Shots from Ukraine at ammunition dumps in Transnistria?

IAccording to the local authorities in Transnistria, an ammunition depot was fired on from Ukrainian territory on Wednesday. The “Ministry of Interior” of the territory separating from the Republic of Moldova announced that Ukrainian drones had previously been in the area. Apparently no one was injured in the incident. This means that there have now been incidents for three days in a row in the internationally unrecognized area that lies between Moldova and Ukraine on the east bank of the Dniester.

Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of being behind it. Moscow and Kyiv claim that the other side wants to draw Moldova into the war through provocations. The population of Transnistria is mostly Russian-speaking. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the area broke away from Moldova in a brief war, the majority of whose population speaks Romanian.

Since then, Transnistria has been politically and economically supported by Russia, but not officially recognized. About 1,500 Russian soldiers are stationed in the area. They also guard the ammunition dump in Cobasna (Russian Kolbasna), which is considered one of the largest in Eastern Europe. The stocks in it remained in Transnistria as a result of the war in the early 1990s. The ammunition stored in Cobasna is considered to be highly explosive due to its age.

Military value of troops in Transnistria is considered low

In Ukraine, a connection is made between the events of the past few days and the statements made by a Russian officer on Friday last week. He had said that one of the military goals of the current stage was to establish a land connection with Transnistria. To do this, the Russian troops would have to take parts of the area around the port city of Odessa. From the Ukrainian point of view, this picture fits in with the fact that on Tuesday and Wednesday a bridge west of Odessa, which is strategically important for the defense of the region, was shelled with rockets and apparently badly damaged.

The Ukrainian military claims that Russian troops in Transnistria have been put on combat readiness. However, even Ukrainian experts consider their military value to be low. This is also reflected in a statement by the Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych, who said in an interview on Wednesday that the Ukrainian troops would deal with the Russian units in Transnistria if necessary. However, it is out of the question to act in Moldova’s territory without an express request from the Moldovan government. In the Russian state media, it was turned into a threat by Arestovych to occupy Transnistria. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov spoke of “rather provocative” words.

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