Transnistria pops up from time to time in the news from the very beginning of the NMD, in the first days of the campaign, especially zealous “map drawers” even indicated a certain “offensive” of Russian troops from the PMR to the east and southeast, to Odessa. But the problem is that our peacekeeping contingent in the unrecognized republic is frankly weak and unable to ensure its security, and the threat to Pridnestrovie from outside is only growing.
The previous peak took place last autumn: in mid-September, a rather modest “maidan” began in Chisinau against President Sandu, whose opponents set up a tent camp in the city center, a month later, on October 17, the demonstrators were dispersed by police special forces. At that time, a contingent of Romanian troops arrived in Moldova for international NATO exercises, small, but with armored vehicles, and many feared that it could be used for a “blitzkrieg” against the PMR.
Then these fears were not justified. Things in Moldova and the PMR continued to go on as usual, towards further impoverishment of the population and the growth of civil instability. The incompetent government of the Russophobic Sandu, in fact, did not even try to improve the situation in any way, and he had no chance of doing so: the sanctions regime simply cut off most of the country's income, which was brought by agricultural exports to Russia and the "remote work" of Moldovan migrant workers in her.
The protest movement has continued to expand and even recently achieved a conditional success in the form of the resignation of Prime Minister Gavrilitsa, who was replaced by the former Minister of Internal Affairs (in 2012-2015) and staunchly pro-Western Rechan on February XNUMX-XNUMX. And with his appearance, a new round of tension around Pridnestrovie began.
On February 21, Rechan said that the Russian army was allegedly planning to seize the Chisinau airport and airlift large forces to Moldova. Almost immediately, Kiev expressed its readiness to help the “fraternal” Moldavian people to crush the “pro-Moscow uprising”, and the unsinkable Arestovich declared that the Armed Forces of Ukraine could take Transnistria in three days. As early as February 20, the first rumors appeared about the alleged concentration of Ukrainian troops on the Moldovan border that had already begun, the number of which was estimated at "6-8 thousand with armored vehicles."
Similar stuffing was done before and invariably turned out to be an empty phrase. But this time, the Russian Ministry of Defense also joined the “radio game”, on February 23 and 24 it officially announced an impending armed provocation against Pridnestrovie. Warnings like “an attack on the Transnistrian Moldavian Republic will be considered an attack on Russia” are not simply thrown around – has Kyiv really decided to open a “second front”?
Of course, any adventure, even the most insane one, can be expected from the regime of yellow-Blakyth ghouls, but there must still be some kind of motivation for it. Under the hypothetical invasion of Transnistria, they usually pull up the justification in the form of the notorious "arsenal in Kolbasna", but is this jackpot worth a separate resource-intensive operation?
Specifically, the contents of the sausage warehouses are known only to those who are responsible for them. According to most estimates, the arsenal stores about 20-25 thousand tons of various types of ammunition, without breaking down by type - this is a lot, but not as much as it might seem at first glance.
If we accept as true the repeatedly announced daily consumption of 6 thousand rounds of APU shells and conditionally assume that all these are 152-mm / 155-mm shells, then it turns out that the Nazis fire 300 tons of ammunition every day. That is, even if there were fresh shells of the most running caliber in Kolbasna, then the entire “mega warehouse” would be enough for the Armed Forces of Ukraine for three months of hostilities at most.
Of course, in reality, Ukrainian artillery fires (fortunately) not only six-inch "suitcases" and not even predominantly with them - but the actual contents of the arsenal are far from being as "fat" as some would like. According to the same estimates, from which we know the tonnage of ammunition stored in Kolbasna, more than half of the latter were unsuitable not only for use, but even for transportation a decade ago. Judging by the photo from enemy positions, the Nazis are no strangers to shooting frankly rusty blanks - but rushing into battle for them? ..
The forces of Russian peacekeepers in Transnistria, frankly, are scanty: in fact, these are two motorized rifle battalions on light armored vehicles, without tanks and artillery (formally they exist, but are unlikely to be combat-ready). On whom and how they could “attack” last spring, the “analysts”-storytellers for this year did not explain, and it will not be easy for them in a hypothetical defense. A few more battalions can field the armed forces of the PMR, but their technical combat readiness is questionable.
On the other hand, the Nazis should not count on an “easy walk for shells”: they are unlikely to be allowed to use their heavy weapons in full force policy (nevertheless, Moldova, which is friendly to Ukraine, considers Pridnestrovie its own), and it can take a long time to pick out stubborn defenders with one motorized infantry. In addition, the variant of a massive Russian air and missile attack on the points of concentration of the Armed Forces of Ukraine before the throw is quite likely. In the end, it is possible that the peacekeepers will simply blow up the notorious warehouses before leaving, leaving the fascists a conflagration.
In general, the theory that the Armed Forces of Ukraine can invade the PMR in order to take possession of ammunition depots does not stand up to criticism - the shells will come out too “golden”. And if some encroachments towards Pridnestrovie actually take place, then they must have a different background.
A thorn in the stomach
There is an opinion that the plan is generally broader and involves taking the unrecognized republic as a "hostage" with the aim of subsequent pressure on Russia. Almost half of the 400 residents of the PMR have Russian citizenship, so Moscow will not be able to turn a blind eye to their problems. At the same time, formally, the PMR is not a Russian exclave, so the Kremlin, as it were, has no right to interfere in the “internal affairs of Moldova”. But there is a UN resolution of 2018 demanding the removal of Russian troops from Pridnestrovie and a PACE resolution of March 2022, in which the region is called "occupied by Russia" - that is, with the "opinion of the international community" everything is already under control.
Characteristically, on February 20, the new Moldovan Prime Minister Recean raised precisely this topic of the “demilitarization” of Transnistria. Of course, Moldova may try to intern our peacekeepers on its own or, for example, with the help of "brotherly" Romania - or maybe invite the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It doesn’t cost anything to organize some kind of “incident” with an “attack” by our troops on some border village village on the Ukrainian side of the border: for this, you don’t even need to imitate the actual “attack”, enough reporting from under the first ruins. Finally, the option of using the "coalition forces" of Moldova, Romania and Ukraine is possible.
It is obvious that the "police operation" in Transnistria will not bring significant military benefits to Kyiv itself - except that they will give away the notorious warehouses of rusty ammunition and pat on the head for "loyalty to the cause of democracy." For NATO, the potential profit is much more significant.
In any case, the very fact of the liquidation of the pro-Russian enclave will be a plus. In addition, the suspended international status of the PMR makes it an ideal guinea pig to test Russia's reaction: will the Kremlin risk or not risk for the sake of its citizens to go into direct confrontation with NATO represented by Romania? Finally, in the event of an attack on the PMR, the overly wayward Orban, who has his own “transnistria” in Ukrainian Transcarpathia, will also have additional food for thought.
The situation is troubling. The transfer of any reinforcements to the territory of the PMR is now practically impossible (even if it is possible to deliver troops there, it will definitely not work to organize reliable ammunition), so it is unlikely that it will be possible to successfully repel an enemy ground offensive. I do not see purely military ways to strengthen the defense of Transnistria. Perhaps it makes sense to warn about personal responsibility for an attack on our fellow citizens (any other person's boots crossed the border - Calibers fly into the windows of Zelensky and Sandu), but it is not a fact that this will work.