Ukrainian officials talk about the danger of opening up another front in the conflict with Russia – along the border with Moldova in the southwest.
Part of the Moldovan border area is controlled by a pro-Russian administration in the area It is called Transnistria. Unexplained explosions there earlier this week prompted Ukrainian officials to claim that Russian security services were planning provocations in Transnistria as a pretext to open a new front in the war.
“We have always considered Transnistria as a starting point that there may be some risks for us,” Mikhailo Podolak, an advisor to President Volodymyr Zelensky, told Ukrainian television on Wednesday. [the] Odessa and Vinnytsia regions.
There is a certain thing [military] Of the Russians, they number between 1,500 and 2,000, of whom only 500-600 are Russians. ”
But he said most people in Transnistria assimilated into Moldova and Europe.
“Therefore, for Transnistria, an active participation in the conflict in Ukraine will mean practically complete isolation and destruction of the enclave,” Podolyak noted.
Podolak noted that through the events this week in Transnistria, Russia was trying to provoke Ukraine.
Roman Kostenko, a member of the Verkhovna Rada from Odessa, said that Transnistria does not pose a strategic threat to Ukraine.
“It could be a tactical threat in some direction to connect our forces,” the official said.
Kostenko said the Russians were counting on Transnistria as “another front that could support them directly when they attack, for example, Mykolaiv and Odessa from the sea, because Mykolaiv blocks the land passage.”
Ukrainian defenses around the city of Mykolaiv prevented Russian forces from reaching Odessa overland.
Ukraine’s far southwestern corner is now cut off from the rest of the country after a road and railway bridge over the mouth of the Dniester River was hit by a second cruise missile on Wednesday after it first struck on Tuesday. Russia has not said it carried out the missile strike.
The Southern Military Command of Ukraine claimed that Russian submarines continued to threaten missile strikes from the Black Sea. “The enemy forces are preparing for provocations with missile strikes on Transnistria, accusing Ukraine of attacking the unrecognized republic,” it added.