Investigative report reveals former Moldovan chief of general staff was GRU informant

Investigative report reveals former Moldovan chief of general staff was GRU informant
Igor Gorgan was dismissed by President Maia Sandu in 2021. /
By Iulian Ernst in Bucharest June 7, 2024

Former Moldovan chief of general staff Igor Gorgan, dismissed by President Maia Sandu in 2021, passed secrets to Russian military intelligence services until 2023 when his handlers at the Russian embassy were expelled, according to the results of investigations published by Russia-focused publication The Insider.

Undisclosed military intelligence sources said Gorgan began his activity as a Russian Chief Intelligence Office (GRU) asset most likely in 2004 when the Moldovan officer served in a Nato mission. Since 2003, he has participated in Nato international missions in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Georgia and Iraq.

“Gorgan regularly reported to [Colonel Alexei] Makarov on Moldova's domestic political situation and provided information on visits of Ukrainian Ministry of Defence representatives, who came to Moldova to purchase military equipment and ammunition,” according to the publication.

What raises problems is that Gorgan was known as a Russian agent since 2016 and he still managed to maintain contact with informants within the Army, remaining a GRU informant even after the moment of his dismissal in 2021 at least until 2023.

In July 2023, after the expulsion of his handlers from the Russian embassy in Chisinau, Gorgan ceased communication and secured a job at the UNHCR-Moldova office in Chisinau.

The agency handles all refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Ukraine and assists them with resettlement.

Leveraging his remaining connections in the Moldovan defence ministry, Gorgan continues to be a key GRU informant, The Insider concluded.

After the disclosure, the Security and Intelligence Service (SIS) claimed that they knew all about the situation. The SIS confirmed in a statement the information disclosed by The Insider.

“In the context of the journalistic investigation carried out by The Insider, SIS mentions that the data in the possession of the institution confirms the veracity of the information presented,” according to a SIS statement.

But, apart from the SIS, not many among the decision-makers in Chisinau appear to have been aware of the case.

The presidency announced (three years after Gorgan's dismissal) that Gorgan would be stripped of the state distinctions received in 2006 and 2015.

The Prosecution Office said its prosecutors are going to check the information revealed by The Insider, implying that no such investigation was carried out in the past.

Speaker of parliament Igor Grosu instructed the “relevant institutions” to publicly report on the stage of the investigations, also implying that not much has been disclosed among different compartments of the public authorities related to this case.

Furthermore, Defence Minister Anatol Salaru, who dismissed Gorgan as the head of the army for the first time in 2016 before he was reinstated by former president Igor Dodon in 2019, claimed that "we were well aware that he was an informant”. 

“I was informed and came to this conclusion myself that he is a Russian agent. We also received information from the SIS and the Army, such as that Gorgan was collaborating with the Russian services, meeting regularly with Russian agents," Salaru revealed.