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Reintegration

US Army Europe General Hodges: The “peacekeepers” in Transnistria are no peacekeepers

In a recent interview for Ukrainian Censor, the commander of the United States Army in Europe, Lieutenant General Frederick (Ben) Hodges argues that several scenarios are possible in the case of Russian invasion in Ukraine.

Talking about Georgian 2008 scenario, General Hodges brings up the example that the around 10000 Russian troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia were not withdrawn until now. Moreover, he doubts the peacekeeping character of the Russian troops in Moldova’s breakaway region, Transnistria:

“1500 Russian military “peacekeepers” in Transnistria- of course, they are no “peacekeepers”, it is a group for supporting instability around Ukraine”, says Hodges.

Hodges believes that Russia’s attempts to encircle Ukraine, and its other neighbors, with troops is nothing but a mean of pressuring them not to join the EU or approach the West.

Besides the 402 so-called peacekeepers, Russia holds the Operative Group of the Russian Forces in Transnistria containing approximately 1200 regular soldiers, mainly recruited from the Transnistrian locals. The Group is the new shape of the former 14th Guards Army of the Soviet Union that stationed in Transnistria even after the collapse of SU.

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

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Reintegration

Another troops rotation in Transnistria: Russian “Operative Troops” become Russian “peacekeepers”

After completing a march to the southern region of the Security Area, the Operative Group of the Russian Troops (OGRT) in Transnistria entered the contingent of the Russian peacekeepers, reads a press-release of the Western Military District of Russia. Thus, the Russian troops finished the rotation of peacekeepers within the peacekeeping mission on Nistru river.

After the 20 kilometers march with vehicles, the Russian soldiers reportedly replaced the armed vehicles at one unilateral peacekeeping checkpoint, three bilateral ones, but also at the military commandment of the southern region of the Security Area. The full rotation was supposed to finish on October 23rd with the deployment of the motorized infantry battalion in Bender.

The previous rotation procedure took place on October 21st when a motorized infantry unit entered the peacekeeping mission in the central part (60km long, 20km wide) of the Security Area, around the city of Dubăsari.

The current formation of Russian peacekeepers is expected to fulfill peacekeeping tasks until October 2018.

On October 24th, the Western Military District of Russia reported about finishing the 2017 tests- 20 drills, 70 exercises- of the Operative Group of Russian troops.

Note: 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 is due to be discussed in the plenary session of the UN General Assembly on 23 October.

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Reintegration

Former head of the so-called Customs Committee of Transnistria, sentenced to 10 years in prison

Former head of the so-called Customs Committee in the Transnistrian region, Yuri Ghervaziuk, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined 3.5 million Russian Transnistrian rubles ($ 226,000).

According to a Tiraspol city TV channel, Yuri Ghervaziuk was part of the close circle of former Tiraspol administration leader Evgheni Shevchuk.

From 2012 he was mayor of the Bender city, and from March 2015 to December 2016 he headed the so-called Customs Committee. Gervaziuk has organized corruption schemes at the Biohim factory, admitting tax evasion. He was also accused of bribing a customs commission employee to formalize false export of alcohol.

In February 2017, the press wrote that Yuri Ghervaziuk had been kidnapped on the territory of the Republic of Moldova and then taken to Tiraspol. This case has taken place on February 16, on the national route in the Anenii Noi district.

According to an eyewitness, Ghervaziuk’s car had stopped by strangers who wore police uniforms from the Republic of Moldova.

Convinced that the former head of the Transnistrian region is in the car, the individuals beat him, immobilized, and then threw him into the trunk of a car that headed for the Transnistrian region.

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Important

Russian peacekeepers are practicing with the occupation troops (GOTR)

The soldiers of the motorized infantry units of the Russian military contingent of occupation (GOTR) in Transnistria completed the coordination of units for joint actions with the Russian peacekeepers on the left bank of the Dniester River.

According to the West Military District Press Service of the Russian Ministry of Defense, applications have taken place on the GOTR field, specially equipped with peacekeeping posts.

The exercises were aimed at preparing GOTR troops for a possible infiltration of illegal military troops into the Security Zone.

At the same time, a separate objective was to establish an effective collaboration between the peacekeeping troops and the GOTR, in case of exceptional situations in the Security Zone.

The military exercises of the Russian occupation troops along with the Russian peacekeeping contingent and the Transnistrian armed forces have been deploying more and more military applications in recent years. Chisinau protested against the illegal exercises on the left bank of the Dniester River, but the protests of the Moldovan authorities did not prevent the further development of the applications.

Recently, the Republic of Moldova has demanded that the issue of the withdrawal of Russian occupation troops (GOTR) from the left bank of the Dniester River will be debated at the 72th General Assembly of the UN, which has triggered the dissatisfaction of Moscow and Tiraspol.

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