Blasts in Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria

Anastasia Graham-Yooll

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova condemned unexplained explosions in Transnistria as “acts of terrorism” on Thursday. Speaking at a regular briefing in Moscow, Zakharova expressed Russia’s concern about “escalating tensions” in the breakaway territory within Moldova.

Ukraine has previously described the blasts as a planned provocation by Russian security services.

A series of incidents occurred in parts of Russian-backed Transnistria, which has housed Russian troops for decades, sparking fears that Moscow’s war could soon stretch beyond Ukraine and create a new theatre of conflict in eastern Europe.

Two radio towers in the territory were damaged in blasts on Tuesday, the Transnistrian Ministry of Internal Affairs said in a statement. On Monday, explosions were heard in Transnistria’s capital Tiraspol, near the Ministry of State Security building.

“We consider these acts of terrorism aimed at destabilising the situation in the region and we expect a thorough and objective investigation into all circumstances around what happened,” Zakharova said Thursday.

The spokeswoman dismissed “sensational” claims about Russia preparing an offensive using its troops stationed in the region, as well conscripts from Transnistria. She accused Kyiv of “dragging” Transnistria into the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and attempting to “use the situation to strengthen a “blockade pressure” on the region.

Ukraine blamed Russia for firing cruise missiles Tuesday at a bridge across the estuary of the Dniester River, suggesting Moscow is attempting to cut off the southwestern corner of Ukraine that borders Moldova.

Transnistria is unrecognized by the international community, which considers it a part of Moldova. But the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, essentially has no control over the territory, which declared itself a republic more than three decades ago.


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