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Reintegration

“Anti-terror”, scout and battle exercises conducted by Russian troops in Transnistria

At least three military exercises have been conducted in the last six days by the Operative Group of Russian Troops stationed in the breakaway Transnistria- de jure, territory of the Republic of Moldova.

The first battle exercise was reported on June 2nd by the Western Military District of Russia. The Russian soldiers reportedly had to improve their skills of destroying light-armored vehicles, firing means and live resources of the opponent by using АГС-17 «Пламя» grenade-throwers and  «Утёс» big caliber shotguns. Researching fields and distances, hiding and changing firing positions were also exercised. This exercise is expected to last until the end of June.

The second exercise was announced on June 4th by the same military authority. The Operative Troops residing in Transnistria had to train their scouting skills during daytime and nighttime by finding the opposite camps, taking secret documents and new weapons. The drill is allegedly part of the summer training plan.

The third one involved the Russian troops into anti-terrorist operations aimed at stopping terrorist groups from capturing the military base, capturing civilians and military personnel and blow up the base. The exercise reportedly finished with success for the Russian soldiers. According to the press-release, this kind of exercises are regularly conducted to prevent the terrorist acts against the deployed Russian troops of the Operative Group (ОГРВ ПРРМ) and the protected locations.

The Operative Group of Russian Troops (around 1200) are illegally stationed in Transnistria and have no legal basis for their stay, comparing to the Russian peace-keepers working in the buffer Security Area between the separatist-controlled territory and the rest of Moldova. The constitutional authorities of Moldova repeatedly asked Russia to withdraw its troops from Transnistria, in order to comply to the previous agreements and basic international norms.

Currently studying International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Study focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Moldovan statehood, Moldovan democracy. Inquiries at [email protected]

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Reintegration

ECtHR: Russia found guilty of violating rights to property, remedy of 1646 landowners and 3 companies in Transnistria, Moldova

17 July 2018- The European Court of Human Rights found that the Russian Federation is guilty of violating the right to property (Art. 13 of the ECHR) and the right to a remedy (Art.1 of Protocol 1 to the ECHR) of 1646 landowners and 3 companies from Dubăsari district, situated left of Nistru river but under the control of constitutional authorities.

The case concerned complaints by 1,646 individual Moldovan applicants and three companies that
they had not been able to access land in the separatist region of the “Moldovan Transdniestrian
Republic” (“the MRT”) or had suffered other restrictions.
The Court found in particular that there had been no legal basis for the “MRT” to deprive the
applicants of access to their land and there had been a violation of their property rights. Given
Russia’s effective control over “the MRT”, it had to take responsibility for the violations the
applicants had suffered. For its part, Moldova had fulfilled its duty to help the applicants by
negotiating their access to the land and granting them compensation for losses.

The landowners live in five villages on the left bank of the River Dniester and are under Moldovan control. They own land which is on the other side of a road which has been claimed by “Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic” (“PMR”) as its territory.
They worked the land without hindrance between 1992 and 1998, when “the Transnistrian authorities” set up “border” checkpoints and the applicants had to pay various taxes and fees. In 2004 “PMR” declared that the land in question was its property and demanded rent from the applicants. Since 2006, a special land ownership agreement is concluded every year between Chișinău constitutional authorities and the separatist authorities from Tiraspol to allow the farmers work and rent their lands.

The Moldovan authorities were not found guilty in the case because of their attempts since 2006 to compensate the individual landowners and landowning companies while attempting to claim jurisdiction over the left bank territory- Transnistria.

The Court held that Russia was to pay each individual applicant 1500 euros in respect of nonpecuniary
damage, except for three applicants who withdrew their applications. It awarded 115300 euros to Agro-Tiras S.R.L., 80500 euros to Agro-S.A.V.V.A. S.R.L. in respect of pecuniary damage and 50000 euros under the same head to Posedo-Agro S.R.L., to be paid to its successor, Serghei Popa FP. It also awarded each applicant company EUR 5,000 in respect of nonpecuniary damage.
It also ordered that Russia was to pay the costs and expenses of 20000 euros for all the applicants.

