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Transnistria claims drone hit military unit, Ukraine dismisses it as Russian ploy

Moldova’s Russian-controlled Transnistria claims a drone attacked a military unit, but Ukraine’s military intelligence dismisses this as a Russian provocation aimed at creating panic and instability in the region by falsely portraying Transnistria as preparing to attack Ukraine’s Odesa.
Transnistria state emblem and flags, downtown of the city Tiraspol, occupied Transnistria, Moldova. 25 August 2020. Photo:
Transnistria claims drone hit military unit, Ukraine dismisses it as Russian ploy

The self-proclaimed authorities in Moldova’s Russian-controlled Transnistrian Moldovan Republic (PMR) have claimed that a drone attacked a military unit of the PMR’s so-called Ministry of Defense in the Rybnitsa district, located just 6 kilometers from the Transnistrian-Ukrainian border, Ukraine’s public broadcaster Suspilne reports.

According to the statement from the so-called “Ministry of State Security” of the PMR, the alleged drone strike occurred at 2:35 p.m. local time on 5 April. The target was ostensibly a radar station, which sustained minor damage, and there were no casualties.

However, the Ukrainian military intelligence agency has firmly dismissed this incident as a Russian provocation. Andrii Yusov, a representative of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate, stated in his remarks to Suspilne that Ukraine is not involved in this event and definitely “would not waste valuable drones for such minor provocations.”

Yusov added that there are forces interested in destabilizing the situation in the region, using the pretext of Transnistria supposedly preparing an attack on Odesa. He accused these unnamed forces of sowing panic and organizing provocations, but assured that the situation is being monitored and remains under control.

This is not the first time such an incident has been reported in Transnistria. In March, Russian and Transnistrian media claimed that a kamikaze drone attack had destroyed a military helicopter in the breakaway region of Moldova. However, Moldova’s Bureau of Reintegration Policy dismissed this as an attempt “to create fear and panic in the region.

Yusov’s assessment is that the latest drone incident in Transnistria is another Russian-orchestrated provocation aimed at destabilizing the situation in the area, rather than a genuine attack planned by the unrecognized Transnistrian authorities.

The regions of Gagauzia and Transnistria are often perceived as potential Russian “Trojan horses” within Moldova, due to their pro-Russian sentiments and Moscow’s influence in these regions. These areas could be used by Russia to exert political and military pressure on Moldova. Gagauzia is an autonomous republic, while Transnistria is an internationally unrecognized self-proclaimed state, considered to be a part of Moldova, having Russian troops deployed on its territory.

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