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Moldova strips ex-Chief of General Staff of decorations and rank after The Insider investigation revealed him as a Russian GRU informant

Adrian Băluțel, Chief of Staff to the President of the Republic of Moldova, issued a statement following the publication earlier today of a joint investigation by The Insider and Malenkaya Strana («Маленькая страна»). The investigation revealed that Igor Gorgan, the former Chief of the Moldovan General Staff, had passed secret information to his handlers from the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency.

Băluțel confirmed that Gorgan was dismissed from his post by Moldova’s president Maia Sandu in 2021, and now his state awards and military ranks will be revoked. In a statement on Telegram, he wrote:

“Such crimes against the state must be punished in the harshest way for treason [...]. In 2021 this person was removed from office by President Maia Sandu. The state awards given to him in 2006 ‘Military Merit’, 2015 ‘Allegiance to the Motherland', and military ranks will be withdrawn.
Such cases demonstrate the imperative need for continuous monitoring and thorough verification in relation to those in the defence and state security institutions. Such insider criminals contribute to hybrid threats to the Moldovan state. This is precisely why we need more effective instruments to combat acts of treason.”

The Insider and investigative journalists from the Moldovan publication Malenkaya Strana («Маленькая страна») obtained access to Telegram correspondence between Gorgan, the former Chief of Moldova’s General Staff, and his GRU handler, Colonel Alexei Makarov. The investigation revealed that Gorgan regularly reported on Moldova's internal political situation and provided the GRU with information on visits from Ukrainian Defense Ministry representatives, who on multiple occasions purchased military equipment and ammunition from their Moldovan counterparts.

Gorgan served in the General Staff until late 2021, when President Maia Sandu dismissed him. Just before the mass expulsion of Russian spy diplomats from Moldova in July 2023, he secured a job at the UN. Despite his new role, Gorgan continued to be an important GRU informant, leveraging his connections within the Moldovan Defense Ministry.

Read more in the investigation A pen pal in Moscow: Moldovan Chief of General Staff passed secret information to his GRU handlers.

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