The Insider: Russian agent as commander of National Army

An apocalyptic scandal arose in the Moldovan public space after The Insider, the Russian edition, accessed Telegram correspondence between former Chief of the Moldovan General Staff Igor Gorgan and his GRU handler, Russian Colonel Alexei Makarov, IPN reports.

Gorgan regularly reported to Makarov on Moldova’s domestic political situation and provided information on visits from Ukrainian Ministry of Defense representatives, who came to Moldova to purchase military equipment and ammunition. Gorgan served in the General Staff until late 2021, when the country’s new President Maia Sandu requested his resignation.

According to the journalistic investigation, in one message published by The Insider, Gorgan appeared to invite a Russian incursion into his own country by writing: “We urgently need to cleanse the country of all fascist scum! Many are ready. Pass it on... The time has come. I keep the whole situation in the army under control… Here, to my joy, there is no ‘Azov’ or other formations, and we will deal with the politicians quickly.”

In another message to the handler, Gorgan wrote: “Railroad trains with fuel are coming from the territory of Moldova, namely from the village of Etulia to the Ukrainian settlement of Reni. The train with fuel moves only at night, during the day it stands still in order not to become a target of the Russian Federation's Aerospace Forces (VKS).”

Agent Gorgan was also restless about arms deliveries to Ukraine via Romania. Here’s the advice he gave to Colonel Makarov: “It’s essential to close the border with Romania as soon as possible! It’s a big hole! A lot of cargo comes to Ukraine from there. Especially military cargo! The Romanians still have some military factories that produce weapons and ammunition.”

It’s not clear why the law enforcement bodies didn’t turn their attention to this case, but prior to the mass expulsion of Russian diplomats from Moldova in July 2023, Gorgan ceased communication and secured a job at the UNHCR-Moldova office in Chișinău, which deals also with Ukrainian refugees.

In connection with the scandalous unmasking, former Moldovan Defense Minister Anatol Șalaru said that “it was known for a long time that Gorgan was Russia’s man, but he had good protectors at the SIS, so he continued his activity unhindered.” Earlier, in 2016, Șalaru dismissed Gorgan from the position of Chief of the General Staff of the National Army of Moldova. “We received information from the SIS and from the army that Gorgan collaborated with the Russian services. He met regularly with Russian agents. But I was also convinced of this from the analysis of his actions and so I dismissed him,” stated Șalaru.

The Ministry of Defense also issued a statement saying that “all the information that appeared in the investigation is carefully verified and analyzed by our specialists in cooperation with other state institutions.”

It is important that the Security and Intelligence Service (SIS) also confirmed The Insider’s report about the status of Russian informant of the former Chief of the Moldovan General Staff Igor Gorgan. In this regard, SIS spokeswoman Daniela Mînzat said that SIS “knows the objectives, actors, instruments and tactics applied with regard to the democratic processes of the Republic of Moldova.”

Avoiding saying what the state institutions are doing in the case of the Russian informant in the national army, Maia Sandu’s chief of staff Adrian Băluțel stated that “such crimes against the state must be punished in the harshest way for treason. In 2021, this person was dismissed from office by President Maia Sandu. The state awards conferred on him in 2006, “Military Merit”, in 2015, “Faith to the Homeland”, and military ranks will be withdrawn. Such cases show that continuous monitoring and thorough verification are imperative in relation to those in the defense and state security institutions. Such insiders contribute to hybrid threats to the state of the Republic of Moldova. That’s why we need more effective tools to fight the crimes of treason against the Homeland,” said the official.

Leveraging his remaining connections in the Moldovan Defense Ministry, Gorgan continues to be a key GRU informant, The Insider concluded.

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