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Moldova conducts military exercises near Transnistria, adopts a defense strategy, and increases spending

Moldova organized military exercises near the Russian-controlled proxy Transnistria, 22 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. 
Part of the Moldovan armed forces heading towards the drill. Photo by the Moldovan Ministry of Defense.

The Moldovan Ministry of Defense informed about this on Facebook. According to the Ministry, soldiers of the 22nd peacekeeping battalion will undergo training at the Bulboac Training Center from 17 to 22 December 2023.

“In connection with this, the movement of military equipment on national roads will be organized during the specified period,” the Ministry of Defense noted.

The Ministry conducts exercises according to the National Army Training Plan for 2023.

On 15 December 2023, the Parliament of Moldova supported the draft of Moldova’s National Security Strategy – the first since 2011.

According to European Pravda, in 2023, Moldova’s defense spending increased by almost 70%. Additional funds were directed mainly to the purchase of air defense systems. The European Union has also handed over medical and protective equipment, mine detectors, all-terrain vehicles, drones, and generators to the National Army of Moldova.

Transnistria, officially part of Moldova, was an autonomous Moldovan republic within the USSR stretching along the banks of the Dnister River. In 1990, the 14th Soviet Army, mainly Russian-staffed, was stationed there. Russian military personnel actively participated in the 1990-1992 war of self-proclaimed Transnistria against Moldova. After a ceasefire was reached on 21 July 1992, the war became a frozen conflict, with the leverage of Russian influence over Moldova.

In 2022, the head of Ukrainian Defense Intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, said in the air of a Ukrainian TV marathon that Ukraine is ready to help Moldova get rid of Russian occupiers in unrecognized Transnistria bordering Ukraine.

How to stop Russian aggression in post-Soviet states? | 30 Years of Freedom, p.4

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