Who could be behind the attacks in Transnistria
And what do Tiraspol, Chisinau and Kyiv say about them On April 25, 26 and 27, four objects were attacked in Transnistria, including the headquarters of the Ministry of State Security of the republic. Chisinau, Tiraspol and Kyiv expressed three different versions of what happened.
Attacks in Transnistria
Moscow regards the latest incidents in Transnistria as terrorist attacks and condemns attempts to involve the unrecognized Transnistrian Moldavian Republic (PMR) in the conflict in Ukraine, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday April 28. In Transnistria, located between Moldova on the one hand and Ukraine— on the other hand, about 1.5 thousand Russian military are deployed as an operational group of Russian troops.
“We are alarmed by the escalation of tension in Transnistria, where over the past few days there have been several incidents of shelling, blowing up official and infrastructure facilities. We regard these actions as acts of terrorism aimed at destabilizing the situation in the region, and we expect a thorough and objective investigation of all the circumstances of the incident,— said Zakharova.
On April 25, grenade launchers fired at the building of the Ministry of State Security (MGB) of the PMR in the center of the capital of the republic, Tiraspol. The next day, repeater antennas were blown up in the village of Mayak, and attacks were also reported on a military unit in the village of Parkany and the Tiraspol airfield. On April 27, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Transnistria reported firing from the territory of Ukraine at the village of Kolbasna, where one of the largest ammunition depots in Europe is located. In addition, at night in the sky over the village “several drones were seen”, launched, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, also from the territory of Ukraine. There were no casualties from the attacks. The authorities declared a red level of the terrorist threat and took enhanced security measures, canceling at the same time the military parade by May 9.
All this happened less than a week after the acting commander of the Central Military District of Russia, Major General Rustam Minnekayev, said that the purpose of the special operation in Ukraine— full control over the Donbass and southern Ukraine, which, according to him, should provide a land corridor to the Crimea and access to Transnistria. «Control over the south of Ukraine— this is another exit to Transnistria, where there are also facts of oppression of the Russian-speaking population,»,— noted then Minnekaev.
Read on RBC Pro Pro What happened to the Iranian economy after the sanctions: 8 indicative charts debt needle» Articles Pro Netflix collapsed by 45%, but wants to be saved by advertising. Whether to buy its shares Forecasts Pro Bird flu is raging in the US and the EU: what does it mean for the global economy The PMR stated that the unknown persons, who fired at the main office of the MGB, illegally arrived from Ukrainian territory and then departed in the opposite direction.
Moldovan authorities do not agree with this. On April 26, President of Moldova Maia Sandu held a meeting of the Security Council of the republic, following which she said that in Pridnestrovie there is friction between various forces within the republic that “advocate war”.
The third version was presented by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. According to him, the situation in the PMR “is trying to destabilize” Russia. “We clearly understand that this is one of the steps of the Russian Federation. It's the special services that work there, — he said. “They show them that if Moldova supports Ukraine, there will be certain steps,” — continued Zelensky.
Aleksey Arestovich, adviser to the President of Ukraine, said on the same day that Ukraine was ready to send troops to the PMR and take control of the situation, but only if the Moldovan authorities asked for it. Chisinau refused the proposal of the adviser to the Ukrainian president. Bureau for Reintegration of Moldova— profile body under the government of the country, supervising the negotiation process on the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict— reported that the solution of the problem of Transnistria is possible exclusively by political and peaceful means through negotiations.
There is some truth in each of the versions, says the head of the Chisinau Balkan-Centre, Sergei Manastyrly. He believes that this is “a provocation designed to demonstrate the incompetence of the Russian security forces and military in the region, and, possibly, to demonstrate the threat to their lives.” “All these four episodes happened at facilities supervised by the Russians. This is the MGB, and a radio center, and a military unit, and an arsenal in Kolbasnoye, — says Manastirli. At the same time, he adds, “the attacks could indeed take place with the participation or with the support of someone from the groups of Transnistria interested in cooperation with Ukraine,” because to organize such an attack “without the cooperation of someone from the region who would know well where the Russian military is located is impossible».
On April 27, Tiraspol reiterated that Pridnestrovie does not threaten Ukraine in any way. Foreign Minister of the PMR Vitaly Ignatiev in an interview with Interfax said that, despite the attacks, the unrecognized republic is not going to ask Moscow to increase the grouping of Russian troops in the region. Touching upon the topic of relations with Moldova, he said that Chisinau should show wisdom, “an adequate approach to current realities, realize these realities, sit down at the negotiating table with the leadership of Transnistria and sign a final comprehensive peace treaty, where mutual non-aggression is guaranteed.” “I think we should put an end to this and end this conflict, because de facto Moldova itself created the legal grounds for the existence of an independent Transnistria,” — the minister said.
In the understanding of Tiraspol, such a peace treaty means the separation of Transnistria from Moldova. Ignatov referred to a referendum held in the unrecognized republic in 2006, when the local population voted for the independence of the republic with its subsequent entry into Russia. “Pridnestrovie has determined the vector of development towards Russia, and the degree of integration will be determined already on the basis of the expression that the policy— it is the art of the possible. We will decide how we will cooperate. I think that this issue will be revealed in the future at a broader practical level,»— he said.
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