Ukraine Says Transnistria Attacks Came From Russia

Ukraine Says Transnistria Attacks Came From Russia Ukraine Says Transnistria Attacks Came From Russia

Stuck between Moldova and Ukraine, Transnistria is a little country with communist architecture. Here is a cathedral in Tiraspol, the capital of the Pridnestrovian Moldovian Republic. After Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014, the head of Transnistria's Parliament asked to join Russia. (Marc Elicagaray/Dreamstime)

By Mykhailo Bondarenko | Tuesday, 26 April 2022 04:39 PM

Ukrainian intelligence is asserting that intercepted communications indicate that Monday's attacks on the Ministry of National Security in the self-proclaimed breakaway Transnistria region of Moldova were conducted by Russia or its operatives as justification for launching attacks on Ukraine.

A letter dated three days before the attacks on Transnistria posted to the Telegram account of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine purportedly shows Vadym Shmalenko, secretary of state of Transnistria's Commission for Emergency Situations, asking the head of the Kamensky region of Russia, Volodymyr Bychkov, for information on places that would be safe from explosions.

Ukrainian intelligence said on Telegram the letter indicates knowledge of the attacks before they occurred.

The attacks on the ministry headquarters in Tiraspol and subsequent series of explosions Tuesday on the communications towers were quickly reported on social media.

The first images and reports on ministry building, which also includes offices of Russia's Federal Security Service, or FSK — the successor to the Soviet Union's KGB, were quickly picked up by the broadcast channels.

The attack was then confirmed by Transnistria's Ministry of Internal Affairs. The reports featured Images of shells and the damaged building of the Ministry of National Security.

''Explosion in Tiraspol! The Ministry of National Defense was attacked. The windows on the top floors of the building are blown out and smoke is pouring out. According to preliminary reports the building was shot with a rocket propelled grenade,'' read a message from Transnistria's Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The ministry reported another series of explosions Tuesday on two telecommunications towers that broadcast Russian channels. Moldova is calling for an emergency parliamentary meeting to discuss the attacks.

Transnistria, officially the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, was declared in 1992 after the breakup of the Soviet Union, although it is not generally recognized by the international community. It occupies a narrow strip of land on the western border of Moldova with Ukraine. After Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014, the head of Transnistria's Parliament asked to join Russia.

Defense Intelligence of Ukraine is also receiving reports from the Transnistria citizens who have received text messages that claim to be from the armed forces of Ukraine.

''The security service of Ukraine advises immediate evacuation of the civilian population to safer regions,'' the intelligence service reported the messages said. ''We assure you that we do not intend to harm peaceful civilians, but anyone who doesn't leave will be treated as saboteurs and will be destroyed without warning. Today, 7 p.m., we will shell and bomb the territory of the republic.''

The Defense Intelligence of Ukraine warns that these messages are part of a bigger false flag operation and are being reported on all major Russian state-controlled channels and publications.

''A closer investigation of these attacks points to Ukraine,'' Transnistrian President Vadim Krasnoselsky declared.

The Russia state media channel RIA News reported that Denis Pushilin, the leader of the so-called self-declared breakaway Ukrainian Donetsk People's Republic, openly called on Russia to put more troops in Ukraine because of the attack in Transnistria and other alleged attacks and explosions on Russian territories that border Ukraine.

''We need to start the second phase of the war because of what's happening in Transnistria and Ukrainian attacks in Russia,'' Pushilin said.

Russia has declared its plans for the ''second phase'' of the war in Ukraine via the acting commander of Russia's central military district, Rustam Minnekayev.

''The second phase of the operation, which started two days ago, is establishing control over the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine. Control of Ukraine's South is important for protection of oppressed Russian speakers that live there and key to establishing a direct connection with Transnistria,'' Minnekayev told the Russian news agency Interfax.

Original Article