Ukraine’s defense ministry on what to expect from Transnistria

4 May, 06:21 PM
Checkpoint on the outskirts of Tiraspol (Photo:REUTERS/Vladislav Bachev)

Checkpoint on the outskirts of Tiraspol (Photo:REUTERS/Vladislav Bachev)

Russia may be hoping to use Moldovan territory to attack Ukraine, said Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Hanna Malyar in an interview with NV on May 4.

She said this when asked whether Ukraine is ready if Russia takes military action in the Kremlin-backed Moldovan breakaway territory of Transnistria. Recent explosions in Tiraspol at the so-called “Ministry of State Security” of the territory have pumped up tensions, prompting fears that Russia may open yet another front in their on-going full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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"We analyzed how Russia is hitting targets on Ukrainian territory and concluded that they see Ukraine as a springboard to move forward,” said the deputy defense minister, in response to a question regarding Russian intentions for Moldova.

"Indeed, we are a big goal, but an intermediate one.”

According to her, if during the first stage of the occupation of Crimea and Donbas in 2014, the Russians kept the infrastructure — schools, kindergartens, businesses — and continued to use them, now "they raze Ukrainian cities to the ground."

"They are not interested in Ukrainian infrastructure,” she said.

“Thus they solve another problem. We see how they are destroying our military infrastructure. I can't reveal the details, but I can say from the nature of this destruction that they plan to use this territory to move further.”

She stressed that the entire post-Soviet space can be considered a risk zone, and Ukraine has constantly reminded its Western partners of this.

"Putin is using the territory of Belarus to conduct aggression against Ukraine, there is the same plan — most likely — for Moldova,” Malyar ex-plained.

"Moreover, we are now observing the preparation of the Tiraspol airfield for the reception of aircraft, and we also know that the Russian troops currently stationed in the Transnistrian region of Moldova have been brought to full combat readiness. All scenarios are possible, and we are preparing for them.”

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