Former Moldovan Chief of Staff Igor Gorgan accused of providing intelligence to Russia

Igor Gorgan, the former Chief of Staff of Moldova, reportedly transmitted secret information to Russian military intelligence on a regular basis. This included details about the political situation in Moldova and information on visits from Ukrainian Ministry of Defense officials who were procuring military equipment and ammunition for their armed forces. The allegations were reported by The Insider, an online publication that collaborated with the Moldovan outlet "Little Country" to gain access to Gorgan's correspondence with his handler in the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (commonly known as the GRU), Colonel Alexei Makarov. The article emphasises that "relying on his old connections in the Moldovan Ministry of Defense, Gorgan remains a crucial informant for the GRU."

Gorgan was dismissed as Chief of Staff in late 2021 after Maia Sandu was elected President of Moldova. However, many of his appointees retained positions in the Ministry of Defense and other governmental levels, continuing to supply him with classified information, according to the publication.

The Insider suggests that Igor Gorgan and Alexei Makarov began their communications in 2004 when Gorgan was serving in a NATO mission. Makarov took over as his handler in 2019, with their interactions becoming notably active in April 2022, following the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. The two would meet in cafes in Chișinău or during fishing trips.

Before being overseen by Colonel Makarov, Gorgan maintained contacts with the Russian military attaché in Chișinău, Vadim Uknalyev, who currently serves as a military attaché in Kazakhstan. Additionally, Russia’s military attaché Igor Dovbnya had also supervised Gorgan for a period. Dovbnya was expelled from Moldova in 2017 for espionage, and he currently heads the office of Russian military attachés in Kyrgyzstan.

According to the publication, in his correspondence with Makarov, Gorgan frequently asserted that Moldova was "ready for the entry of Russian troops" and urgently required "a national cleansing."

Shortly before the mass expulsion of Russian diplomats from Moldova in July 2023, Igor Gorgan ceased communication with Makarov and secured a position with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Chișinău, investigative journalists found.

"The agency registers all displaced persons from Ukraine and assists them in settling. The irony is that Gorgan, who not long ago suggested to his GRU handler that Ukraine should be blockaded, is now involved in the distribution of humanitarian aid to Ukrainian children," The Insider concludes.

  Moldova, Russia