A looming crisis in Moldova’s breakaway state

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Anatol Lieven

“The next conflict in the former Soviet Union may be brewing in Transdniestria, the unrecognized breakaway region of Moldova. The small force (approximately 1,500 strong) of Russian ‘peacekeepers’ and other Russian troops protecting the region since the 1990s is now in a strategically desperate position, cut off from Russia by a hostile Ukraine and hopelessly outnumbered by the Ukrainian army. Since the summer of 2022, Moldova has blocked the rotation of new Russian peacekeepers to Transdniestria. The Moldovan Prime Minister, Dorin Recean, has called for the Russian force to be expelled. For either Ukrainian or Moldovan forces to move against the Russian garrison could trigger a major escalation by Russia elsewhere. However, an economic blockade of the region would also be enough to rapidly bring it to its knees.” (03/07/23)