Russiaʼs attempts to sow chaos in Moldova and Zelensky as a factor in US politics. The worldʼs leading media about the war on December 12

Anton Semyzhenko


Using the war in Ukraine, Russia is trying to sow chaos in Moldova, writes The New York Times. Local pro-Russian politicians, in particular the ex-mayor of the city of Orhei and lawkmaker Ilan Shor, who is suspected of participating in the theft of a billion dollars from local banks, organize weekly rallies against the current government. The main target of these rallies is the pro-Western president Maia Sandu, who, according to one of the participants, "is trying to freeza Moldovans to silence." The protester refers to the rise in prices for heating and electricity, as well as high inflation, which has already reached 35%. These problems depend little on the authorities of Moldova ― they are primarily caused by Russiaʼs invasion of Ukraine. The reason for power outages in the country is the same ― its power grid is tied to the Ukrainian one, and Kyivʼs problems become Chisinauʼs problems. The publication spoke with the Deputy Prime Minister of Moldova Andrei Spirnu, who is responsible for diversifying the ways of supplying energy to the country in these conditions. In his office in the government building, he does not turn on the light ― the flashlight of his mobile phone helps him find his way in the dim corridors. Meanwhile, Ilan Shor assures that if Moldova will become friends with Russia, all these problems would not exist. In his video broadcasts, which he records in Israel as a fugitive, Shor promises to negotiate with the Kremlin for cheap energy in Oghei and its surroundings ― although this is both legally and technically impossible. The politician has reasons to be at odds with the current government of the country: recently searches in the offices of his party revealed unaccounted cash for almost $100,000. This, the local law enforcement officers assure the publication, is the weekly budget of the protest actions against Sandu.

In the same week that Volodymyr Zelensky became Time magazineʼs cover hero and Person of the Year, MSNBC columnist Nayera Haq recalls another Time cover with Zelensky from three years ago. Then she referred to the scandals with the Trump administration and the fact that the Republican president slowed down the provision of military support to Ukraine, prompting Kyiv to investigate the alleged abuse of Joe Bidenʼs son Hunter. Then Zelensky assured that he would do everything possible to avoid becoming a factor in domestic American politics. Three years have passed ― and Zelensky has become one, Haq claims. At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, he inspired Americans to fight against the dictatorship thanks to his courage and talent as an orator. Moreover, for a successful struggle, the citizens of the USA did not even have to get their hands dirty ― no land contingent, the Ukrainians do everything themselves, while the Americans help with money and equipment. It worked for some time ― US society consolidated, and Zelensky became one of the most popular figures in the country. Support for Ukraine among republicans then reached 80%. Now, when it is clear that the Americans will have to pay for longer, and the war has lost its novelty effect, support has fallen to 50%. Republicans claim that aid to Ukraine should be reviewed, and the radical wing reminds of the need to check "what documents are in Hunter Bidenʼs suitcase." Therefore, in order for Ukraine to survive, Zelensky once again has to appeal more actively to the American audience, reminding that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are fighting not only for themselves, but for democracy. Although, perhaps, for some of the top American politicians, this is no longer a value, the columnist concludes.