Expert: Transnistria events look opposite to Moscow's version

Raivo Vare.
Raivo Vare.

Russia's version of explosions in the separatist Transnistria region of Moldova does not match events, political observer Raivo Vare said.

The separatist Transnistria region of Moldova that is home to Russian troops was on Tuesday rocked by explosions near radio masts and a military base. On Monday, an attack on Transnistria's security ministry allegedly took place.

Vare told "Ringvaade" that Russia claims the attacks constitute Ukrainian provocations to conquer areas around the Dniester River and reinforce its positions.

"But the versions Russia has come up with do not match what seems to be happening. /…/ Reality is looking like just the opposite as there were several peculiar aspects about the explosions," he said.

"There was an earlier attack using a grenade launcher that only Russia and a few African countries it has sold it to use. The Ukrainians and Moldovans do not have them," Vare explained.

"The attack on the local security building amounted to a pointless activity by all indicators that would be difficult to explain on live television. There were also attacks on radio masts broadcasting Russian propaganda. While there is some logic to this, it still wouldn't change anything. Why blow them up?" he asked.

Vare said that the third explosion allegedly hit a military airfield near Tiraspol, adding that reports of explosions or bangs near Soviet era military warehouses in Transnistria were reported on Wednesday.

"Go figure. Their claim is that it is the work of Ukrainian partisans or saboteurs. What about the Russian retaliation? They partly blew a bridge over the Dniester Estuary. This rather suggests that they want Ukrainian forces concentrated in the south and protecting Odessa to be stuck there," Vare reasoned.

Estonian Ambassador to Romania Ingrid Kessel Vinciguerra, whose work area also covers Moldova, said that the explosions in Transnistria created the kind of fear felt in Ukraine when the war started.

The authorities in Transnistria claim the attacks are by Ukrainians, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Moscow is trying to destabilize the situation in Transnistria and has ordered Russian troops there to prepare for action. Russian forces have been stationed in Transnistria since 1991.

"[President of Moldova] Maia Sandu urged the nation to stay calm, saying that the explosions could be the work of different groups in Transnistria, therefore, not pointing the finger at Russia as was feared," Kessel Vinciguerra said, adding that the modus operandi of the attacks does not seem to point to Russia whose provocations tend to be very bloody.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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