Russia Ukraine war

Russia Ukraine War

Fears that the tiny former Soviet republic of Moldova could be sucked into the conflict in neighbouring Ukraine are mounting after several explosions in the breakaway Moscow-backed region of Transnistria.

The mysterious blasts, which targeted the state security ministry, a radio tower and military unit, happened days after a senior Russian commander claimed Russian speakers in Moldova were being oppressed – the same argument used by Russia to justify its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia Ukraine War
Russia Ukraine war

Rustam Minnekayev, the deputy commander of Russia’s central military district, said gaining control over southern Ukraine would help Russia link up with Transnistria, which lies just across the border from the Black Sea port of Odesa.

Where is Transnistria and what is its status?

The predominantly Russian-speaking region wedged between the Dniester River and the Ukraine border seceded from Moldova after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In 1992, the separatists fought a war with Moldova’s pro-western government, which ended in hundreds of deaths and the intervention of the Russian army on the rebels’ side.

In a 2006 referendum that was not recognised by the international community, 97.1% of voters backed joining Russia, dealing a blow to Moldova’s hopes of following Romania and other ex-communist eastern European states into the EU.

Transnistria is controlled by pro-Russian separatists and permanently hosts 1,500 Russian troops as well as a large arms depot.

How closely tied are Transnistria and Russia?

Transnistria still uses the Cyrillic alphabet and has its own currency (the Transnistrian ruble), security forces and passport, although most of its estimated 465,000 residents have dual or triple Moldovan, Russian or Ukrainian nationality.

The majority of the population is Russian-speaking, while the rest of Moldova is dominated by Romanian speakers.

Source: theguardian

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