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Operative Group of Russian Troops in Transnistria had skiing competitions. At above 0°C temperatures, with no snow?

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Source: structure.mil.ru

The Operative Group of Russian Troops illegally stationing in the Transnistrian region of Moldova reportedly had skiing competitions for the Russian soldiers and their families.

A press release of the Russian Ministry of Defense dating to 2 January 2018 reports that over 50 families of the Russian military participated and around 1000 people attended the competition. The event included races, as well as sports quizzes.

The main stage of the competition included a ski race for 2000 meters, divided into 3 parts. The men had to ski for 1200 meters, the women for 600 meters, while the children only for 200 meters. Three families won the competitions, but all of them received prizes and souvenirs with the symbols of the Russian Defense Ministry.

It’s still hard to imagine skiing in Transnistria at the current moment: this year, the winter in the region has been mild, with almost no snow, and temperatures over 3°C almost all the time. Moldova.org can confirm this from Chișinău, which is 60km from Tiraspol, that there is snow and that everyone is rather diving in the spring mud.

According to the weather data, it hasn’t snowed in Tiraspol since 22 December 2017. Moreover, the snow must have melt until now because of the unusually high temperatures for this period of the year:

28 December 2017- 3 January 2018

23 December 2017-28 December 2017

20 December 2017- 26 December 2017, the only period with light snow and negative temperature

So how did the Russian soldiers ski? In the mud?

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 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]

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Miroslav Lajčák: “The OSCE and Slovakia are ready to provide the necessary support within the Transnistrian settlement process”

“We need a regulation based on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, within internationally recognized borders, including a special status for the Transnistrian region.”

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The statement was made today in Chisinau by the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Slovakia, Miroslav Lajčák, after his meeting with Foreign and European Integration Minister Tudor Ulianovschi.

In this context, Minister Miroslav Lajčák welcomed the efforts and contribution of the Government of the Republic of Moldova to achieve real results that are beneficial to the citizens.

“I am glad to see that we are seeing a real and tangible process – the bridge is open, the children attend schools with the Latin script, the farmers process their land in Dubasari, the cars circulate with the neutral registration plates. We need to use this “momentum” and grow it continuously,” declared the Bratislava official.

In this context, the Slovak Foreign Minister stressed that “OSCE and Slovakia, as the country holding the presidency, are ready to give all the necessary support.”

“I presented the priorities of the Slovak presidency at the end of last year in Vienna, and today I am in Chisinau. This shows how important Moldova and the Transnistrian settlement process in particular really is to us. We want to focus on the political aspect, but also to help people affected by conflicts. “

Referring to the parliamentary elections in February 2019, Miroslav Lajcak reiterated their importance for the Republic of Moldova, noting that the mission of OSCE observers is already active in our country.

For his part, Minister Tudor Ulianovschi expressed confidence that this year, with joint efforts, there will be efficient cooperation, based on mutual respect, in order to increase the dialogue in the framework of political negotiations and advancement in the Transnistrian settlement process.

During the dialogue, the head of Moldovan diplomacy reiterated the increased interest of the Chisinau authorities regarding the organization by the Slovak Presidency of new rounds of negotiations in the “5 + 2” format.

The official stressed that the Republic of Moldova relies on Slovakia’s support in its efforts to resume talks on the withdrawal of Russian troops from its territory on the OSCE platform and to transform the current peacekeeping operation from the security zone into a civilian international mandate.

Moreover, Minister Tudor Ulianovschi also referred to the need to carry out an international inspection of the Cobasna ammunition depot, which, in the shadow of political discussions, is becoming a growing socio-humanitarian danger for both the Republic of Moldova and the neighboring states.

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Reintegration

Disputes raised at the first meeting of the Joint Control Commission in 2019

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The Unified Control Commission focused its discussions at this year’s first session on the Moldovan delegation’s proposals to develop a Security Zone monitoring mechanism in line with the commitments made under the protocol signed in January 2017.

The refusal of the representatives of Tiraspol to accept this approach has generated fierce disputes between the participants.

The arguments presented by the Moldovan delegation, supported by the representatives of Ukraine, would remove the previously signaled deficiencies and would ensure that the incidents in the Security Zone are not admitted.

The proposal of the Moldovan delegation to train the OSCE Mission to develop such a monitoring mechanism was also rejected.

At the same time, the work of military observers and their reports was addressed, in particular, refusals to sign some reports that do not objectively reflect violations committed in the Security Zone.

The Moldovan delegation reiterated that such situations are caused by the lack of a separate regulation of the Joint Military Command.

As arguments were presented cases in which some military applications deployed in the Security Zone and publicized, including on official sites, are not found in the reports of the military observers (a fact which determined the military representatives of the Republic of Moldova not to target such projects of incomplete acts).

The Chisinau delegation also referred to the long term, during which the parties can not reach a consensus on some important topics.

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Reintegration

A deputy is being prosecuted for $3,500 theft in Transnistria

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Transnistrian Supreme Soviet Deputy Vasili Vlasov is being prosecuted for the embezzlement of public money in particularly high proportions while he was the director of “Tirasteploenergo”. It is about 57,000 of Transnistrian rubles (about 3,500 dollars) that he would have received illegally.

According to the INFOTAG agency, the region’s prosecutor, Anatoliy Guretsky, has asked the Supreme Soviet to agree to the detention, and arrest the former deputy.

Guretsky said that during the investigation, Vlasov actively tried to influence the criminal file by preventing the obtaining of testimonies from other persons.

Vlasov did not come to the Supreme Soviet meeting “because of health problems,” but addressed colleagues with a letter. He states that in the criminal case he was invited by the Committee of Inquiry as a witness and stresses that testimonies have been filed by the official who has the status of the accused.

Examining the prosecutor’s request, the parliamentary commission for mandates, regulation, and ethics of the deputy refused to detain him, but accepted “conducting investigative measures against him” instead.

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