Fears grow over Moldova breakaway region being drawn into

Tuesday, April 26, 2022
author picture Gabriel Martim
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Original content created by news.limited staff

Fears Grow Over Moldova Breakaway Region Being Drawn Into Ukraine

The area is under the control of separatist authorities since a civil war with Moldova in 1992. It is a part of Moldova but controlled by Russia-aligned forces. Ukraine Fears the separatists could use the area as a launchpad for new attacks. Ukraine has imposed a travel ban for its citizens in fear of this. And while Transnistria is currently not a part of the country‚ it is a disputed region.

Transnistria under control of separatist authorities since 1992 civil war with Moldova

While Russia has had troops stationed permanently in the country since the early 1990s‚ it is the Ukrainian government that Fears that this new territory could be used as a base for new attacks. Although Russia has a long history of occupying Moldova‚ it has slowly been moving towards European union since the 1990s. Despite this‚ Transnistrian residents may not want to become involved in a war. While there is no doubt that there will be more peace and prosperity in the region‚ the pro-Moldovan stance that has been engrained in Transnistria may fade as economic cooperation with Romania gains more prominence. It is worth noting that many international observers have noted in their statements that the election result was a blessing for them as citizens of a country with a rich folk and agricultural heritage. This post-election mood was likely relief over the result‚ even though it was impossible to discern enthusiasm in mainstream Moldovan politics. There is little doubt that the conflict in Transnistria is a frozen one‚ with geopolitical motives behind the conflict. Although Transnistria is internationally recognized as part of Moldova‚ it enjoys partial independence from the country with the help of Russia. The conflict in Transnistria is currently a matter of political reconciliation‚ although both sides may wish to preserve the status quo. In the second half of the 1990s‚ economic reforms in Moldova were beginning to take shape. The Transnistrian conflict had passed its hot phase‚ and the attention of the public and politicians was on the immediate future of Moldova as a new independent state or reunification with Romania. In addition‚ the small number of committed reformers pushed through an ambitious program of mass privatization and trade liberalization. This included the introduction of a national currency. The Russian military remains present in Transnistria and has reportedly sent a force of around 1‚500 soldiers there. This military presence may be a prelude to an invasion of Ukraine. The Russian military is currently embroiled in the conflict in eastern Ukraine and may also use Transnistria to help with humanitarian aid and secure the railway network. The Russian military may also use Transnistria as a safe space for repair of equipment.

Area is part of Moldova but controlled by Russia-aligned forces

Located in Eastern Europe‚ Moldova is one of the three parts of Russia's sphere of influence. Its long frozen conflict is the largest in Eastern Europe. Historically‚ Moldova has been considered an ally of Moscow‚ which is a strong incentive for the breakaway region to become part of Russia. But in recent years‚ there have been many reports of Moldovans snatching up Russian soldiers. While the Moldovan military remains neutral‚ the country is not immune to Russian interference. The Russians have the upper hand in Transnistria negotiations because they are a direct participant and have veto power over OSCE proposals. Moscow is keen to keep Transnistria in their orbit as long as possible. They are also worried about losing their leverage over Moldova. While this is not a clear-cut threat‚ the recent diplomatic activity has reinforced such concerns. While Russia still maintains military bases in several countries‚ it also plays a role in maintaining peace and stability in zones of frozen or managed conflict. The recent annexed Crimea shows Russia's resolve to maintain its sphere of influence and expand it. Meanwhile‚ the annexed Crimea is a powerful signal to neighboring countries Belarus and Kazakhstan that they can expect the same treatment. The Russians may want to create chaos in Ukraine‚ while at the same time strengthening their influence in neighboring states. Ukraine and Moldova both border Russia. A Russian attack on one of these states would trigger the Article 5 of the NATO Treaty. The Ukrainian government is adamant that Russia not only does not violate its own borders. That is why the Ukrainian military will continue to protect its borders. When the Soviet Union was dismantled‚ Russia worked to maintain formal and informal ties with the former constituent republics. These relations were crucial to the functioning of Russia and the newly independent countries. However‚ the relationship between the two countries is highly unstable and Minsk is worried that Moscow is orchestrating Lukashenko's succession. There are many reasons for this concern.

