On April 25 and 26, 2022, there were some explosions. And this began to happen after April 22, when the Deputy Commander of the Central Military District of the russian federation, Major General Rustam Minnekayev announced plans for the unrecognized PMR (Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic). He stated that the aim of the russian army is «to establish complete control over the Donbas and southern Ukraine.» After that, the occupiers must break through a corridor to the unrecognized PMR, where «there are facts of oppression of the Russian-speaking population.»
Ukraine-news.com collected everything that is known about the situation in the so-called «Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic» and how it threatens Ukraine.
What happened in the unrecognized republic of Transnistria
On April 25, explosions were heard in Tiraspol near the so-called Ministry of State Security of unrecognized Transnistria. As a result of the incident, the building was damaged, and the windows were broken. Objects similar to used RPG-22 and RPG-27 (Rocket-propelled grenade) were found on the street next to the premises.
As the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense found out, these explosions were a planned provocation by the russian special services. Ukrainian military intelligence intercepted a document testifying to the preparation of the leaders of the PMR for shelling in Tiraspol.
It turns out that the so-called «PMR authorities» were preparing for this «shelling» from grenade launchers three days before it, taking care of arranging a secure and comfortable bunker. On April 22, Vadim Shmalenko, secretary of the «State Commission for the Elimination of Emergency Situations» of the unrecognized republic, addressed a letter to the chairman of the Kamensky district, Vladimir Bychkov. It spoke about the urgent (until 4:00 p.m. on the same day) preparation of information on the presence and location of the “protected civil defense control center of the city.”
On April 26, unknown people blew up a radio center in the so-called «Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic». They have disabled two powerful antennas that broadcast russian radio.
The so-called authorities of «Transnistria» also stated that «UAVs (Unmanned aerial vehicles) dropped 60-mm NATO mines on the military airfield in Tiraspol.» Moreover, they noted that «in Transnistria, provocations may be committed against russian peacekeepers who ensure security in the region.»
“The Pridnestrovets” propaganda telegram channel reported that a «red» level of the terrorist threat was set in the pseudo-republic for 15 days, and the so-called «law enforcement agencies» are investigating the latest events as terrorist acts. City educational institutions will be transferred to a remote format until the end of the academic year; checkpoints will be set up at the entrance to the city. Moreover, due to the terrorist threat in Transnistria, the May 9 Victory Parade was cancelled.
The population of the unrecognized republic began to panic because of the events and the threat of «liberation» by russia in the region; people are massively trying to leave the territory of Transnistria towards Chisinau, where huge car queues have already formed.
Reasons for provocations in Transnistria
The Center for Counteracting Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine reports that it is the work of the Kremlin, and it explains the reasons for the provocations of the russian federation in Transnistria. Among them:
- open an additional front in Odesa Oblast;
- justifying their actions in Ukraine;
- diverting attention from Mariupol and «covering up the traces» of the war crimes of the russians and the genocide of the Ukrainian people.
How provocations of Transnistria threaten Ukraine
According to the information available to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, the FSB (Federal Security Service) of the russian federation intends to continue a series of provocative terrorist attacks on the territory of the PMR in order to involve the power structures of the unrecognized state entity in conducting sabotage and terrorist activities on the territory of Ukraine. This was announced on April 20 at the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, saying that there were no signs of the Transnistria military preparing for a war against Ukraine.
Military expert Oleh Zhdanov then also said that there would be no attack on Ukraine from the territory of unrecognized Transnistria, because the enemy did not have enough forces and means. However, russia can use Transnistrian units to carry out diversionary maneuvers and prevent Ukraine from withdrawing troops from the Odesa direction.
“I want to reassure you that they don’t have enough forces and means to cross the border. There is a very small garrison there. And, by the way, our artillery covers the entire width, or rather, reaches the entire depth of the territory of this self-proclaimed Transnistria. Therefore, the only threat, the biggest threat, what they can make up for us is sending reconnaissance and sabotage groups to our territory for sabotage activities. Otherwise, without the approach of the main forces on land, this grouping will not do anything sudden, «Zhdanov said.
