The Tiny Breakaway State Key To Putin’s Plans

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Curated by James Angelos

Transnistria, a breakaway region of Moldova controlled by pro-Russia separatists, may become a key part of Putin’s war strategy.

  • Transnistria is a sliver of territory between Moldova and Ukraine. It broke away from Moldova shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, and is now under the control of pro-Russia separatists.
  • With a name that sounds almost fictional, it’s long been a poor and forgotten place stuck in Soviet times. But now, fears are growing that Transnistria may be drawn into the war in Ukraine.
  • Last week, a senior Russian commander said Russia planned to seize control of southern Ukraine and create a Russian land bridge to Transnistria.
  • On Monday, explosions struck a building housing Transnistria’s security services. On Tuesday, antennas carrying Russian radio broadcasts were reported to have been blown up.
  • Moldova’s president suggested the blasts are part of a Russian plot to create a pretext for destabilizing the security of her country. Moldovans fear the Kremlin may be planning to invade.
  • It’s not likely Russia’s military has the capacity to do that given failures in Ukraine. But Transnistria may still feature prominently in the Kremlin’s hybrid campaign to destabilize Eastern Europe.
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