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Putin ‘on brink of new land grab’ to defy West with possible announcement imminent on annexing breakaway Moldovan region Transnistria


  • Landlocked strip along Dniester River is wedged between Moldova and Ukraine 

Putin is reportedly on the brink of a new land grab to defy the West by possibly announcing soon that Russia is taking control of a breakaway Moldovan region.

There is speculation that unofficial state Transnistria is poised to make an appeal to Putin to join Russia.

The landlocked strip along the Dniester River is wedged between Moldova and Ukraine. 

Putin already has a ‘peacekeeping’ force of up to 2,000 troops in the territory which Russia says overwhelmingly wishes to be incorporated by Moscow. There are also likely thousands of Russian paramilitaries on the ground.

A fear is Putin will use a speech of the Russian Federal Assembly on February 29 to green light annexation.

Putin (pictured) is reportedly on the brink of a new land grab to defy the West by possibly announcing soon that Russia is taking control of a breakaway Moldovan region

Putin (pictured) is reportedly on the brink of a new land grab to defy the West by possibly announcing soon that Russia is taking control of a breakaway Moldovan region

Transnistria is landlocked strip along the Dniester River, which is wedged between Moldova and Ukraine

Transnistria is landlocked strip along the Dniester River, which is wedged between Moldova and Ukraine

One day earlier a ‘congress’ of local politicians has been called in Transnistria amid speculation they will issue a formal appeal to join Russia. A similar congress previously led to such a demand.

Local opposition politician Gennadiy Chorba claims the plot to grab Transnistria is in progress, as part of Putin’s re-election campaign.

This will give Putin a supposed ‘legal’ power to step into Transnistria which has been in limbo since the end of the Soviet Union.

The dictator has noticed the failure of the West to meet Ukraine’s needs for arms, and senses he could get away with a new annexation, say experts.

Potentially, Russsia could use the territory to move against the rest of Moldova, seen as another goal, and as a point for attacks on Ukrainian port Odesa, seen as a far more significant prize.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has insisted Moscow will ‘not leave its citizens living in Transnistria in trouble’.

Moldova president President Maia Sandu last year claimed Russia was planning a coup in her country.

Ukrainian intelligence said the potential move by Moscow is ‘unconfirmed’ but is being monitored closely.

Sources also stress it could be hard for Putin to bring in troops to strengthen the forces that Russia has had in Transnistria since the end of the Soviet era.

But opposition politician Gennady Ciorba warned Sandu of the Kremlin threat saying that ‘the psychology of the current leadership of Russia, in particular Putin, is very similar to the psychology of Hitler in the late 1930s ….

‘Attempts to appease people like Putin lead to only one thing – the growing appetite of the aggressor.’

Ukrainian Military analyst Aleksander Kovalenko described the reports as ‘concerning’.

And he warned: ‘This group of [Russian] troops poses a serious threat to Moldova, since it is a much more combat-ready force than the Moldovan army.’

Russians are the largest group among the population of Transnistria with almost 30 per cent.

Another 29 per cant are Moldovan or Romanian, while 23 per cent are Ukrainian.



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