Thursday, February 29, 2024

Russia's Predictable Designs On Moldova

Now that Russia-aligned MAGA House members are blocking aid to Ukraine causing it to have military setbacks, war criminal and Russian thug Vladimir Putin has become emboldened to pursue his aggression. His second invasion of Ukraine two years ago was based on the false premise that Russian-speaking people in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine were being persecuted by the Ukrainian government. It's reminiscent of Hitler's tactic in invading Czechoslovakia and Austria prior to World War II "to protect ethnic Germans", and Russia's assault on Georgia in 2008, when it created South Ossetia and Abkhazia as breakaway "republics". 

With the same tactic in mind, Putin has turned his attention to the small nation of Moldova, a small landlocked country between Ukraine and Romania and a former Soviet republic, and its small ethnic Russian population of Transnistria along the Ukrainian border. From CNBC:

"The West is watching Russian President Vladimir Putin's next move closely after pro-Russian officials in the breakaway region of Transnistria in Moldova appealed to Moscow for 'protection' against the Moldovan authorities.

Russia's Foreign Ministry responded Wednesday by saying protecting that the interests of the residents of Transnistria — calling them "compatriots" — was one of Russia's priorities and that it would carefully consider the request, the ministry told RIA Novosti.

Analysts believed that Putin could use his state-of-the-nation address — an overview of the current situation in the country, and Russia's goals at home and abroad — to make an announcement about Transnistria. However, he was tight-lipped about the region in eastern Moldova that Russia has backed since the collapse of the Soviet Union." (our emphasis)

Putin likely believes that having additional Russian troops "invited" to the Transnistria region bordering Ukraine could cause Ukraine to divert troops to their border there to forestall another front of the war. At a minimum, such a move might sway the Moldovan government into a less pro-West, pro-European Union position that they currently have. The situation is on the radar of the White House, given Putin's increasingly aggressive moves:

"The White House said it noted the development with U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller, stating on Wednesday that 'Given Russia's increasingly aggressive role in Europe, we are watching Russia's actions in Transnistria and the broader situation there very closely.'"

We watched the situations very closely in Georgia in 2008, and Ukraine's Donbas in 2022, and that didn't deter Putin, who has come to expect us to be bystanders in his brutal aggressions.

(photo: Sergei Bobylyov / Sputnik / AFP via Getty Images)


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