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‘Russian troops guarantee our safety’: How public opinion in breakaway Moldova region favours the east

A small area of pro-Russian support is located at the edge of Europe. It has been closely monitored since the start of the war in Ukraine.

Transnistria, a region that broke away from eastern Moldova is supported militarily, politically and economically by Moscow.

It is not recognized by the international community or Moldova.

Tiraspol is Transnistria’s capital. Here, sickle and hammer banners wave in the wind to show that the public favors the east.

Image: andrey

When asked by Andrey if Russia should leave Transnistria, Andrey replied, “Transnistria is one structure, and they must be united.”

Image A woman claims she feels safe around Russian troops in

“The Russian troops are our guarantee for safety. “While they are here, it is safe,” adds a young woman.

It’s the neighboring country Ukraine that has been viewed with suspicion.

Security services in the region claimed last week that they had stopped a plot by Ukraine to kill officials, including the leader of the separatist movement.

The Russian provocation claims have been denied by Kyiv.

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Many people in pro-western Moldova, however, feel uneasy because of the pro-Kremlin sentiment.

Calfa is a village where allegiances can be very different.

“I can hear Transnistrian radio and TV from so close. They talk about war and the invasion of Ukraine every day. “We don’t believe them, because they broadcast fake information,” Ludmila Ceaglac is the local mayor.

Image: Local Mayor Ludmila Ceaglac

They have become nervous about their neighbors since Russia invaded Ukraine.

“I know they have a large base with weapons from Second World War, and this is our greatest fear. We don’t know whether the weapons are still active. She explains that we hope they don’t bring their weapons here because Moldova has a small army.”

Although few analysts foresee a Russian invasion of Moldova via Transnistria in its entirety, Moscow has been accused by spreading propaganda and stirring up anti-government protests.

According to President Sandu of Moldova, they discovered plans to use foreign saboteurs in a coup attempt last month.

The Russian foreign ministry dismissed the claims as “completely unfounded” and “unsubstantiated”.

Seven people were arrested by the Moldovan police on Sunday for inciting unrest during antigovernment protests.

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Police foil pro-Russia plot in Moldova

James Cleverly, UK’s Foreign Secretary, arrived in the capital with a message and PS10m for Russian interference.

He said, “You aren’t alone,” during a meeting in Chisinau with his counterpart.

“In his arrogance Vladimir Putin tried to punish Moldova for doing these right things. Its incumbent on the UK that it support Moldova in its journey in the right directions,” Mr Cleverly said.

While ministers don’t plan to allow Russian tanks to enter Moldova, they claim they are fighting a war against Kremlin-backed disruption and disinformation that aims at spreading fear and unrest.


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