If Russia does not succeed in Ukraine, it may be Moldova’s turn, locals believe

The strange attacks in Transnistria worried Moldovans. Residents of Russia’s pocket self-government hardly want a new war, but Ukraine’s border is close.

Bender / Moldova

The Russians the soldiers are armed. The atmosphere is sleepy, but it blends in. Why that photo? What things are it moving about? A higher-ranking officer must be called to the scene.

You are deleting those pictures, says an officer on the border between Transnistria and Moldova.

The Transnistrian strip is located between Moldova and Ukraine. There was a war in the area in 1992, and many locals still remember it well. For example, there was a fight back then, they say.

Russia deployed so-called peacekeepers in the region and sparked a frozen conflict. Now that conflict has begun to melt and warm up.

First a hurricane strike occurred near the Transnistrian Ministry of Internal Security. Two powerful transmitter masts were dumped on Tuesday. The actual main users of the transmitters have been the news channel Vesti FM of the Russian state radio and television company.

On Wednesday, Transnistria reported planes and shots in the village of Kolbasna in Rybnitsa, home to a Russian weapons depot.

“Last night, several planes were spotted in the sky above the village of Kolbasna. In the morning, shots were fired from the Ukrainian side towards Kolbasna, ”the ministry said.

There are about 1,000 to 1,500 Russian “peacekeepers” in Transnistria, Transnistria’s own armed forces and parts of Russia’s 14th Army.

In Moldova, it is repeatedly reported that Transnistria has ordered mobilization. The Transnistrian regime has denied this.

There are queues at border crossing points. However, according to locals, this is mostly due to the fact that border formalities have been clarified. There is traffic between the Transnistrian region and Moldova anyway, and Transnistrians, for example, are working on the Moldovan side. Thus, queues can arise even from normal traffic if the border formalities do not go as smoothly as usual.

Someone may have gone to relatives in Moldova, but hardly very many.

 

 

View from the hill from Moldova to Transnistria. The border runs along the Dniester River in many places.

 

Monument, Heroes' Well, on the border of Moldova and Transnistria.

 

Monument, Heroes’ Well, on the border of Moldova and Transnistria.

rajaseudulla It is peaceful. On the Moldovan side, living just a couple of hundred meters from a border checkpoint Michael takes the wheelbarrow to the mold in the yard of his detached house.

Across the road, a cow chews on the grass and early summer butterflies fly in the grass. There are only twenty kilometers as the crow flies to Ukraine, even less to the fallen broadcast antennas.

Mikhail is not excited to be interviewed, but says he thinks the area is peaceful. Mikhail and his wife wouldn’t go anywhere from here, and I don’t really think anything is threatening them right now.

In the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, there is not much certainty.

When four days have passed since the last provocation, ie the alleged planes above the Vladimir Ternavschi is proud of the Transnistrians.

“It may sound weird, but I think so. Despite the fact that Transnistrians have been soaked in Russian propaganda for a year, they have not responded aggressively, ”Ternavschi says in Chisinau, where he is demonstrating in front of the Russian embassy on behalf of Ukraine.

Ternavschi spent the first 18 years of his life in Transnistria. After studying in Moscow, he moved to Chisinau. Ternavschi believes, among other things, that the bombing in Tiraspol in Transnistria and the overthrow of the antennas were organized by the Russian administration, or by those operating under its influence.

“They made a terrible mistake. People still remember the 1992 war well and do not want to repeat it. For this reason, those provocations do not work. In addition, the younger ones have fixed connections here to Chisinau. There are jobs and study places, friends. It is much harder for such people to try to brainwash against Moldova. ”

According to Ternavsch, even Russian “peacekeepers” in Transnistria are unusable as a military force.

“Those people have come to Transnistria for better pay and easy work. They have no will to fight because they are doing well. ”

 

Vladimir Ternavschi and his friend Diana demonstrated in front of the Russian embassy. Vladimir's sign reads: Work if you oppose war.

 

Vladimir Ternavschi and his friend Diana demonstrated in front of the Russian embassy. Vladimir’s sign reads: Work if you oppose war.

Situation however, it is not entirely harmless, and Moldovans are clearly concerned. Transnistria, for example, has a weapons depot containing more than 20,000 tons of old Soviet weapons. Russia sentiment is strong and the Ukrainian border is close. What if the war spills over?

To understand the sensitivity of the Transnistrian question, a little history needs to be told. The region was officially declared autonomous as early as 1989. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Moldova declared independence but did not accept Transnistrian self-government but considered the region to belong to Moldova. The Russian armed forces came to the aid of Transnistria, and war followed.

“Tensions between Russia, Moldova, Romania and Transnistria and its capital Tiraspol have a much longer history than in the 1990s,” says Octavian Țîcu.

