Ukrainian officials are talking about the threat of another front in the ongoing conflict with Russia – along the border with Moldova in the southwest.
Part of the Moldovan border region is under pro-Russian control. This is called transnistria.. Unexplained bombings earlier this week have prompted Ukrainian officials to accuse Russia’s security services of plotting a provocation in Transnistria under the pretext of opening a new front in the war.
Mikhail Podoliak, an adviser to President Vladimir Zelensky, told Ukrainian television on Wednesday: “We have always considered Transnistria a springboard that could pose some dangers for us. [the] Areas of Odesa and Vinnytsia. “
One is for sure. [military] The Russian contingent is between 1,500-2,000 people, of which only 500-600 are Russians, “said Podoliak.
But he said most people in Transnistria had merged with Moldova and Europe.
“Therefore, for Transnistria, active participation in the conflict in Ukraine would in practice mean complete isolation and destruction of the enclave,” Podoliak noted.
Podoliak suggested that Russia was trying to provoke Ukraine through this week’s events in Transnistria.
Roman Kostenko, a member of the Ukrainian parliament from Odessa, said Transnistria was not a strategic threat to Ukraine.
“It could be a strategic threat, in any direction, to bind our troops,” the official said.
Kostenko said the Russians were relying on Transnistria as “another front that could directly help them when they attacked, for example, Mikolaev from the sea, Odessa, because Mikolayev blocked the land route.” Is.”
Ukrainian defenses around the city of Mikolayev have prevented Russian forces from reaching the upper part of Odessa.
Ukraine’s extreme southwest corner is now cut off from the rest of the country after a second cruise missile struck a road and rail bridge on the shores of the Dnipropetrovsk River on Wednesday after being shot down for the first time on Tuesday. Russia has not said it carried out the missile strike.
Ukraine’s Southern Military Command has claimed that Russian submarines continue to threaten missile strikes from the Black Sea. “Enemy forces are preparing for provocations, including missile strikes on Transnistria, to accuse Ukraine of attacking the unrecognized republic,” he said.