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What is happening in Transnistria and will the region go to war against Ukraine?

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Moldova

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What is happening in Transnistria and will the region go to war against Ukraine?

The situation in Transnistria is escalating amid reports of the region's possible incorporation into russia. Find out more about Ukraine's response to this and whether the Ukrainian military is ready to neutralise the russian military group in the Transnistrian region

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The self-proclaimed Transnistria has long been a problem for Europeans and the Moldovan region, as this unrecognised republic was created by russian forces during the collapse of the Soviet Union. And the territory of this quasi-state is still home to russian troops and bases controlled by russia. 


However, the situation has now begun to escalate because, according to local politicians, the 'Transnistrian Moldovan Republic' (TMR) may ask to join russia in the coming days, and the russian dictator is ready to accept it. Here's how Moldova is reacting to this and what Ukrainian intelligence is saying.


Where did Transnistria come from?


Transnistria is an unrecognised state located on the eastern bank of the Dniester River. Officially, it is a territory of Moldova, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Transnistria declared its "independence". A brief military confrontation in 1992 resulted in a ceasefire, but Transnistria's status has not been internationally resolved.


Transnistria has its own so-called "government, parliament, currency and armed forces", but is not recognised by most countries, including Ukraine. Interestingly, russia also does not recognise Transnistria, but provides it with economic, political and military support. 


Will Transnistria join russia?


More recently, information has appeared online that the leader of the separatists in the Moldovan region of Transnistria, Vladimir Krasnoselsky, is convening a "congress of deputies of all levels" on 28 February, where they plan to adopt an appeal to russian dictator putin, asking for accession to russia. This information was reported by Transnistrian oppositionist Gennady Chorba.


According to Chorba, the next day, 29 February, putin will announce an appeal by "residents of the left bank of the Dniester" to the Federal Assembly, which will decide whether to approve the request.


Moldova has already responded. The Reintegration Office of the Moldovan government wrote that the situation is being closely monitored and the Reintegration Policy Office is in constant contact with the OSCE mission and other international partners.


"According to the information we have, there is no reason to believe that the situation in the region may deteriorate. We are convinced that Tiraspol is aware of the consequences it will face if it takes unthinkable steps", the statement said.


At the same time, the country's leadership has not yet commented on reports of the separatists' plans.




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Could Transnistria go to war against Ukraine?

 

The risks of the region entering a war against Ukraine are very low, as a small number of troops are concentrated there, and it is virtually impossible to deploy additional russian groups to Transnistria today.


According to the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, as of 2022, there were 1,300 russian troops in Transnistria. Mostly, russian troops guard warehouses in the village of Kovbasne, a radio centre in the village of Mayak, and are stationed in Tiraspol.


If the PMR does decide to launch a second front, it will be suicide for it, said Oleksandr Kovalenko, a military and political observer of the Information Resistance group, in a commentary to TSN.


At the same time, other analysts say that an escalation in Transnistria could be beneficial for Ukraine, and for Moldova as well. According to Mykola Buchyn, professor of political science and international relations at Lviv Polytechnic National University, in a commentary to Channel 5, if such an escalation occurs near the borders of Europe, it will be a reminder to Europeans of how Ukraine's defeat could end. He also believes that in this case, there will be positive results for Ukraine's defence capability.


The expert is probably hinting at the fact that the Ukrainian army will start receiving sufficient assistance. 


The Ukrainian army will clear Transnistria if necessary, the Ukrainian military says. According to Maksym Zhorin, deputy commander of the 3rd Assault Brigade, Moldova could ask Ukraine for help.


It is worth noting that a similar statement was made in the summer of 2022 by Ukrainian intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov, who said that Ukraine would help Moldova get rid of the occupiers.


The Defence Intelligence of Ukraine says that the TMR region will not join the russian federation


After many comments from experts and politicians, the Ukrainian intelligence service made a statement about what is happening in the Moldovan region. They noted that, according to their information, the deputies of the unrecognised TMR do not plan to ask dictator putin to join Russia at their congress.


In addition, they explained that the information disseminated bears all the hallmarks of a deliberate disinformation campaign aimed at destabilising the situation in the region.


We remind you! On 24 February, it was exactly two years ago that the russian army invaded Ukraine. During this time, the Ukrainian people have probably lived through one of the most difficult periods in their history. Here's a look at what these two years at the front have been like and what the consequences are for Ukraine.


Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




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