Sunday’s protest in Chisinau was about socio-economic demands, while Ukraine was not directly mentioned, although certain ambiguous anti-war banners were spotted.

Ambassador of Ukraine to Moldova, Marko Shevchenko, told about this on the air of the national telethon.

“Ukraine was not directly mentioned, but for some reason, by a strange coincidence, the second-largest slogan put forward by protesters, the one they marched with, was ‘No to war in Moldova.’ But they never mentioned how this war could be brought to Moldova. Russian propaganda insists that war could be brought by Ukraine while accusing authorities in Moldova of following the lead of the Ukrainian government, who are trying to draw Moldova into a war with Russia. That is why the protesters chanted ‘No to war,’ carrying anti-war banners,” he said.

At the same time, the diplomat noted that the main issue on which the protest focused was socio-economic.Read also: Moldova PM: “We should thank Ukrainians for protecting the whole of Europe”

He recalled that against the background of the increase in energy cost in Moldova, the tariffs for household utility bills went up as well, increased, although the authorities decided to compensate their cost to low-income families.

Protesters demanded that the government cover household bills over the winter period.

Shevchenko informed that, according to the local observers, up to 3,500 protesters took part in the rally, which is a rather small number even for Moldova.

The diplomat emphasized that Moldovan law enforcement were serious about the protests, taking into account the reports of Russia’s plot to destabilize the country.

“Detentions are not the only measures that were taken. Many people were not allowed to enter the country. Today it was also reported that a member of Wagner PMC was identified at the airport, who was banned from entering Moldova. In addition, a few days ago, a series of searches were held within the inquiries into the illegal financing of the Shor party, which is the main organizer of the protests. As part of the raid, nearly 230,000 euros was seized, which, I suspect, could have been used to pay protesters or cover expenses related to these protests,” Shevchenko said.

As reported by Ukrinform, on Sunday, March 12, a protest of the “Movement for the People” and the “Shor” party took place in the center of Chisinau. The day before, law enforcement officials said that mass riots had been plotted.

Clashes erupted between the crowd and police after two columns of protestors merged outside the parliament and decided to continue along Stefan čol Mare Avenue. The police blocked further movement as the event organizers had not announced the relocation in advance. The police kept Stefan čol Mare Avenue cordoned off.

Chisinau law enforcers arrested 54 persons who intended to take part in the pro-Russia protest, including 12 minors.

Secretary General of the Moldova President’s Administration, Andrii Spinu, referred to the event as “an unsuccessful attempt by Russia to destabilize Moldova.”

Read also: 1,398 children already killed and injured by Russian aggression in Ukraine.