In Chisinau, migration police officers came to the head of the Kremlin-controlled publication Sputnik Moldova, Vitaly Denisov. He was detained and taken to the airport, from where he was to be deported on the first flight. Denisov was banned from entering Moldova for 10 years. The publication itself reports this. Sputnik Moldova emphasizes that Denisov was not allowed to pack his things and take his animals with him.
According to Denisov himself, the reason for the deportation was that the Moldovan authorities consider him a threat to national security. “On the way in the car, I was given a copy of the decision that I must leave the country as a person posing a threat to the national security of the Republic of Moldova. <...> In the document on the entry ban, something was written about information activities and so on,” – said the head of Sputnik Moldova.
Dmitry Kiselev, general director of the Rossiya Segodnya media group, which includes Sputnik Moldova, reacted to Denisov’s deportation. He emphasized that Vasiliev has all the necessary documents allowing him to work in Moldova, and stated that “the destructive policy of the Moldovan authorities crosses all adequate boundaries of interstate relations.”
Immediately after the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Information and Security Service of Moldova blocked the Sputnik Moldova website in the country. The reason for the blocking was that the publication could spread “misinformation affecting national security.” On March 7, 2023, Moldovan authorities also restricted access to five more websites of the Russian state news agency Sputnik. The Russian representation in Moldova condemned their actions and called the accusations against the publication politicized.