Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko appears to have indicated that Russian forces are planning an invasion of Moldova.
At a meeting of the country’s security council yesterday, “Putin’s war chief” told officials while standing in front of a map showing “an operation planned from southern Ukraine”. to its tiny neighbor”, said Daily mail.
Detailed map Russian offensive lines into Ukraine“Some of them came to fruition within the first few days of the invasion,” said walkie talkie. It also shows that “several attacks have yet to happen”, one of which appears to be heading from the city of Odessa into Moldova, “indicating Russia’s plans to march into Ukraine’s neighbour”.
The newspaper went on to say, “The Kremlin is known for the secrecy of its overseas operations,” making Lukashenko’s presentation “the first insight into Putin’s plans.” .
Dorina Baltag, a postdoctoral researcher writing in the London School of Economics, said the Russian invasion “has raised concerns in Moldova”. European Politics and Policy Blog.
Some of these concerns relate to the humanitarian situation and to Ukrainian refugees, “but also to Transnistria, a Russian-backed breakaway region” between the Dniester River and the Ukrainian border, she continued.
Transnistria “attracted attention for the first time” in 1992, said Al Jazeera. A brief civil war between Moldovan loyalists and Transnistrian separatists led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, and resulted in the pro-Russian territory declaring its independence from Moldova.
The region is also known as the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, and is home to about 450,000 people. It is not officially recognized by the international community, including Russia, and remains “in tension” with the rest of Moldova, BBC.
Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu told Foreign Policy that while “we are not seeing any unusual activity” in the current area, “we are concerned that could change”.
The BBC said the continued presence of Russian troops in Transnistria “has been an obstacle in peace talks”. Troops are guarding an arsenal of Soviet-era weapons, including 22,000 tons of ammunition, at a decommissioned armory in the village of Cobasna.
Moldova has repeatedly called for the evacuation of the weapons, but “Moscow has been slow to deliver on this,” Al Jazeera said.
The news follows a warning from Ukraine that Russian forces may be preparing provocative false flags in the area.
The Ukraine crisis has been affecting neighboring countries, with thousands of refugees fleeing the border to escape the conflict.
“If a puppet regime were installed in Ukraine, then the domino effect would be felt in Moldova,” continued Baltag. Putin would essentially “dominate the entire northern coast of the Black Sea and control a vast territory” as far as the borders of Romania and Moldova.
“It is for good reason that politicians in the Moldovan capital are now anxiously watching how the conflict unfolds,” she continued. And even though “Europe is now living up to the threat posed by Putin”, Ukrainians and Moldovans still “wonder whether this is too late to make a difference”.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/955946/is-moldova-next-on-russias-target-list Is Moldova on Russia’s next target list?