Russian military carried out maneuvers in Transnistria
The Russian troops stationed in the breakaway Moldovan region of Transnistria carried out maneuvers on Tuesday, according to the the electronic edition of Le Figaro.
Several hundred Russian military conducted anti-terrorist and defense exercises in the military base where they were stationed, said Col. Oleg Koşcetkov, a spokesman for the Russian Military West Command, as quoted by Interfax.
The commander of NATO forces in Europe, Gen. Philip Breedlove, expressed concern on Sunday that Transnistria could become the next target of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, after the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, Crimea. He said he suspected that Moscow wants to resort to the tactics used in the Crimea, namely to hold military drills in order to prepare fast-border incursions.
On the other hand, the Security Service (KGB ) from Tiraspol announced onTuesday on their site that on Sunday they put down an unmanned aircraft flying over the Transnistrian region and that they restored the video recordings made by the aircraft, concluding that it was launched "on the territory of Ukraine".
Colonel Oleg Koşcetkov also announced on Friday that the Russian troops conducted maneuvers in the breakaway Moldovan region in order to train the Russian soldiers of an evetual enemy attack. In the scenario of these exercises "one of the main tasks of the peacekeeping troops was to safeguard the civilians in the combat zones," said the spokesman of the Russian army.
Exercises took place at the end of the week, in the context in which the Moldovan President Timofti previously expressed concern about a possible repeat of the scenario in Crimea, in his country, and announced that the Transnistrian President asked Moscow's Parliament, after the model of Crimea, its annexation to Russia.
Moldova, a country where majority of the population speaks Romanian, has an area in the East inhabited by Russian and Ukrainian minorities - Transnistria. This region was separated from Chisinau, with the support of Moscow, in a war, in 1992, a year after the breakup from the former Soviet Union. Transnistria's independence was not recognized by any country.
Russia maintains, since then, about 440 soldiers aimed with "keeping the peace" in the region, plus a contingent task of protecting weapons deposits dating from the Soviet era, against the will of the Moldovan Government and despite a withdraw commitment from 1999.