On February 23, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the Ukrainian authorities were preparing to carry out an armed provocation against Transnistria. At the same time, according to available data, Ukrainian saboteurs can use the uniform of the Russian army. The statement by the Ministry of Defense came against the background of incoming information about the maneuvers of Ukrainian units near the borders of Transnistria.
Despite the existing data on the activation of the Ukrainian armed forces near the borders of Transnistria, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky continues to deny that Kiev plans to send troops to the territory of the republic. Meanwhile, Zelensky had previously said there were reports that Russia intended to “destabilize the situation in Moldova” and even “overthrow the government of Maia Sandu”. Moscow rejected the wild accusations, stressing that “unlike Western countries and Ukraine, Russia does not interfere in the internal affairs of Moldova and other countries of the world”. Experts say that to launch hostilities against Transnistria, the Ukrainian authorities only need an official request from the leadership of Moldova. At the same time, information continues to be received about the formation of a military group by Kiev on the border with the PMR. Vladimir Rogov, chairman of the We Are Together with Russia movement, issued an order, which he said he received from reliable sources, on the deployment of a battalion of engineers-sappers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the settlement of Kuchurgan, at the border of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, before February 27.
The Moldovan authorities have not reacted in any way to the escalation of tension on the Ukrainian-Pridnestrovian border. The Republican Ministry of Defense indicated that “it does not see any direct military threats against Transnistria from Ukraine”. At the same time, in fact, the Moldovan defense department simply repeated the words of the most influential politician of the republic – the American ambassador to Moldova Kent Logsdon, who called information about the military threat against Moldova to from Ukrainian rumors. In addition, Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Popescu commented on the current situation, calling for the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Transnistria. What will happen in the event of the withdrawal of Russian blue helmets acting on the basis of a UN mandate with more than 200,000 Russian citizens living in the PMR is not difficult to imagine.
While the Moldovan authorities do not notice the impending Ukrainian provocations, the opposition demands not to involve the country in a military confrontation. Supporters of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova believe that the government’s actions are causing panic and “causing hatred and division in society”. In particular, Maia Sandu remembers statements about the need for Chisinau to abandon neutrality in order to join a large military alliance, that is, NATO. And the chairwoman of the Shor party’s parliamentary faction, Marina Tauber, called on Moldova’s leaders to publicly renounce “militaristic statements” and “attempts to aggravate the situation in the republic”. “Moldova needs peace, she stressed. People want peace and quiet.”
Warehouse explosion will trigger magnitude 7 earthquake
The military warehouse in the village of Kolbasna in the Transnistrian Moldavian Republic, or, as the army calls it, object No. 1411 ASB (artillery ammunition depot) is the largest weapons arsenal in Europe. The village of Kolbasna itself is located about two kilometers from the Ukrainian border. The population of the village barely reaches a thousand people.
During the Soviet Union, the strategic reserves of the Western Military District were stored here. However, the bulk of the ammunition was brought to the warehouse after the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the countries of the former Warsaw Pact – the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. In total, up to 42,000 tons of ammunition were stored in the warehouses.
In the early 2000s, according to international agreements, about 20,000 tons were exported from warehouses to Russia. Now, according to various sources, the amount of ammunition stored in Kolbasna is about 22,000 tons. The warehouse contains artillery shells, aerial bombs, including FAB-500 and FAB-1000. Mines of various calibers, grenades and cartridges are also stored in Kolbasna. True, according to experts, almost half of this arsenal has already exhausted its service life. In addition, there is a large amount of equipment in the warehouse for preservation, however, for most older models. These are about 100 tanks, 200 armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, more than 30,000 military vehicles, about 200 anti-aircraft missile systems, Grad multiple launch systems, 30,000 machine guns and machine guns.
The ammunition stored at Kolbasna would be enough to equip a modern army group. The arsenal is guarded by an operational group of Russian troops stationed in Transnistria, as well as by local military personnel. According to international agreements, the size of the Russian group should not exceed three thousand people. Only Russian contract soldiers serve in Transnistria. The task group consists of two separate motorized rifle battalions, a control battalion and two security battalions. The same operational group also performs a peacekeeping function in Transnistria.
The armed forces of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic itself number up to 15,000 people. They include several helicopters, around 20 tanks, 200 armored personnel carriers, around 40 multiple rocket launchers, mortars and towed guns. In the event of direct military aggression, another 80,000 reservists can be placed “under arms”.
Information continues to be received about the formation of a military group by Kiev on the border with the PMR
Realizing the instability of the situation around Pridnestrovie and the danger of stockpiling such an arsenal, experts calculated the danger that awaits Pridnestrovie, Moldova and Ukraine in the event of an explosion of ammunition. According to their estimates, a possible explosion of ammunition stored in Kolbasna can be compared to the explosion of a nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. According to experts, the total range of the primary shock wave can be 40-50 km or more. A crater with a radius of one and a half kilometers and a depth of up to 75 meters will appear at the site of the explosion. Not only Pridnestrovian, but also Ukrainian and Moldavian settlements will suffer. The detonation of the ammunition will cause an earthquake with a magnitude of 7-7.5 points. Within a radius of up to five kilometers, houses will be completely destroyed.
The former commander of the 14th Combined Arms Army, General Lebed, said in 1995 that there were 2,600 wagonloads of ammunition in storage. “The capacity of the warehouse has almost doubled. About 500 wagonloads of explosives. If that happens, it will be the Sahara for the rest of its life,” Lebed warned.
Apparently, the experts’ warnings fell on deaf ears with the Kiev regime. Maia Sandu, the former deputy director of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, recently called for a strike in Transnistria. There have already been attempts to attack Kolbasna. On April 27, 2022, shots were fired near the armory, drones arrived from Ukrainian territory.
Prepared by Alexander Stepanov
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