Off-SHORe politics: how Gagauzia was sold to a pro-Russian oligarch

The Gagauz minority in Moldova represents a unique blend of Turkic ethnicity and Orthodox Christian identity. But it was neither its authentic culture nor mysterious history that brought it into the media spotlight recently. Instead, it was a number of outrageous events signalling that Gagauzia is increasingly becoming a destabilising force for the pro-European government in Moldova.

Constituting only 4.5 per cent of the population of the Republic of Moldova, the Gagauz minority is concentrated in the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia in the south of the country. Although Gagauzia, for various reasons, has always been more inclined towards Russia than the rest of Moldova, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 this region has turned into the main stronghold of the pro-Russian opposition.

November 19, 2023 - Irina Percemli