“The Tiraspol sugar”, or “how “Pridnestrovie has been bombed/oppressed” for 30 years.

“The Tiraspol sugar”, or “how “Pridnestrovie has been bombed/oppressed” for 30 years.

Putin and Patrushev have an urgent need to organise some kind of flare up on the border with Moldova in order to justify the pressure on the Moldovan government and opening the second front in the rear of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (the notorious military-technical measures)

In the foreseeable future, it is highly probable that we will witness “acts of violence” orchestrated by the PMR authorities and Russian special forces. That will help greatly in supporting the Kremlin slander about the necessity to protect the “people of Pridnestrovie”. The culprits had been already defined, as you might guess – Chisinau, Kyiv, the “bloodthirsty Moldovan warmongers” and “ruthless Ukrainian nazis”! Perhaps, the pretext would be some bold violation of the precarious balance between Tiraspol and Chisinau in any area, be it administrative, economic, political, or military issues. FSB professional will gladly help the PMR leaders, who are on “full state support” from Kremlin, to come up with the right sort of provocation. This is the core responsibility of FSB, and they are very adept at it. That technique had been fine-tuned in Chechnya, Georgia, and the Ukrainian Donbass. And the FSB officers did a darn good job even in Moscow and Ryazan itself.

I hope you remember that on the 22.09.1999 when a group of terrorists was caught planting hexogen in a residential building on the Novoselov street, 14/16 in Ryazan. The next day, on the 23.09.1999, the press room of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that a rapid analysis of the substance in the bags showed the presence of hexogen. That was quite a shock. Because just before that, on the 8th and 13th of September, in Moscow, two more buildings were blown up at night with a hexogen-TNT mixture, and more than 200 people died. The news immediately swept like wildfire across the whole country. The regional police department and the FSB remained vigilant, and within a couple of days they successfully tracked down the suspects’ whereabouts. (they lived in a rented apartment in Ryazan). And then… the FSB Head Office in Lubyanka issued a statement that this was not a terrorist attack, but a mock drill, not hexogen – but sugar, and the suspects were FSB employees. They were “testing vigilance” in the country. Since then, the infamous term “Ryazan sugar” emerged.

Today, reading the latest appeal of PMR deputies of all levels to the Federation Council of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, it becomes evident that these muppet deputies were carefully selected in such a way that they lack even common sense, let alone any semblance of resilience. They unanimously voted for an invitation to hell, to war! They are treading the familiar path of unrecognized territories like Abkhazia, Ossetia, and the “DPR/LPR”. Their fears are solely centered around potential “NATO aggression and Moldova’s maneuvers,” which largely define their existence. And, naturally, Ukraine, that has never posed any threat to them and has consistently aimed to distance itself from their self-proclaimed republic.

As per military analysts, a Russian landing in the “PMR” is deemed highly intricate and improbable – nearly suicidal, as it would entail navigating through areas monitored by Ukrainian air defense units on active duty. Without such a landing, the prospects for Transnistrian forces appear rather bleak…

The Military Balance 2022 report highlights the presence of approximately 1,500 Russian Army personnel in the region, along with several Mi-8 helicopters and seven attack Mi-24 helicopters. The open source information indicates that the Russian Federation’s personnel in the PMR possess around 100 armored vehicles. Add there the “Transnistrian” formations themselves, consisting of up to 8,000 troops, approximately 40 T-64 and T-72 tanks, up to 240 armored fighting vehicles, and up to 40 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS). However, the quantity of equipment is relatively limited, and there are uncertainties regarding its operational readiness, as well as concerns about fuel and spare parts availability.

Given that most units are fully staffed, the mobilization factor holds significant importance for the PMR. The question arises: to what extent can the PMR forces increase their numbers? Various estimates suggest a wide range, from 25 thousand to a remarkable 115 thousand reservists. However, a practical assessment conducted in 2017, which reviewed military-age individuals, managed to identify 39 thousand men of military age. Nevertheless, some residents of the region express skepticism regarding this figure, suggesting that it should be halved.

The combined strength may not yield a decisive advantage, even when pitted against “just” the Moldovan army, which is often labeled as “the weakest army in Eastern Europe.”

Russia, employing familiar tactics, seeks to replicate the “Donbass scenario”: initially bolstering Moldova and transforming it into a Kremlin satellite, and subsequently utilizing its territory as a potential staging ground for a hypothetical “second front” against Ukraine. Meanwhile, Moscow has already accused Ukraine of purportedly plotting an invasion of the unrecognized “PMR.”

It is speculated that Moscow will kickstart the process by legitimizing a spiral of violence through a “provocation-propaganda-military intervention” algorithm. Consequently, we anticipate moves from Moscow reminiscent of “Ryazan sugar” or something akin to the Gleiwitz provocation, where, on the evening of August 31, 1939, Nazi SD security officers, under Hitler’s directive, staged the supposed seizure of a German radio station by the Poles in the small German city of Gleiwitz near the Polish border.

I repeat, such provocations always work! They serve both as a “casus belli” and as a pretext for intensifying moral pressure on the enemy, namely Ukraine, attributing all troubles to it. When such a cunning aggressor like Russia plans to attack a victim, it tries not to appear culpable in the eyes of public opinion, hence shifting blame onto someone else becomes a fundamental tactic of its warfare.

For a prolonged period, Moldova neither could nor wished to assert control over the territory of the “PMR” due to the potential economic and political repercussions for the rest of the country. It had remained content with the status quo for the past three decades. Presently, Ukraine is compelled to galvanize Moldova into taking more decisive action. Ukraine and Moldova can come to an agreement regarding the force to conduct the de-occupation.

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