Ilan Shor’s Pro-Russian Bloc: A Challenge to Moldova’s European Course

Ilan Shor is a Moldovan politician. He is a pro-Moscow opposition figure in Moldovan politics who has been represented as “a leading figure in the Kremlin’s actions to degrade” the Republic of Moldova, according to intelligence reports. Shor is understood by the moniker of “the young one” by Russia’s Federal Security Service, which, according to thwarted communications, sent Russian political strategists to aid Shor’s political party. In 2014, Shor staged a fraud that caught US$1 billion vanish from Moldovan banks, resulting in a total loss equal to 12% of Moldova’s GDP and the detention of former Prime Minister Vlad Filat.

His pro-Russian party, the Șor Party, was barred by the Constitutional Court of Moldova on 19 June 2023 after months of demonstrations organized by his party. According to the court, these protests were organised to destabilize Moldova and instigate a coup to install a pro-Russian government. Shor has been wedded to the Russian singer Sara Lvovna Shor.

On 26 October 2022, he was sanctioned by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control as a Specially Designated National under GLOMAG over his connection with the Russian government. On 9 December 2022, the UK HM Treasury inflicted sanctions, on Shor an involved person under the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations, implicated in serious corruption concerning bribery of foreign public officials. On 31 May 2023, the EU inflicted sanctions against him, due to his relationship with the Russian government and because of his position in the pro-Russian unrest in Moldova.

On 21 April 2024, Ilan Shor founded his new “Victory” political bloc, made up of mouthpieces of the parties he patronizes from the clouds in Moldova in Moscow. Shor is concealing in Moscow following his conviction in Moldova in April 2023 to 15 years’ detention for the “Grand Theft” of one billion US dollars from the Moldovan banking system. Shor commented from the stage of a hotel in Moscow that his bloc will campaign for Moldova to get tighter to Russia and abandon its European course.

“We offer a new way for Moldova. The EU idea is a ghost; it destroys citizens and the country. [President Maia] Sandu has nothing to offer the people whom she has already completely robbed … Sandu is deliberately breaking the umbilical cord of our ties with the CIS, with Russia … our traditional partners and neighbours,” Shor expressed. Shor also declared freedom of expression and assembly are restricted in Moldova today, while his bloc presents an alternative to the current pro-European government and means “friendship, cooperation, partnership with the Russian Federation”. The new bloc plans to run in elections alongside the pro-Russian Socialist Party of Moldova, PSRM, guided by former pro-Russian president Igor Dodon. 

Moldova’s Infrastructure and Development Minister, Andrei Spinu, vice-president of the governing Action and Solidarity Party, PAS, stated the new bloc was formed “in Moscow, near the Kremlin, so it is clear who they work for. “A whole country saw the traitors to the country in Moscow. We can say clearly this organised criminal bloc … was created in Moscow. Not all of them are there on stage, though. Some are still hiding behind all kinds of parties in Chisinau. In the coming years, we must get rid of them,” Spinu expressed,

The head of a pro-European extra-parliamentary opposition party, the Coalition for Unity and Welfare, CUB, Igor Munteanu, expressed the appearance in Moscow of the new bloc suggests that plans to destabilize Moldova. Munteanu voiced that Moscow considers Shor as the “tip of a spear” to degrade the country. “Russia specifically chose him over other competitors because his style and techniques are more to Russia’s liking, and this means that Shor’s plans will be supported with unlimited money, recognition and support from Moscow,” Munteanu articulated.

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