunities for the Republic of Moldova. In this regard, it was submitted an application to join the EU as a result of which the European Commission transmitted the questionnaire to assess the readiness to obtain the status of candidate country. It is hard to underestimate such a development that imprints new nuances on the country project – the European integration that was initiated by the current opposition 20 years ago. Furthermore, the government received considerable support within the Moldova Support Platform.

In a contrary way, the Communist-Socialist opposition that promoted the Eurasian integration found itself absolutely disoriented following Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, losing any integrationist benchmark. This is evident by the example of Russia’s main ally – Belarus, which, besides attracting against it the whole package of sanctions that were imposed on Russia for aggression, actually lost national sovereignty too, becoming an appendix of the older brother.

Not only the Eurasian integrationist disorientation, but also the ideological one became a problem for the Communist-Socialist opposition. The point is the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) insisted that it is a Marxist-Leninist party and it exhibited this quality recently, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the constitution of the Chinese Communist Party. In fact, the conservative ideology worked out by the company of President Vladimir Putin vehemently challenges the Marxist-Leninist ideology and, in general, bolshevism that allegedly created the Ukrainian state. This is definitely nonsense as Ukraine declared its independence in June 1917, before the usurpation of power by the Bolsheviks. This episode is a confirmation of the fact that, for the regime of Putin, what it matters is imperialism freed from the revolutionary ideology and policy that was supposedly financially supported from outside, from Germany. That’s why the Communist-Socialist opposition of the Republic of Moldova lacks ideological benchmarks.

Sinecures for Communist-Socialist propagandists

In the aforementioned circumstances, the only trump card of the Communist-Socialist opposition in the confrontation with the government until recently was the media empire – the main propagandistic tool based on the retransmission of Russian TV channels on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. Amid the hybrid warfare, the government ultimately took measures to secure the information sphere of the country and to fight disinformation and the symbols associated with military aggression. By this action, the interests of the propaganda machine of the Communist-Socialist opposition were frontally attacked. The reactions of the opposition MPs were extremely virulent and their essence was uttered by the informal leader of the Socialists Igor Dodon, who refused to make a distinction between the symbols of the victory in World War II and the symbols of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. It’s a pity as he could have learned from the Communists, who condemned the symbols they used after these were utilized by the Nazis.

Actually, the Communist-Socialists’ recent defeats on the propagandistic front had as a yardstick the ECHR judgment of 5 April 2022 on the case of NIT against the Republic of Moldova. The High Court could not confirm that the withdrawal of the broadcast license of the TV channel NIT ten years ago was in breach of the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights. The ECHR only ascertained that (see item 221): The revocation of NIT’s license was thus part of a gradual and uninterrupted series of sanctions imposed by the ACC on the applicant company. These had variously consisted of the issuing of a public warning, the withdrawal of the right to broadcast advertisements for a defined period, the imposition of a fine and then the suspension of the right to broadcast for a certain period, ultimately concluding with the most severe sanction, the revocation of the license on 5 April 2012.

Currently, what it matters is the fact that the ECHR judgment provides a complex and detailed analysis of the way in which the Communist-Socialists, through the agency of the TV channels they owned or administered, disseminated propaganda while they were in power. From this viewpoint, the document deserves to be attentively read so as to realize that the propaganda and brainwashing of the people during the last 20 years had been the favorite activity of the Communist-Socialists. One more thing should be noted here. The main Communist-Socialist propagandists who obeyed the Communist leaders under the rule of the PCRM are now Members of Parliament representing the Bloc of Communists and Socialists. This is a proof of the reward they received for their valuable propagandistic services by being given sinecures. What is curious is that these notorious propagandists now manifest themselves as promoters of pluralism and freedom of the media, accusing the current government of limitation of the citizens’ right to information, which is actually disinformation by propaganda.


The recent resumption of the political confrontation between the government and the opposition takes place amid the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The Government faces serious socioeconomic problems caused by the regional destabilization. However, despite the difficulties, it manages to create prospects. For its part, the Communist-Socialist opposition faces multiple ideological problems and problems that ruin the integration prospects and can lead to an eventual loss of the propagandistic monopole. The final result of this confrontation depends on the way in which the Russo-Ukrainian war will end. In such circumstances, the sympathy of the government and the opposition for the belligerent sides becomes more evident.

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