The Russian Defence Ministry has accused Kyiv of plotting a “staged invasion” of Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria “in the near future”. The military agency claims that Ukraine is preparing a “military provocation” by the Ukrainian Armed Forces with the involvement of the Azov battalion.
“An alleged staged advance of Russian forces from Transnistria is planned as a pretext for the invasion,” the ministry reports.
The agency notes that to execute the plan “Ukrainian special forces will dress themselves in Russian Armed Force uniforms”.
The Moldovan government said it cannot confirm the report, calling on the public to remain calm. Kyiv is yet to issue an official statement regarding the Russian Defence Ministry’s accusations.
On 13 February, Moldovan President Maia Sandu said that Moscow was plotting a coup d’état to catapult people loyal to the Kremlin to power. According to Sandu, Ukrainian intelligence services communicated the plan to Moldova. The plot envisions attacks on state agencies with hostages who will disguise themselves as opposition rally protesters.
According to this plan, “special forces with military training dressed in civilian clothing” and people from outside the country will be involved in the operation. Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told an EU summit in Brussels that Russia wanted “to take Moldova under its control”.