Russia accuses Ukraine of preparing an invasion of Transnistria

The Russian army accused Ukraine on Thursday of preparing an “invasion” of Transnistria, a pro-Russian separatist territory of Moldova, where a Russian military contingent is deployed, promising a “response” in the event of an incident.

A small strip of land that seceded from Moldova in the 1990s after a short war, Transnistria is located on the western border of Ukraine and has been the subject of heightened tensions in recent weeks.

Moldova wants Russian troops to leave the country

“The kyiv regime has intensified preparations for an invasion of Transnistria,” the Russian Defense Ministry said on Telegram. It will be triggered “in response to an alleged attack by Russian troops from the territory of Transnistria”, he continued.

The Russian army assured to observe a “significant accumulation of Ukrainian military personnel and equipment near the border”, the “deployment of artillery on firing positions” and an “unprecedented increase in Ukrainian drone flights over above the territory” of the separatist republic.

“The implementation of the planned provocation by the Ukrainian authorities constitutes a direct threat to the Russian contingent” present in Transnistria, the ministry said again. The Russian military “will adequately respond to the provocation planned by Ukraine”, he added.

The new Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Recean had recently called for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria, angering the Kremlin. “I would recommend to our Moldovan counterparts to be extremely careful” about their statements, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned on Monday. The pro-European Moldovan authorities had previously accused Moscow of wanting to foment a coup in Moldova, allegations denied on the Russian side.

Since the start of its offensive in Ukraine a year ago, Russia has been accused of raising the threat of further clashes in Transnistria to destabilize Kyiv and Chisinau.

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