Pro-Russian Transnistria, the next front in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict?

Residents of Transnistria have been concerned since the eruption of the separatist republic. The pro-Russian separatist region of Moldova, on the border with Ukraine, fears an escalation of the conflict.

In the center of Chisinau, Moldovan is the capitalA huge building was repainted in Ukrainian colors, In support of neighboring countries. Pro-European Moldova, which is the least organized 400,000 Ukrainian refugees, At least symbolically supporting Kiev in the face of Russian aggression. Not far away, at the bus station, drivers communicate with pedestrians: “Tiraspol? “They go “Capital” of Transnistria. This area is dozens of kilometers away from Chisinau In the Soviet era a bubble stopped. This powder keg on the Ukrainian border occupied by Russian forces is suffering the consequences of war today.

Pro-Russian enclaves

Western journalists have not welcomed the war in Ukraine.

Penetrate into Isolated republic, You need to cross an advanced border. With red-green flag A gold-edged hammer and sickle Mark the entrance to Transnistria. At the checkpoint, soldiers check passports: “How long have you been staying? Why?” You have to enter this ghost kingdom as a tourist. Especially since the war in Ukraine, Western journalists are not welcome.

Everything about the “capital” is designed to commemorate the Soviet past and its relations with Russia.

At the entrance to Tiraspol, A huge statue of Lenin dominates the scene. Not too far away, Russian General Suvorov faces Catherine II. Everything about the “capital” is designed to commemorate the Soviet past and its relations with Russia. The 1990 Separation Creation a Fictional state where 500,000 inhabitants live Mainly Russian speaking. If Transnistria stands, it is mainly thanks to Moscow. In supermarkets and gas stations, the term “sheriff” flooded the landscape, “The economy is affected by the sheriff’s holdingControlled by Russian oligarch Viktor Gushan, “said a local. Meanwhile, Putin’s government is helping small businesses and renovating public buildings and hospitals, increasing popular support in Moscow. This housewife follows the news through Ukraine Local media broadcast Russian propaganda“For more than ten years, the situation in Ukraine has deteriorated. The media is telling the truth

Fear of war

In addition to financial assistance, Moscow is present At the military level. With 1,500 troops deployed in the area, they observed 22,000 tons of explosives in Tiraspal. Through this huge ammunition depot, Transnistria poses a direct threat to Odessa, dozens of kilometers away. In the event of an attack on a Ukrainian city on the shores of the Black Sea, Tiraspol could serve as a support for Russia. On the banks of the Dinister, the river that crosses the Transnistrian capital, Katarina, a resident of Tiraspol, thinks: “The proximity of Ukraine worries me. Our country is fragile, war could break out here.“Last week, the explosions in Tiraspol caused panic:” Since then, psychosis has increased. “

If residents seem to support Russian power, Entering an uncomfortable battle. The wounds of the 1992 civil war have not healed and many Transnistrians have connections to the rest of the region. Some are personally affected by the war in Ukraine: “I lived in Odessa, I have friends in Ukraine. So I believe there are right and wrong on both sides in this war. Transnistrian media does not tell the whole truth

At the risk of war, many Transnistrians have already chosen exile.

A few meters away, in a cafe in the city center, Tatiana (name has been changed) serves cappuccino to passing customers. Like most transnistrians, he has multiple passports. Reminiscent of Soviet times, Tatiana navigates between multiple identities: “I am Moldovan, Russian, Transnistrian and Ukrainian. I grew up in Ukraine, my family still lives in Odessa.” He lowered his voice a little: “What bothers me is that the people here have no sympathy for what the Ukrainians are doing, it is difficult to live on a daily basis.” In recent days, Moscow has threatened to attack Moldova. Its troops in Transnistria can then act as support. The announcements appear to be mere threats to pressure Chisinau. But in the face of the risk of war, many Transnistrians have already chosen exile, such as Tatiana: “I am preparing my visa for Germany. The situation is livable at the moment. But who knows what is waiting for us in the coming days?

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