kremlin plans to invade Moldova closer to May 9 – The Times

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russian leaders have drafted an elaborate plan to invade Moldova soon, which could lead to a repeat of a “Donbas” scenario in the region, suspilne.media writes referring to the article by The Times.

There are a “number of indicators” pointing to an attack in the near future on the former Soviet state, which has only 3,250 soldiers in its army, Ukrainian intelligence sources suggest.

A certain activity is already being observed in the airport of Tiraspol, the capital of the unrecognized republic of Transnistria. russians may try to transfer its troops on Il76 planes and helicopters taking off the occupied Crimea. At the same time, protests and riots are to be set up in Moldova’s capital Chisinau.

At the same time, the outlet notes that the information does not go in line with the western intelligence assessments suggesting that russia has no sufficient capabilities to safely complete this route without risking its planes being downed by Ukrainian air defense in Odesa region. Also, to transfer ammunition and troops, russia would need to create a land corridor from the temporarily occupied Kherson through part of Mykolaiv and Odesa regions, facing fierce resistance of Ukrainian forces.

It is reported that russia may try to invade Moldova closer to May 9, when russia celebrates Victory Day. On this date, vladimir putin may announce recognition of Transnistria’s independence, which would lead to the unfolding of a “Donbas scenario” and pose a direct threat to Moldova’s territorial integrity.

We believe the kremlin has already taken the decision to attack Moldova, said the source.

The russians will then start to supply large amounts of weapons to the country before moving to try to make it part of russia, the source suggested.

British defense analysts note that such military operation could serve three goals:

Pull part of the Ukrainian forces to the south-western flank;

Undermine the Moldovan government’s pro-European policies;

Intimidate the west, suggesting that support for Ukraine may lead to further destabilization in the region, including in the Balkans.

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