Russian forces will probably target Moldova if they’re successful in the invasion of Ukraineor even sooner, in accordance with one expert.
Russia continues to target the majority of its military might on gaining control of the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, which includes been a focus of the war right from the start. Following failure to take the administrative centre city of Kyiv, Russian forces have increasingly been centered on the fighting in the east.
However the prospect of launching an identical invasion of Moldova, the tiny country south of Ukraine, has been feared for months. Like its embattled neighbor, Moldova was a Soviet territory ahead of 1991. In addition, it includes a breakaway region along its border with Ukraine, Transnistria, that’s acknowledged by Moscow however, not by any person in the US.
Many have speculated that Russian forces would proceed to manage Moldova carrying out a hypothetical victory in Ukraine. But Yuri Felshtinsky, an author, historian, and expert on the geopolitical history of Russia, told Express UK an invasion of Moldova could begin much sooner.
“Even before they’re finished with Ukraine, should they reach Transnistria along the way, they will begin to have a war there,” he explained. “Moldova will be in danger as soon as Russia moves to Transnistria. If the Ukrainians are unable to hold them, then they’ll reach Transnistria and they’ll start the war in Moldova. And Moldova, needless to say, isn’t a person in NATO.”
Felshtinsky claimed that Putin could not be happy with merely securing control of the breakaway Donbas region of Ukraine, that was the pretext for the existing invasion, or with any regions his troops currently control. The groundwork in Moldova, he explained, was already laid. Around 2,000 Russian peacekeeping officers have remained stationed in Transnistria because the fall of the Soviet Union, and in the last decade they will have begun issuing Russian passports to the Russian-speaking population.
“In Moldova, in Transnistria, you can find approximately 220,000 Russian-speaking visitors to whom the Russian government began to issue Russian passports,” Felshtinsky added. “They first started achieving this in 2014.”
Russian officials have during the past dismissed the idea of invading Moldova, with deputy foreign minister Andrei Rudenko saying in April they “want to avoid this type of scenario.”
Moldova’s prime minister, Natalia Gavrilita, said in late July that she actually is “worried sick” concerning the prospect of a Russian invasion, but additionally added that it “is really a hypothetical scenario for the present time.”
Newsweek reached out to Russian officials for comment.