NewsDrone attack in Tiraspol destroys helicopter, Moldova decries fear-mongering

Drone attack in Tiraspol destroys helicopter, Moldova decries fear-mongering

A drone attacked a military base in Transnistria.
A drone attacked a military base in Transnistria.
Images source: © TG
3:09 PM EDT, March 18, 2024

The so-called Ministry of Security of Transnistria reported a drone attack on a military unit in Tiraspol, resulting in a helicopter being completely destroyed by fire. Chisinau views the explosion in Transnistria as an "attempt to instill fear and panic in the region," while also denying any involvement of Ukraine in the incident.

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The self-proclaimed Ministry of State Security of the unrecognized Transnistrian Moldovan Republic alleged their military base was targeted by a kamikaze drone, causing an explosion and fire at the facility. Fortunately, there were no casualties.

Warning of a provocation

The attack completely destroyed a helicopter by fire. Images of the damage were shared by, among others, Russian outlets TASS and RIA Novosti.

“The explosion was triggered by a kamikaze drone attack, originating from the direction of the Clover Bridge,” reported the first Transnistrian television channel on Telegram, immediately casting suspicion on Ukraine due to the bridge's location in Odessa.

Moldova: An attempt to instill fear

The Moldovan Bureau for Reintegration expressed that Chisinau interprets the explosion in Transnistria as an effort to spread fear and panic in the area, emphasizing that the Moldovan authorities refute any involvement of Ukraine in this event.

A Ukrainian intelligence representative, Andriy Yusufov, described the explosion as a result of Russian provocation.

The TSN channel aired footage of the attack.

Ukrainian intelligence and the Security Service of Ukraine have consistently cautioned that Ukraine might be wrongfully accused of provocations relating to the situation in Transnistria.

Seeking help from Russia

In late February, Transnistria requested assistance from Russia, citing an economic blockade by Moldova. This plea was formalized by the so-called Congress of Deputies of All Levels.

Transnistria's "deputies" claimed that Chisinau has initiated an "economic war" by revoking customs benefits and intentionally stalling negotiations with Tiraspol.

The Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs quickly responded, stating, "Russia has no authority to lecture us on democracy."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov critiqued the Moldovan government for allegedly persecuting the Russian-speaking population, echoing the Kremlin's stance.

"Minister Lavrov and the Kremlin regime lack any moral standing to preach about democracy and freedom. A country that detains and murders opposition politicians, and attacks its neighbors without just cause, offers nothing to the world except blood and sorrow," the Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs retorted.

Russian military presence

Transnistria, a separatist region with a predominately Russian-speaking population within Moldova, declared near-complete independence after a brief conflict and Russian intervention in the early '90s. Despite having its infrastructure like a president, army, security forces, tax offices, and currency, no country, including Russia, has officially recognized its independence. Nonetheless, Russia continues to support it economically and politically, with around 1,500 Russian soldiers stationed there.

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