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Explosions in Moldova raise fears that the country may be drawn into the Ukraine war

Antennas from ‘Mayak’ radio center were knocked out (Photo: AFP)

There is growing concern that Moldova could be drawn into Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine after explosions were reported in a breakaway region for the third day in a row.

The Interior Ministry of Transnistria, a Moscow-backed separatist area bordering Ukraine, said earlier today that shots were fired at a village housing a Russian weapons depot.

It blamed drones from Ukraine for the attack, after the unknown region – also known as Transnistria – branded a number of previous explosions as “terrorist attacks”.

The situation shares a number of similarities with the run-up to the Ukraine invasion, where Russia said it wanted to defend de facto states inside its neighbor’s territory, especially the Donetsk and Luhansk peoples’ republics.

Yesterday – before the latest incident was reported – Moldovan President Maia Sandu convened the Supreme Security Council to discuss the reports.

She admitted that the incidents ‘create risks’ for Moldova, said it was an ‘escalation of tensions’ and referred to ‘several bomb alarms’ in recent weeks.

“We condemn any provocation or attempt to involve Moldova in actions that could threaten the country’s peace,” Sandu added.

The country is not part of NATO and does not border Russia.

Two antennas were reported to have been hit in Transnistria (Photo: AFP)

Explosions in Moldova arouse fear, Russia has extended its war Image:

The Transnitria / Transdniestria breakaway region borders Ukraine (Image:

Transnistria, a strip of land in Moldova with a population of about 470,000, has been under the control of separatist authorities since a war with Moldova in 1992.

Russia has about 1,500 troops stationed there, allegedly as peacekeeping forces, but concerns are rising that the forces may be used to bolster the Ukrainian invasion.

Today, the Interior Ministry of the Transnistrian Transnistria said on its website: ‘Last night, several drones were spotted in the sky over the village of Kolbasna.

‘The drones were sent into Transnistrian territory from Ukraine.’

Kolbasna is located only 1.25 miles from the Ukrainian border.

It houses a warehouse of about 20,000 tons of ammunition that can be dated back to Soviet times, guarded by Russian troops.

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A picture of the damaged building of the Ministry of State Security in Tiraspol, the capital of the Transnistrian breakaway region, a disputed area not recognized by the international community, in Moldova, Monday, April 25, 2022. Police in the Moldovan separatist region of Transnistria say, that several explosions believed to be caused by rocket-propelled grenades hit the Ministry of State Security on Monday.  The Interior Ministry said in a Facebook post that some of the building's windows were broken and that smoke was coming from the structure.  (Ministry of the Interior of Transnistria via AP)

The Ministry of State Security said it had faced broken windows and smoke damage from an explosion in Tiraspol (Photo: AP)

The Interior Ministry said it was believed to be the largest ammunition depot in Europe.

‘On the morning of April 27 at 8.45 [6.45am British time] shots were fired from the Ukrainian side at Kolbasna, “the Transnistrian ministry added, saying no casualties had been reported.

There have been no immediate reports of injuries from the attacks.

It happens when explosions were heard in three parts of Russia near the Ukrainian border, in separate incidents last night.

Transnistria reported explosions Monday and Tuesday that hit the security ministry, a military unit and a Russian-owned radio tower.

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This led Moldova to urge its citizens to remain calm and tighten security measures.

Police in the separatist region say two explosions a radio facility close to the Ukrainian border knock out two powerful antennas out of operation for Russian radio programs.

Yesterday’s explosions took place in the small town of Maiac, about seven miles west of the border with Ukraine, according to the region’s Interior Ministry.

It comes just 24 hours after several explosions believed to be caused by rocket-propelled grenades were reported to have hit the Ministry of State Security in the city of Tiraspol, the capital of the region.

No one was injured in Tuesday’s blasts, officials said.

A senior Russian military official, Rustam Minnekayev, said last week that Russian forces were aiming to take full control of southern Ukraine, saying such a move would pave the way for Transnistria.

Prior to the latest incident, the breakaway state security council also said there had been a total of three incidents in the region, including damage to a military unit in the village of Parcani yesterday.

Officials did not elaborate on the incident with the military unit, but declared ‘a red level of terrorist threat’ and promised further security measures in the region.

Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov said yesterday that the situation in Transnistria was “causing concern” in the Kremlin.

Shortly after the Ukraine invasion began in February, a Moldovan chemical tanker was hit by a missile off the coast of Ukraine – although it was not immediately clear who was responsible for firing it.

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