The Ministry of State Security of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic [Transnistria] reports to have prevented assassination attempts on several leaders of the unrecognised republic which had allegedly been ordered by Ukraine’s Security Service, as per a statement posted on the ministry’s website.
It is claimed that the suspects have been detained and confessed. Criminal cases under the articles on preparation of a terrorist attack and preparation of assassination of two or more people have been initiated.
The prosecutor of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic Anatoly Guretsky claims that the suspects were planning to carry out a terrorist attack in the centre of Tiraspol, Transnistria’s de facto capital.
“The location where the terrorist attack was supposed to take place demonstrates that they counted on, first of all, eliminating the top officials of the state, which has already been mentioned. Furthermore, potentially just as importantly, they counted on a big number of victims,” he told First Pridnestrovian TV channel.
According to the TV channel, the suspects planned to blow up a Land Rover parked on a street corner at the moment when one of the officials would be driving by. Allegedly, eight kg of RDX, screws, bolts, and wire were found in the car.
Russia’s state news channels RIA Novosti and TASS report that the plan was to assassinate the unrecognised republic’s leader Vadim Krasnoselsky.
The TV channel has also posted a video of one of the suspects being interrogated. It is claimed that his name is Vyacheslav Kisnichan, he was born in Tiraspol in 1979, however, he moved to Ukraine’s Odesa 12 years ago. Last year, the man allegedly joined the ranks of territorial defence, and then “repeatedly asked to join” Ukraine’s Security Service. There, he got training and then was tasked with elimination of the unrecognised republic’s leadership, the Pridnestrovian media outlet claims.
Vyacheslav Kisnichan. Screenshot: First Pridnestrovian TV channel
Ukraine has not yet commented on the accusations.
On 23 February, Russia’s Defence Ministry accused Ukraine of “plotting an armed provocation against the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic in the near future”. The ministry claimed that the Ukrainian “staged attack” would be “carried out by units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, including those involving the Azov nationalist formation”.
The Russian Defence Ministry stated that it would “respond adequately to Ukraine’s impending provocation”.
On 13 February, Moldovan President Maia Sandu said that Russia was planning to carry out a coup in Moldova and bring people loyal to the Kremlin to power. According to Sandu, Ukrainian secret services were the ones to make Moldova aware of Russia’s plan. The plan allegedly includes attacks on government agencies and hostage taking, which will be masked as protests led by opposition.