Ukraine warns Russian-backed forces in Moldova are boosting recruitment 2022-04-28 10:02:01

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Kyiv warned on Thursday that Russian-backed separatist groups In Moldova they are recruited into their ranks like Moscow Threaten to expand its campaign outside Ukraine.

In a statement issued by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, officials said a letter was sent to the heads of local administrations in the breakaway region of Transnistria in eastern Moldova last week.

Ukrainian soldiers search for possible remnants of Russian troops after they withdraw from villages on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, April 1, 2022.

Ukrainian soldiers search for possible remnants of Russian troops after they withdraw from villages on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, April 1, 2022.
(AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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The letter, which was provided in coordination with the statement, reportedly shows that the Transnistrian Ministry of Defense asked all men under the age of 55 to join a 90-day “special meeting” to strengthen its army.

A translation provided by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine said that the recruitment drive “will guarantee 100 percent of the staff of the peacekeeping unit of the Transnistrian Republic of Moldova, as well as provide employment opportunities for the working population of the republic.”

“Financial and material support, housing and food” will be provided to those joining the ranks.

Law enforcement officers stand guard at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Tiraspol in Moldova's breakaway region of Transnistria, April 27, 2022.

Law enforcement officers stand guard at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Tiraspol in Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria, April 27, 2022.
(Reuters/Vladislav Bachev)

The amount of 2,800 Transnistrian rubles will also be given – although due to the lack of international recognition of Transnistria, the ruble cannot be converted into foreign currencies outside the breakaway zone, which makes it unclear what the conversion rate into US dollars will be.

Despite current calls for voluntary recruitment for a period of 90 days, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said it had received information indicating that registration would be mandatory.

A convoy of pro-Russian forces moves along a road in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Thursday, April 21.

A convoy of pro-Russian forces moves along a road in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Thursday, April 21.
(Reuters / Jenkis Kondarov)

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The message was reportedly sent on April 21, just a day before a Russian general announced that Moscow’s goal was to gain “full control” of eastern Ukraine along with the areas above the Black Sea and the border with Moldova.

“Control of southern Ukraine is another way out to Transnistria, where there are cases where Russian-speaking people have been repressed,” Major General Rustam Minnikaev said in Russia’s first direct threat to Moldova since the invasion of Ukraine began in February.

Russia was echoing language it used in the run-up to its incursion into Ukraine when it said it would launch a “special military operation” to free Russian supporters it claimed, without evidence, were being repressed by regional authorities.

Then this week, two transnistria attacks targeted, one of which hit radio antennas broadcasting Russian programs while another targeted the Ministry of State Security in the region’s capital.

Map depicting Ukraine, Russia, Crimea, Donbass region controlled by pro-Russian forces and neighboring countries.

Map depicting Ukraine, Russia, Crimea, Donbass region controlled by pro-Russian forces and neighboring countries.
(Ian Jobson/Fox News Digital)

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Russia claimed on Thursday that these were “terrorist acts” but did not identify it or provide evidence to support its claims.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said Thursday that the measures in Transnistria are “reminiscent of the events” that took place in the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics in its Donbas region “on the eve of [the] Large-scale Russian invasion.

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