Russian intelligence efforts are aiming at destabilizing Ukraine's southern regions, says Head of the Center for Defense Reforms, Oleksandr Danylyuk.
Locals are called for acquiring citizenship of neighboring states, which in turn creates prerequisites for the secession of a number of territories from Ukraine, Guildhall reports citing the expert.
"As part of active measures aimed at destabilizing Ukraine and further secession of its regions, Russian special services have launched an ad campaign across social networks toward encouraging residents of southern Ukraine, especially Bessarabia, to obtain Russian, Romanian and Moldovan citizenship," Danylyuk said.
"To this end, the Russians set up in Moldova a front organization, which consults and assists citizens of Ukraine in obtaining another citizenship. Most likely, the operation will be accompanied by attempts to aggravate Ukrainian-Romanian relations," he said.
"In 2014, Russian intelligence agencies already made an attempt to set up a terrorist organization 'Bessarabian People's Republic' in the west of Odesa region," Danylyuk said.
"As reported earlier, former MP and ex-member of the Yanukovych-era Party of Regions Anton Kisse was one of the promoters of a disinformation campaign targeting Bulgarian political elite on the alleged division of territories in Ukraine's Odesa region where ethnic Bulgarians reside, which led to some tensions in Ukrainian-Bulgarian relations," Guildhall notes.
"Earlier, Anton Kisse proposed to divide Odesa region, in fact creating the prerequisites for further intensification of activity of the illegal terrorist formation "Bessarabian People's Republic," the report reads.