After the mysterious explosions recorded in the last few days breakaway region of Transnistria, Ukraine seems to be convinced that Russia will attack Moldova sooner or later. This is what the newspaper assures this Monday The Times citing military sources, points out that Putin is considering this possibility in order to facilitate the entry of its troops into the port of Odessalocated in the Black Sea.
“We believe that the Kremlin has already made the decision to attack Moldova. The fate of Moldova is very crucial. If the Russians start to take control, militarily we will be an easier target and the threat to Ukraine will be existential,” acknowledges a Ukrainian military source.
Among the reasons given to suspect this operation, Ukrainian intelligence points out that the activity recorded at the main airfield in Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria, suggests that the Russians are preparing for a conflict with Ilyushin-76 transport aircraftas well as helicopters that would be to arrive.
According to The Timesthe date chosen to intervene Moldova could be on May 9, known in Russia as Victory Day, in memory of the defeat of the Nazis in World War II. In this way, Putin would have barely a week to find a “pretext” with which to launch attacks that he, until now, has been denying.
According to the calculations of Western officials, Russia would now have 1,500 soldiers in Transnistria, a figure that, a priori, would be insufficient to carry out an attack with which Moscow would seek to isolate Ukraine from the Black Sea. In any case, Moldova would not have great means to stop a hypothetical attack. In this sense, the British newspaper recalls that the country barely has 3,250 soldiers in its Army and that it is facing a large influx of refugees while bearing the consequences of a war that has stopped almost 15% of its exports.
Transnistria, a ghost republic
After the dissolution of the USSR, Moldova became independent and a civil war broke out, driven by the desire for independence of the Slavic population. Moscow then decided to intervene, giving its support to the Transnistrian rebels and forcing the Moldovan Executive to sign a peace agreement in 1992 that guaranteed the presence of the Russian army in the area as a “peace force”.
Since then, Transnistria -which occupies the eastern fringe of the country, between the Dniester River and the border with Ukraine- remains a de facto independent republic, although not internationally recognized. Most of its population speaks Russian on a regular basis, and uses the Cyrillic alphabet, unlike the rest of Moldova, where Romanian is spoken and the Latin alphabet is used. It has its own currency (the Transnistrian ruble) and its own passports, it keeps the Soviet hammer and sickle on its flag and gives some of its institutions names from the communist era (Supreme Soviet, KGB…).
Faced with the drift of Russian invasion of UkraineMoldova has in recent weeks applied for its accession to the European Union and has publicly demanded that Russian soldiers stationed east of the Dniester River leave the country.