Separatists could be used as a launch pad for new attacks

A meeting of the Moldovan Supreme Security Council has been convened in the wake of two recent explosions in Transnistria‚ an unrecognised sliver of land bordering Ukraine. Two blasts damaged Soviet-era radio masts and one targeted a military unit. Moldovan officials have been sensitive to signs of escalating tensions in Transnistria‚ which borders Ukraine and is backed by Moscow. Ukraine is worried that this region might be used as a launch pad for new Russian attacks. Moldova has not sought membership in Nato and has only a few thousand active military personnel. A military invasion would be disastrous for Moldova‚ whose population is around 2.6 million. Ukraine‚ meanwhile‚ is concerned that a Russian invasion could lead to more violence and instability. Separatists in Moldova have resorted to violence in the past. They recently blew up two radio towers near the Ukrainian border and knocked out powerful broadcast antennas in Transnistria. The separatists have held power in the region since the 1992 war and Russia has a small military base there‚ which could be used to launch attacks on Ukraine. The president's office of Transnistria has raised the terrorist threat level to red and ordered checkpoints to be installed at the towns' entrances. All vehicles entering the breakaway region at night will be subjected to checks. In addition‚ the government has threatened to impose additional security measures in the region. The Ukrainian president's adviser has warned that Russia would be in Transnistria if Ukraine falls tomorrow. A recent meeting of the Russian ambassador in Moldova has also raised questions over the threat of Russia using tactical nuclear weapons in the breakaway region. While Russian officials have denied threatening attacks on Ukraine with these weapons‚ the United States has warned against such moves. Boris Johnson says that we cannot rule out the use of such weapons in Ukraine‚ but that Russia must do something to prevent this. The breakaway region of Transnistria was previously under the control of the central government of Moldova. However‚ the local residents sided with the Moldovan forces during the War of Transnistria. Two of the towns‚ Varnita and Copanca‚ are near Bender. Meanwhile‚ the eastern bank contains six villages controlled by the PMR. The security situation in the region is subject to the rulings of the Joint Control Commission.

Ukraine Fears this could happen

During peacetime‚ Ukraine is home to a thriving surrogate industry. Foreigners can contract women to carry their pregnancies. Now‚ though‚ the war is making the industry unviable. In Kyiv‚ 20 surrogate babies are stuck in a bomb shelter. The nurses are stuck with the babies because they are too scared to go home. The city council also has reported that Russian troops bombed an art school‚ where 400 people took refuge. The building was so badly damaged that people could be buried under the rubble. The local police officer appealed to President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron to intervene. According to Dr. Grant‚ Russia will probably occupy part of Ukraine‚ but it will be difficult to keep the territory. A ground war would be a much worse option. Russia wants a territory under its control in southern Ukraine‚ but most Ukrainians have no interest in Russian occupation. While Russian heritage might be a concern‚ most Ukrainians are still Ukrainian patriots. That doesn't mean that Russia is not trying to invade Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine said that the Mariupol siege would go down in history as a war crime committed by Russian troops. He also raised the specter of a third world war if negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin fail. Austin's concerns were shared by the United Kingdom's defense ministry. These Fears have made many in the world concerned about a possible military confrontation with Russia. The Ukrainian military is responding to the Russian threat. In response‚ Russian President Vladimir Putin has halted gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria‚ and the Moldovan President has warned that attacks in a Russian-backed breakaway region are an attempt to escalate tensions. As a result‚ a new US-led coalition has formed to aid Ukraine against Russia. The new coalition includes more than 40 countries and plans to continue the vital flow of weapons to Ukraine for months. Meanwhile‚ the Ukrainian army has responded by preparing for an invasion from Belarus. In fact‚ a Belarusian opposition leader who lives in exile recently claimed that the Belarusian army was preparing to invade Ukraine. On Saturday‚ the Belarusian embassy in Kyiv shut down. Although the Ukraine government has yet to confirm the invasion‚ it is making preparations for it. And the Belarusian army may be moving closer to the capital.