Russian General Announces Plan to Invade Moldova after Ukraine

A Russian general announced plans to occupy the Transnistria region of Moldova on Friday.

Speaking at a defense industry meeting, Brigadier General Rustam Minnekayev, acting commander of Russia’s Central Military District, stated that the Russian Armed Forces plan to “make passage” into the region — in Moldova’s East, bordering Ukraine and less than 30 miles from the port city of Odessa — to create a “land corridor to Crimea,” Russian media reported. Such a corridor would also purport to connect the Russian mainland to Transnistria.

Minnekayev stated that the measure was part of Russia’s second phase in its war in Ukraine, which involves establishing full control over the Donbas Region and Ukraine’s coast along the Black Sea. No timeline was provided for the maneuver to begin, however.

In his remarks, Minnekayev cited the strategic value of the region, claiming “control over the south of Ukraine is another exit into Transnistria, where there are also facts pointing to the oppression of the Russian-speaking population.” Transnistria is a separatist region of Moldova — comprised primarily of Russian speakers — akin to Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine, which has been autonomously run by a pro-Russian faction since 1990. It is not internationally recognized by any country, including Russia, though nearly 1,500 Russian troops are stationed in the region and its trade is primarily conducted with the Russian mainland.

Ukraine’s armed forces had previously warned on April 2 that Russia was mobilizing troops in Transnistria, though this was initially denied by Moldova. Ukraine believes that such mobilization is a prelude to attacks on Odessa, Ukraine’s largest port city and a gateway for its international trade.

Russia’s occupation of Transnistria would expand the conflict with Ukraine to another European nation-state, since it began in late February of 2022.

More ominously, in his remarks, Minnekayev said that Russia was now “at war with the whole world, as it [was] in the Great Patriotic War.”

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