Transnistria opens a new focus of tension on the borders of Ukraine
Moldova’s President Maia Sandu warned yesterday that the attacks in the self-proclaimed Russian-backed republic of Transnistria, which borders southwestern Ukraine, are an attempt to escalate tension by “pro-war factions.”
The Security Council of the separatist region yesterday denounced several “terrorist attacks” in less than 24 hours against government facilities and telecommunication antennas. “There were three terrorist attacks in Transnistria. They fired grenade launchers at the building of the Ministry of State Security, there were two explosions at the radio-television center in the village of Maiak, and they also attacked a military unit in Parcani,” the press service of the president of the region, Vadim Krasnoselski, said in his Telegram channel.
“In the early hours of April 26, two explosions occurred in the village of Maiak,” the Interior Ministry said. No residents were injured, but two antennas used by Russian-language radios were out of service, the agency said.
The peacekeeping forces “control the situation in the security zone,” the authorities said, referring to the Russian troops that have been in the area since 1992. The territory, with just half a million inhabitants, mostly Slavs , broke ties with Moldova after an armed conflict (1992-1993) in which he had Russian help, which now has some 2,000 troops in the area. Kyiv fears that the region could be used as a launching pad for new attacks against Ukraine.
The Kremlin supports this separatist region, which has hosted two thousand Russian soldiers for thirty years
Moscow declared that it is closely following the situation in the region and that reports of the attacks that have occurred there “causes concern.” “The only thing I can say is that we are following very closely how the situation develops. Without a doubt, the news coming from there causes concern,” Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov said. Subsequently, the Russian Foreign Ministry assured that Moscow wants to avoid a scenario in which it has to intervene in the separatist region.
Faced with the worsening of the situation, Sandu called a meeting of the Supreme Security Council. On Monday, the Moldovan government said the Tiraspol blasts were aimed at creating tensions in a region it does not control. The concern was evident yesterday in Chisinau, from which families were reported fleeing by car to the border with Romania in fear that the Russian offensive on southwestern Ukraine would cross the border.
Last week, a senior Russian military official said the second phase of what Russia calls a “special military operation” included a plan to take full control of southern Ukraine and improve its access to Transnistria.
“Control of southern Ukraine is another path to Transnistria, where there is also evidence that the Russian-speaking population is being oppressed,” General Rustam Minnekayev was quoted as saying by the Tass agency. Minnekayev did not provide evidence or details of this alleged oppression.
The fear that the war will spread to Moldova is already causing families to flee by car towards the border with Romania
Earlier this month, Kyiv claimed that an airfield in the region was being prepared to receive planes and be used by Moscow to transport troops to Ukraine, allegations that the Moldovan Defense Ministry and Transnistrian authorities denied. From the White House, a spokesman assured that the US government is closely monitoring the events that may occur in Moldova.