And already on April 22, the russian Defense Ministry announced plans for the unrecognized PMR and stated that the russian army, after «establishing complete control over the Donbas and southern Ukraine,» should break through a corridor to the unrecognized PMR, where «there are facts of oppression of the russian-speaking population.» At the same time, russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke of Moldovans and Kazakhs as «brotherly» peoples.
After such statements, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov emphasized that the authorities of Moldova and Kazakhstan should be wary of such words from the russians. According to him, the aggressive intentions of the russian federation are evidenced not only by such a statement, but also by the activity of russian occupiers in southern Ukraine.
Oleksiy Danilov stressed that Ukraine was one of the first countries to experience such «brotherhood» due to weapons, murder and violence. «And now it can spread to Moldova and Kazakhstan,» the NSDC Secretary said.
After the provocations in Transnistria, russian propaganda media, on behalf of the so-called officials of the unrecognized entity, have blamed Ukraine for everything, against which the Kremlin launched a large-scale war. Like, it is Ukraine that provokes the expansion of the conflict to the territory of Transnistria
At the same time, putin’s press secretary Dmitriy Pieskov said that russia was concerned about the events in the unrecognized republic. “We are very closely watching how the situation develops there. The news coming from there is a matter of concern,” he said.
On April 26, after a meeting of the Supreme Security Council, President of the Republic of Moldova Maia Sandu said that Moldova is interested in “peace and tranquility on the banks of the Dniester”, although Chisinau does not control this territory.
She called the explosions in the «PMR» the result of «internal contradictions of different groupings in «Transnistria» interested in destabilizing the situation.»
Sandu stressed that “Moldova strongly condemns any attempts to destabilize the situation” and “consistently stands for the peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict solely by political means.”
Sandu also said that there are no plans to talk to putin yet.
What the experts say
Serhiy Herasymchuk, Deputy Executive Director of the Foreign Policy Council «Ukrainian Prism» believes that russia may have three goals which are supported by the events in Transnistria:
- destabilization of Moldova,
- attempts to accuse Ukraine of terrorist attacks,
- also to fabricate another fake justification for strengthening the presence in Moldova and military operations in the south of Ukraine.
According to him, the result of provocations in Transnistria may be a panic in the region. “There are already queues from there to Moldova, and this is an additional burden from the influx of refugees, which means additional social challenges,” Herasymchuk said.
In addition, there is a risk that it is a preparation for provocations at the weapons depots in Kolbasna, which the russian federation can use, says the deputy executive director of the Ukrainian Prism Foreign Policy Council. In addition to the man-made consequences that these provocations may entail, russia can use them as a basis for trying to increase the contingent. Actually, even the need for a land corridor in Transnistria can be justified by these provocations, the expert adds.
Transnistrian conflict: a history
The Transnistrian conflict is the oldest in the territory of the former Soviet Union — it has been going on from 1992 to the present. The war in Moldova is one of the first in a series of conflicts in the post-Soviet countries. It lasted from March to August 1992. The conflict began with protests from residents of the left bank against the law on a single state language, adopted by the Moldovan parliament back in 1989. The hot phase of the war falls on the spring and summer of 1992.
For many people, the war began with television. As in the story ‘with the Ukrainian crucified boy’, they talked about the children killed in the shelling at the graduation, although not a single frame of the video was shown. But the wave of hatred was unstoppable. In Tiraspol, Bendery, and Rybnitsa they took up arms. Detachments of the 14th russian army oppose the armed forces of Moldova on the side of Transnistria. About 1,200 people died during the conflict in Moldova. The war ended with the signing of a peace agreement between Presidents Mircea Snegur and Boris Yeltsin.
At present, Transnistria is a quasi-state not recognized by any country in the world. Of the half a million citizens of the unrecognized republic, at least one third part, have a russian passport. Only for the russian pension and payments. And only a few understand that they were deceived at the state level, and are fighting.