Luke Coffey is a research fellow specialising in transatlantic and Eurasian security at a Washington DC based think tank. He previously served as a special adviser to the British defence secretary and was a commissioned officer in the United States army.
Gagauzia, a tiny autonomous region in Moldova, checks most of the boxes for Russian meddling. It is ethnically Turkic, religiously Christian Orthodox, and the main language spoken is Russian. The region is a byproduct of imperial rivalry between the Ottoman and Russian empires typically found in the Black Sea basin in the 19th century. Like Crimea, it was taken by Russia from the Ottoman Empire. In this case, Russia acquired Gagauzia after the Russo-Turkish War (1806–1812) as part of the 1812 Treaty of Bucharest.