What is Transnistria and why is it important to Russia?
A view of the city council of Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria, Moldova on November 25, 2021. (Alexander Hassenstein/UEFA/Getty Images)
The self-proclaimed republic of Transnistria — which has its own constitution, military, currency and flag but has never been recognized by the international community — could be pulled into Russia’s war in Ukraine.
A top Russian general said last week that the military is aiming for “full control” over the eastern Donbas region and southern Ukraine — and to gain access to Transnistria, the breakaway territory in the neighboring country of Moldova.
TASS quoted the acting commander of Russia’s Central Military District Maj. Gen. Rustam Minnekaev as saying the goal was to create a land corridor between Donbas and Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.
On Monday, there were explosions in Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria, which Ukraine’s Defense Ministry called a “planned provocation” by the Russian secret services.
Here’s what you need to know about Transnistria, and why it’s important to Russia.