Mysterious explosions in the Transnistria region of Moldova disturb Ukraine’s neighbor 2022-04-28 15:53:57

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A series of mysterious explosions occurred across Transnistria, a pro-Kremlin breakaway region of Moldova that hosts Russian forces, raising fears that Russian invasion Ukraine may extend to other countries in the region.

Moldova’s Deputy Prime Minister Nico Popescu said Thursday that Moldova is facing a “very dangerous new moment,” warning of unnamed forces trying to stir up tension in Transnistria, a narrow region of land that shares a border with Ukraine.

Transnistria declared independence from Moldova in 1990 and it de facto runs itself independently from Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, but it is not recognized internationally.

The attacks come days after the Russian military commander indicated that Moscow might look for a route to Moldova in its own country The “second phase” of the military operation.

Rustam Minnikaev, acting military commander of Russia’s Central Military District, said in the most direct threats to Moldova voiced by Russian officials to date.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has used alleged discrimination against Russian speakers in Ukraine as justification to launch a brutal attack on Ukrainian cities in late February.

Transnistrian authorities said this week that explosions targeted the headquarters of the Ministry of State Security in Tiraspol, the main city in the breakaway region; Military unit in Barkani village. And two radio towers are rebroadcasting Russian news, according to Transnistrian authorities.

On Wednesday, local media reported a shooting incident near Russian arms and ammunition depots on the outskirts of the village of Kubasna.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, and no injuries were reported. But officials in Transnistria pointed the finger at Ukraine.

Moldova - Transnistria - Ukraine - Russia - Conflict
A Transnistrian soldier disembarks from the bus after checking passengers entering the Transnistrian Moldavian Republic at the Varneta border point with Moldova on April 28, 2022.

DANIEL MIHAILESCU / AFP via Getty Images


“We have imposed a special state of emergency: a red alert against terrorism,” Transnistrian Foreign Minister Vitaly Ignatiev told Russia’s Interfax news agency. According to preliminary data, the traces of those who organized the attacks are leading to Ukraine.”

Moldova’s President Maya Sandu said on Tuesday the attacks were an attempt to escalate tensions and blamed “pro-war factions” and infighting within the renegade province’s administration.

“We condemn any challenges and attempts to tempt the Republic of Moldova with actions that may endanger peace in the country,” Sandu said. Chisinau continues to insist on a peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.

Moldova accepted hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees Since the outbreak of the war on February 24. Its government condemned the Russian war and made a bid to join the European Union on the side of Georgia and Ukraine. It is also seeking EU support in dealing with the influx of refugees and is calling on the bloc to step up support for the country.

But it is also trying to carefully balance its neutral stance with NATO to signal that it is not ready to be Russia’s next target.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said the alleged attacks in Transnistria were a provocation organized by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

“We clearly understand that this is a step of the Russian Federation. Special services work there. It is not only about fake news. The goal is clear – to destabilize the situation in the region, to threaten Moldova. “Moldova is showing that if Moldova supports Ukraine, there will be certain steps,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday.

In a daily briefing, the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), an open-source military intelligence and analysis group that has been monitoring the invasion of Ukraine, said: “We see how tensions continue to escalate in the region. The President of the Republic of Moldova, Vadim Krasnoselsky, says he does not want to drag his country into this war. And in At the same time, we see that checkpoints are starting to appear in Tiraspol and elsewhere in Transnistria, which is worrying Moldova.”

“Our assumption, although it has not yet been confirmed, is that Krasnoselsky is under pressure from the local Ministry of State Security, which is likely a local branch of the Federal Security Service, and somehow pushes him to war or mobilization.”

According to CIT, there are approximately two tactical groups of the two battalions at the Russian base in Transnistria. The general mobilization of the Russian forces will allow the recruitment of about 10 more such groups.

“This cannot significantly affect the situation in Ukraine, but it may force the Ukrainian forces to keep part of their forces near Odessa,” CIT said. Odessa It is a major port city in southern Ukraine that Russia failed to capture in its campaign to make Ukraine landlocked.

Russian officials publicly expressed concern about the events in Transnistria.

“We strongly condemn attempts to involve Transnistria in what is happening in Ukraine,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing Thursday. “We call for restraint in Chisinau and Tiraspol and a return to a constructive search for optimal solutions to the issues on the agenda.”

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