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Moldova’s Foreign Affairs Ministry condemns the “anti-terrorist” exercises of the Russian troops in Transnistria

31 January 2018- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MAEIE) of Moldova issued a statement on the recent exercises conducted by the Operative Group of Russian Troops (OGRT) in the Transnistrian region.

The Moldovan MFA reiterated their “dismay and irritation towards the provocative behavior of the Russian troops illegally deployed in the Transnistrian region”, that (…) “continue to conduct military activities with dubious objectives”. Chișinău’s concern is especially significant because of the involvement of the separatist armed forces in OGRT’s activities.

Chișinău is referring to the recent “anti-terrorist” exercises, but also to the training on the “radiation, chemical and biological defense”, conducted by OGRT together with the so-called Transnistrian armed forces.

“Vehemently condemning such military activities, that cannot be perceived as anything but a direct and brutal threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, MAEIE would like to remind again about the engagement of the Russian Federation to withdraw its troops from the territory of the Republic of Moldova, in particular, fixed by the Agreement on the Principles for a Peaceful Settlement of the Armed Conflict in the Dniester Region of the Republic of Moldova, signed in Moscow at 21 July 1992”, reads the statement.

The Foreign Ministry also reiterated its call for full, unconditional withdrawal of the Russian troops and for the start of talks on the transformation of the peacekeeping mission into a multinational civil one with an international mandate.

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

Besides the 402 so-called 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.

The Republic of Moldova addressed the United Nations with the request to include the issue of the withdrawal of the Russian peacekeeping forces from Transnistria to the agenda of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. In a letter from the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to the UN, Victor Moraru stated that the presence of Russian troops “constitutes a danger to the maintenance of international peace and security.” The subject was due to be discussed in the plenary session of the UN General Assembly on 23 October but then was delayed by the Moldovan Representative to the UN.

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

Important

A military helicopter has collapsed in the Transnistrian region

An MI-8 helicopter of the so-called Transdniestrian Air Force has suffered an accident on the territory of the Tiraspol airfield. The accident occurred on September 20, and three people were on board. The helicopter is totally destroyed, and nothing about the fate of passengers is known, says Runway08, a blog about aviation.

On the other hand, in a press release published on the site of the so-called Defense Ministry of the separatist republic, the incident is confirmed, but it is said that the helicopter suffered little mechanical damage, and those on board ended up with light injuries.

According to the separatist authorities, in order to determine the circumstances in which this accident has occurred, an investigation was initiated.

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Reintegration

Russia urged by ECHR to pay 53.000 EUR for the mother of a young man killed in a paramilitary unit in Transnistria

On September 18, the European Court of Human Rights issued a ruling finding that the Russian Federation had violated art. 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the right to life after a young man was forcedly assassinated and killed in an illegal paramilitary unit in the Transnistrian region.

Young people who refuse to serve the illegal regime of the so-called “Transnistrian Army” are hunted down and persecuted by the administration of the region, and the Moldovan authorities are indifferent to this problem, which has been repeated for more than 25 years.

According to a Promo-LEX Report, young people who avoid enlisting in the so-called “Transnistrian army” are fined up to 1,700 EUR or get up to 2 years in prison. In the history of Moldova, there is no sentence of condemnation for the forced enlistment of young people in the Transnistrian region.

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Photograph: Anton Polyakov

NB: The armed forces in the Transnistrian region have about 5.000 people (the national army of Moldova has a staff of about 6.000 people), distributed in 4 infantry brigades (Ribnita, Dubasari, Tiraspol and Bender); a special brigade; Battalion of tanks, equipped with 20 fighting machines; 18 missile launch systems of the “Grad” type and less than a 100 pieces of artillery.

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Reintegration

500 military students, including minors, trained by Transnistrian soldiers in the Security Zone

During the hearing of the Moldovan Joint Control Commission (September 13) on the Situation in the Security Zone, the Moldovan delegation called for explanations regarding the military actions organized on 7-9 September by the military structures of Tiraspol near the Mereneşti locality, in the southern sector of the Security Zone.

About 500 military students, including minors: Cadets and Suvorovists who, under the guidance of the Transnistrian soldiers, attended a training course with the use of military equipment. Such incidents occurred simultaneously at the bridges over the river Nistru Gura Bâcului – Baciuc and Rezina – Ribnita.

These are some of the many waves of abuse committed by Tiraspol, that violate the right to free movement in the Security Zone and prove the importance of ensuring security and free movement in the Security Zone by the peacekeeping contingent jointly with Police and the so-called Russian “militia”.

Discussions on the subject will be continued at the next JCC meeting scheduled for 20 September 2018.

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