Thanks for the update, David. This is really worrying. The most worry-some newsletter I have read so far. The threat is palpable, real and it is from within. Of course it is fuelled from outside the country but it is the locals who may break through the system. If the current leadership cannot sustain the pressure and buckles up, it will be a disaster. Real disaster.

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Hi Tamara, yes I agree that the threat is real and there are a lot of worrying signs. But I don't see any indications that the government is unable to handle the situation. Interviews that some stations did with protestors showed that very few had any consistent idea of what they were doing there. In a lot of cases it is a litany of sad stories of disillusioned elderly people being paid or at least getting free transport to go shopping at the Chisinau market. Protests alone aren't that threatening in this situation, especially while the vast majority of the population (and especially the capital) are hard set against Shor and his oligarch buddies / Putin cronies.

What I think we have to watch closely is whether the Russians will risk something more - such as the saboteurs mentioned. So the threats are real, but so far the government is coping well I think.

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