Republic of Moldova targeted by Russia

Concerns have grown in Moldova that the country could become the next target of Russian aggression. The staged attacks in the pro-Russian separatist region, Transylvania, are bad signs, Vitalie Ciobanu thinks.

The days in which the Republic of Moldova felt relatively secure due to Ukraine’s heroic resistance to Putin’s aggression, including the military victory over the sinking of the Russian Black Sea Fleet “Moskwa”, are over. Transylvania separatist is not under good omen. 

On Monday, April 25, 2022, the second day of Orthodox Easter, the secret service center (KGB) in Tiraspol, the capital of the troubled region, was bombed. There were no injuries, the building was empty at the time of the attack. The next day, April 26, followed by other military attacks in Transylvania: two traffic antennas were destroyed in the Grigoriopol region and there were explosions in Parcani, a town 13 kilometers from the border with Ukraine, and at an airport in Tiraspol. Other similar events may still occur.

Russian presence in Transylvania 

An extreme case, the “Worst Case” would be, for example, a sabotage operation at a military depot in Cobasna, which is under the control of illegally stationed Russian troops. There are stored 20,000 tons of Soviet ammunition, which were withdrawn in the early 1990s from the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Neither the Moldovan authorities in the capital Chisinau nor foreign experts have access to the warehouse. There is no information on the condition of the ammunition.

Moldova Schriftsteller Vitalie CiobanuVitalie Ciobanu

Chisinau’s repeated requests to Moscow to remove weapons from Cosbana and send them to Russia have gone unanswered, as has the request for 2,000 Russian soldiers to leave Transylvania.

Counterfeit news and escalations 

The first concrete evidence that Russia has “targeted” the Republic of Moldova since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine was the speech of Russian General Rustam Minnekajew, Deputy Commander of the Central Military Sector. He spoke openly about “the second phase of the special operation “, which is expected to happen to take control of southwestern Ukraine, in the Black Sea as well as the creation of a land corridor to Transylvania, where” there are cases of violation of the rights of ethnic Russians. ” A shameless lie. The region is completely controlled by Moscow, who would violate the rights of the Russian population there?

Under pressure and terror are not those who speak Russian, but Romanian-speaking residents and their institutions, including schools, which depend on the Ministry of Education, in Chisinau. Moldovan villagers are tortured by the terror of separatist militias, which has lasted for 30 years.

And Wiktor Wodolatsky, the first deputy chairman of the Duma commission on the affairs of the former independent republics, GUS, Eurasian integration and relations with the patriots, even more bluntly stated the goal: “Nazism” of those in power in Chisinau, supported by “Romanian defenders” should “end” just like the similar scenario in Ukraine. 

Symbols of hatred and war 

Last week, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Sacharova and Russian MP Alexei Puschkow criticized Moldovan President Maia Sandu for having the courage to ban Russian symbols of hatred and war: the so-called “St. George band” and the initials “Z”. and “V”. This law was approved by the pro-European parliamentary majority of the Republic of Moldova. 

The pro-Russian opposition, the Bloc of Communists and Socialists, led by former presidents Wladimir Woronin and Igor Dodon, and the fugitive Ilan Shor’s party – protested and threatened to appear in the May 9 parade, “Victory Day”, with Putin signals on his chest, despite the small fine they can receive from 500 euros. In the Republic of Moldova, thieves, bandits, criminals , with or without “collars”, have always been agents of Russian influence in the former Soviet space.  

Scenarios as in eastern Ukraine 

The Office for Reintegration Policy, a Moldovan government branch for Transylvania, said Monday’s grenade attack on the KGB building in Tiraspul was just a pretext to boost security in the region. Following the Russian politician’s militant tone over the creation of a land “corridor” for Transylvania, the Moldovan Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador to Chisinau, Oleg Wasnetsow, shortly afterwards. “any danger to the citizens of Transylvania and continues to be for the peaceful settlement of the Transylvania issue, respecting the sovereignty and integrity of the Republic of Moldova.”

We have become witnesses to a cat-and-mouse game, a kind of test of the Chisinau authorities’ ability to react in the event of any possible Russian action in the region.

According to the constitution, the Republic of Moldova is neutral and given the current conflict, has asked all states, including the Russian Federation, to respect this status. But let Russia not stumble because of Moldova’s neutrality and can at any time recognize the independence of the separatist region on the east coast of Dniester. What would follow would be a military strike to “protect its citizens” – a scenario similar to that of the self-proclaimed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, as on February 24, 2022, or as August 2008 in Georgia, following Moscow’s recognition of South Ossetia’s independence.Only a massive diplomatic intervention by Western states managed to keep Russian tanks at the time just a few kilometers away from the Georgian capital, Tbilissi (Georgia).

Neutrality did not prevent Chisinau’s pro-European government from harshly condemning Russia for its aggression against Ukraine and supporting Kiev as much as possible. Solutions must now be found quickly so that the Republic of Moldova does not enter the vortex of war.


Vitalie Ciobanu is one of the most famous writers and publicists of the Republic of Moldova. He is the president of the PEN Club in Moldova./DW

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