But Russia is known for not having paid nearly anything for the victims of this kind of “Transnistrian cases”.

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Reintegration

ECtHR: Russia guilty of ill-treatment, poor detention conditions of 5 Moldova policemen in Transnistria

17 July 2018- Russia was found guilty by the ECtHR of ill-treatment and poor detention conditions of five Moldova police officers. The five police officers had been detained in 2006 by the authorities of the so-called “Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic”. (Judgment 50157/06 from 17/07/2018)
The police officers were reportedly forced to confess that they intended to kidnap politicians and other persons from the region while actually conducting an investigation in Tiraspol.

During the detention, officer Mangîr was allegedly beaten up and injected with an unknown substance which made him stay unconscious for 4 days. His internment in Moldova’s MAI hospital after the release had “concussion” as the cause. Officers Pohila, Dațco, Vasiliev were beaten and threatened with the killing of family members, as well with being transferred to cells occupied by common criminals. Officer Condrea was subjected to “Palestinian hanging” for up to 7 hours, being taken unconscious to the cell.

Russia was found to be exercising “effective control” in the region, “by virtue of its continued military, economic and political support” for separatists. Russia will have to pay approximately 93 thousand euros to Mangîr and his fellow policemen for damage and expenses. Accordingly, “Moldova had taken all the measures in its power” to ensure respect for individual applicants’ rights. Thus, it was not found guilty of violating the rights of the applicants.

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Reintegration

4 military columns moved unannounced on Dubăsari-Grigoriopol-Tiraspol road, ignoring peacekeeping observers

Photo of the military column from last week

23 June 2018- Another serious violation was committed in the Security Zone.

In the morning of June 23rd, at 4 o’clock in the morning, at 6.30, 11.15, and 13.15 in the afternoon, four columns of military vehicles were spotted moving unannounced on the Dubăsari-Grigoriopol-Tiraspol road.

According to the press-release of the Moldovan delegation to the Joint Control Commission, approximately 11 TAB and 25 trucks (URAL, ZIL, UAZ) were moving on the road without any symbols of belonging to either the OGRT or the peacekeeping mission, with number plates missing. Moreover, the columns were accompanied by the Transnistrian “special police forces”.

The Moldovan delegation managed to gather military observers from all the peacekeeping parties around 5.30 in the Dubăsari and Grigoriopol districts (close to the Dubăsari bridge and Doroțcaia, Mălăiești villages) to document the incident. At 6.20, the OSCE Mission representatives spotted 4 URAL trucks and a military vehicle unit, observed later in Mălăiești village at 7.15.

When asked to stop, the military vehicles reportedly did not react in any way.

Previously, the Russian representatives claimed that the three military columns that moved towards the Colbasna munition deposit last week had the goal to increase security at the munition deposit in Colbasna in the wake of possible “terrorist acts and provocative actions” during the World Cup.

Contacted by Deschide.md, Moldova’s Reintegration Minister, Cristina Lesnic told that Chișinău asked OSCE to clarify what kind of vehicles were spotted, what they were transporting.


Besides the 441 “peacekeepers”, Russia holds the Operative Group of the Russian Forces in the Transnistrian region of Moldova containing approximately 1200 regular soldiers, mainly recruited among locals. The Group is the new shape of the former 14th Guards Army of the Soviet Union that is illegally stationed in Transnistria after the collapse of SU. The Group and the Peacekeeping Mission are strongly interconnected through the rotation of troops between them, and both contain local Transnistrian men with Russian passports, despite their neutrality claims.

In 2017 and the start of 2018, experts have seen a significant increase in OGRT’s military activity.

On 22 June 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by a simple majority Moldova’s resolution titled “Complete and unconditional withdrawal of foreign military forces from the territory of the Republic of Moldova”. The resolution calls on the UN Member States to urge the Russian Federation to “complete orderly, unconditionally and without further delay the withdrawal of the Russian Operational Group of Russian Forces” (more commonly known as OGRT or OGRV), in accordance to its commitment agreed at the 1999 OSCE Istanbul Summit, but also the UN Charter.

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