He is the coordinator of the Institute of History at the Moldovan State University Academy of Sciences, a former Moldovan minister of sports, a politician and has often been awarded in his first career as a professional boxer.

Transnistria and the eastern part of Moldova are the old region of Bessarabia. After the First World War, the area belonged to Romania, but in the Second World War the Soviet Union annexed it.

“A bit like the Crimea was annexed in 2014,” Țîcu adds. However, part of Bessarabia was annexed to Ukraine.

Cîcun according to the current, this state structure was artificial: for example, Romanian national figures were only introduced, claiming to be Moldovan.

“These questions continue to divide us. Are we Moldovans or Romanians? More than one million Moldovans also have Romanian citizenship. ”

The UNîcu-led PUN supports the reunification of Moldova and Romania.

Silence says that Moldova’s political field is divided into three: pro-EU, pro-union and pro-Russian. The pro-EU and the unionists are close to each other and there is overlap, and there are several different pro-Russian parties.

Russia’s influence and support for it can be seen, for example, in Moldova’s energy supply. Gazprom has promised to resume gas supplies, though according to Moldova has outstanding debts. Lukoil’s tank cars are visible in traffic.

“The problem of neutrality has led to the development of military security in Moldova. Every sensible guy in the military academy has been turned to the Russian side, and the size of our armed forces is about 6,000 soldiers, ”Țîcu uploads.

 

Historian, politician and former professional boxer Octavian Țîcu practiced in the church behind him during the Soviet era. The church was then a gym.

 

Historian, politician and former professional boxer Octavian Țîcu practiced in the church behind him during the Soviet era. The church was then a gym.

Neutrality policy has also taken care that Moldova has not joined the recent sanctions on Russia. Corruption has plagued many politicians, and a pro-Russian president Igor Dodonia Țîcu calls “Putin a slave.”

A pro-European politician Maia Sandun The PAS party called on the public prosecutor to investigate in 2017 whether Dodo was guilty of state fraud. Dodon was president at the time. In 2019, Sandus became Prime Minister. In the 2020 presidential election, Dodon became a former president, Sandus a new one.

“One third of Moldovans support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We are plagued by a lack of unity. The Ukrainians were prepared for Russia, and now they are working together. ”

This has been noticed elsewhere. Ukraine and the armed forces have impressed many.

“Right now, the leaders of Transnistria, whether official or unofficial, are very attentive. They lower the risks and anticipate. There is, of course, no threat to Ukraine from the Transnistrian armed forces, and Ukraine could sweep them away in a week if necessary. ”

In Transnistria provocations such as the blowout are aimed at putting pressure on both Transnistrians and Moldovans, Țîcu says.

The Transnistrian Foreign Minister also concluded the same direction Vitaly Ignatiev. For a Russian news agency TassIngatiev, who spoke to him, said the events at the beginning of the week were intended to incite panic and instability.

In a way, it could have succeeded: Moldova is now a little more on its toes.

“Moldova is now in a danger zone. Moscow wants to see internal tensions and demonstrations. And Sandu has already made mistakes, ”says the senior researcher Ryhor Nizhnikau About the Foreign Policy Institute.

Sandu’s popularity is already declining, and if the Kremlin’s big plan is to cause a change of power, here’s a seam, according to Nizhnikau.

“Last year, Sandu tried to establish a working relationship with the Kremlin. For him and his party, the attack on Ukraine is certainly quite a painful thing, and at the same time, such consolation now looks really bad in the eyes of the public. That’s what you’re doing. ”

Mixed Octavian Țîcu that Ryhor Nizhnikau resemble the situation of an ordinary Moldovan. Prices and the cost of living are rising. That’s not nice.

“Russia expects the energy crisis to strike,” says Nizhnikau.

“It won’t show up yet, but it may show up in the fall.”

At the same time, the situation is critical for Moldova right now if Russia attacks Ukraine in Odessa. The Ukrainian city is only a hundred kilometers from Transnistrian Tiraspol.

If Russia takes over Odessa, the next thing is practically Transnistria, which is already in their pockets. This would be followed by Moldova. Unfortunately, evaluates Octavian Țîcu.

“If Putin fails in Ukraine, he may have desires to show strength elsewhere. The big questions are, what would the EU do then? And what would a NATO country do to Romania? ”

It could be easy to destabilize Moldova. Historian, political boxer Octavian Țîcu is ominous to listen to.

“Coup d’etat. Change of power. ”

 

In Moldova, high, wooden Orthodox crosses can be seen near the Transnistrian border.

In Moldova, high, wooden Orthodox crosses can be seen near the Transnistrian border.

By Editor

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