News Article: The Country That Suffers Whenever Russia Schemes

Diogenes

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The Country That Suffers Whenever Russia Schemes

In the three decades since Moldova gained its independence, Russia has spent billions, perhaps trillions, of rubles to subvert this tiny country sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine. At different times, using different tactics, Russian security services have helped create and nurture pro-Russia political parties, pro-Russia media, and pro-Russia social-media campaigns in Moldova. Russian -entrepreneurs - created a web of corruption in Moldova, too, culminating in the spectacular scheme known as the Moldovan Laundromat. In that venture, a group of Moldovan banks, with the support of several senior Moldovan politicians, among others, helped launder more than $20 billion of illicit Russian money from 2010 to 2014.

Whatever schemes Russia dreams up for the ex-Soviet world-corruption, subversion, or now, ominously, invasion - Moldova has usually been an early victim. Way back in the 1990s, Russia helped separatists carve out a slice of Moldova - including Tiraspol, the second-largest city; quite a few factories; and most of what used to be the main road from the capital to the Ukrainian port of Odesa - by triggering a military skirmish and then helping the slice declare itself to be the independent republic of Transnistria, an entity recognized by no other UN member state, Russia included.

Transnistria was the first of several mostly unrecognized statelets to be created in former Soviet republics; it was followed by South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia, as well as the Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics” in Ukraine. These bits of territory have been supplied and aided by Russian troops and used to destabilize independent countries that might otherwise escape Moscow’s orbit. Russian troops launched their current invasion of Ukraine from Donetsk and Luhansk, among other places.
 
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Tidewater

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The Russians have a clever way to move money out of Russia. A fictitious Russian firm contracts with a fictitious Moldovan firm. The Russian firm defaults on the contract. The Moldovan firm selects a Moldovan citizen (who sometimes is unaware he has been selected) to give Moldovan courts jurisdiction and sues the Russian firm in a Moldovan court. The FSB visits the judge privately, show him photos of his ten year old daughter at school and says, "It would be terrible if something happened to your daughter at school. If you rule the way we want you to, we will 'protect' your daughter."
The Russian firm promptly "loses," and ("Darnit!") has to pay the Moldovan firm the €5M in penalties. Voila, the money is legally outside of Russia. Then you move it to Latvia (which has lax banking regulations), and "Voila!" the money is in the European Union.
The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project has a good article on this.
OCCRP
 
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TIDE-HSV

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The Russians have a clever way to move money out of Russia. A fictitious Russian firm contracts with a fictitious Moldovan firm. The Russian firm defaults on the contract. The Moldovan firm selects a Moldovan citizen (who sometimes is unaware he has been selected) to give Moldovan courts jurisdiction and sues the Russian firm in a Moldovan court. The FSB visits the judge privately, show him photos of his ten year old daughter at school and says, "It would be terrible if something happened to your daughter at school. If you rule the way we want you to, we will 'protect' your daughter."
The Russian firm promptly "loses," and ("Darnit!") has to pay the Moldovan firm the €5M in penalties. Voila, the money is legally outside of Russia. Then you move it to Latvia (which has lax banking regulations), and "Voila!" the money is in the European Union.
The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project has a good article on this.
OCCRP
Vintage mob money laundering technique...
 
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Tidewater

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I expected it to be the USA
The current Kremlin leadership takes a very "zero-sum" view of international affairs. One way to advance Russia's interests is for good things to happen in Russia. Also useful from their perspective is that anything bad happen to the other side, whether that is NATO collectively or any NATO member state, even if that bad thing does not directly improve Russia. It is enough if it is bad for the other guy.
 
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TIDE-HSV

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The current Kremlin leadership takes a very "zero-sum" view of international affairs. One way to advance Russia's interests is for good things to happen in Russia. Also useful from their perspective is that anything bad happen to the other side, whether that is NATO collectively or any NATO member state, even if that bad thing does not directly improve Russia. It is enough if it is bad for the other guy.
That reminds me of the two apocryphal stories about the Russians pulling the others back into the boiling vat in hell and the peasant's prayer to "kill my neighbor's cow." Did you see my PM?
 

Tidewater

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That reminds me of the two apocryphal stories about the Russians pulling the others back into the boiling vat in hell and the peasant's prayer to "kill my neighbor's cow." Did you see my PM?
In the 2016 presidential campaign, Russian trolls created a Facebook group called "Black matters US." They then created another Facebook group called "Texans for Gun Rights." Then they called for a "Black Matters USA" rally in a Dallas city square. They also decided to hold a "Texans for Gun Rights" rally at the same place at the same time. Does Russia really care about BLM? Not really. Does Russia care about Texas gun rights? Not really. They just wanted these two groups to get together, and for somebody to pop off at the mouth, hoping a bloodbath would ensue.
Similarly, during the Catalonia secession crisis, Spanish-speaking Venezuelans (paid by Russia) urged Spaniards not to let Catalonia disrespect Madrid. The same trolls urged Catalonia to assert its independence from Madrid. Russia does not care about Catalonian independence. They just want Spaniards killing Spaniards because that makes Russia (relatively) stronger.
 

TexasBama

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In the 2016 presidential campaign, Russian trolls created a Facebook group called "Black matters US." They then created another Facebook group called "Texans for Gun Rights." Then they called for a "Black Matters USA" rally in a Dallas city square. They also decided to hold a "Texans for Gun Rights" rally at the same place at the same time. Does Russia really care about BLM? Not really. Does Russia care about Texas gun rights? Not really. They just wanted these two groups to get together, and for somebody to pop off at the mouth, hoping a bloodbath would ensue.
Similarly, during the Catalonia secession crisis, Spanish-speaking Venezuelans (paid by Russia) urged Spaniards not to let Catalonia disrespect Madrid. The same trolls urged Catalonia to assert its independence from Madrid. Russia does not care about Catalonian independence. They just want Spaniards killing Spaniards because that makes Russia (relatively) stronger.
 

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