The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on March 9 denied plotting to assassinate the president of the Russian-backed breakaway de facto state of Transnistria in Moldova. The denial comes after the Transnistrian Ministry of State Security (MGB) said it thwarted an SBU-orchestrated terrorist attack targeting multiple Transnistrian government officials. The MGB claimed that a number of suspects in the planned attack have been detained and given confessions. In an address, Transnistrian President Vadim Krasnoselsky alleged that SBU operatives entered Transnistria under the pretense of being refugees and subsequently worked to detonate a car bomb in the capital city of Tiraspol. Krasnoselsky’s address followed the release of a professionally-produced “video investigation” by the Investigative Committee of Transnistria detailing the alleged plot.
The SBU characterized the accusation as an instrument of Russian provocation amid Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The security service wrote on the social media platform Telegram:
Any statements by representatives of the so-called “Ministry of State Security” of the fake “Transnistrian People’s Republic” regarding the participation of the SBU in the preparation of a terrorist attack should be considered exclusively as a provocation orchestrated by the Kremlin… Lies and provocations are among the weapons actively used by the Russian Federation. But today the whole world sees the true face of the aggressor country and does not believe the statements of either Russia or its satellites.
Transnistria controls around 4,000 square kilometers of internationally-recognized Moldovan territory, but is not recognized by any UN member state. However, Russia has maintained a military presence in the breakaway state, which borders Ukraine, since the 1990-2 Transnistria War.
The accusations against Ukraine come amid rising tensions in the region as Moldova accused Russia of trying to undermine its sovereignty in February following a tip from the SBU. In the same month, Russia claimed that Ukraine was preparing to invade Transnistria. Nevertheless, observers are concerned that Russia may invade Ukraine from Transnistria, or continue to target Moldova with “hybrid warfare.”
From Jurist, March 9. Used with permission.
Photo via Ukraine Defense Ministry
Moldova police arrest 54 at anti-government protest
Moldovan police on March 12 arrested 54 people during an anti-government protest in the capital city of Chișinau hours after police announced the arrests of seven people linked to a Russian-backed plot to destabilize the country. According to Viorel Cernăuțeanu, the head of Moldova’s General Police Inspectorate (IGP), the plot included incidents of “destabilization and mass disorder” set to take place during the demonstration.
Those arrested during the protests, including 24 minors, were brought in for offenses including the possession of weapons and incendiary materials. (Jurist)