The noise raised in the media in connection with the statement of the President-elect of Moldova Maia Sandu, in my opinion, testifies to the very short memory of journalists. You watch the speech of any political scientist, expert or journalist and you get the feeling that he heard about the Russian peacekeepers in the PMR for the first time only after the election of Sandu. Meanwhile, the issue of peacekeepers is raised there in certain circles no less than the issue of, for example, Nagorno-Karabakh or Georgia.
The last such exacerbation was not so long ago, in 2018. Then several countries even initiated the adoption of a UN General Assembly resolution on the need to withdraw peacekeepers from the territory of Transnistria. The noise was very loud. Only now, the result was zilch. The General Assembly resolution is just a recommendatory decision. And the peacekeepers were brought there by the decision of the UN Security Council, which is binding on all UN member states.
To understand where, why and when peacekeepers appeared in the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, it is necessary to look into our recent past. Such a view will help answer many questions of those who were not yet interested in this at that time due to their youth or lack of interest.
A brief excursion into the history of the issue
The reason for the emergence of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (in the Moldavian version of the Dniester Moldavian Republic) was the parade of sovereignties proclaimed by Gorbachev. Realizing that the goal of Moldova in the future will be to join Romania, the population of Transnistria at the 2nd Extraordinary Congress of Deputies of all levels (Tiraspol, September 2, 1990) proclaims the creation of the Transnistrian Moldavian SSR.
Under pressure from the party leadership of neighboring Ukraine and Moldova, on December 22, 1990, President Gorbachev issued a decree "On measures to normalize the situation in the SSR Moldova", in which he canceled the decisions of the Tiraspol congress on September 2.
On August 25, 1991, the TMSSR adopted the "Declaration of Independence of the TMSSR". In response to this, on August 27, 1991, Moldova adopted Law No. 691 “On Declaration of Independence”, in which the decision of August 25 was declared null and void. On November 5, 1991, in connection with the beginning of the collapse of the USSR, the TMSSR was renamed into the PMR.
Here it is necessary to clarify why a part of Moldova began to claim independence? Although for those who remember the 90s, there should not be such a question. How many problems did Russia have with Tatarstan and other autonomous republics?
For its long history Transnistria belonged to several states at once. Initially, in the early Middle Ages, the Ulic Slavs and Tivertsy lived on this territory together with the Polovtsy and Pechenegs nomads. Then Transnistria passed to different owners. The Golden Horde, the Crimean Khanate, the Galicia-Volyn principality of Russia, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Lesser Poland Province of the Polish Crown, the Hetmanate, the Commonwealth, the Russian Empire (according to the Yassky Peace Treaty of January 9, 1792).
As you can see, the Pridnestrovians had enough legal, or rather, historical reasons for the formation of their own state. And in the Soviet period, Transnistria had nothing to do with Moldova. Until 1940, created by Grigory Kotovsky, the Moldavian Autonomous SSR was part of the Ukrainian SSR. By the way, according to many historians, it was in the MASSR that the idea of Moldova as an independent state was born.
Why Pridnestrovie is the "big brother" of Donbass
What happened in the 90s in Transnistria is largely repeated today in Ukraine. Already in the late 80s - early 90s, the Moldovan intelligentsia began to actively advocate for the annexation of Moldova to Romania. This is done under the slogan "One people - one state." Naturally, the east of the country, inhabited mainly by Ukrainians, Russians, Armenians and other peoples of the USSR, did not agree with these ideas.
In 1988, the Popular Front of Moldova, an anti-Russian nationalist organization, began to form and become more active. At the same time, the slogan “We are Romanians - and that's it” appeared on the front pages of many Moldovan newspapers.
And then, for those who know the modern history of Ukraine, everything follows a template. On February 16, 1989, on behalf of the Writers' Union of Moldova, a draft law "On the functioning of languages in the territory of the Moldavian SSR" was published. The main essence of this bill was that Moldovan became the state language, and for teaching Russian to schoolchildren, for the use of Russian in state institutions, at enterprises, etc. administrative and even criminal penalties were imposed.
On September 1, 1989, this law ("On the Functioning of Languages on the Territory of the Moldavian SSR") was adopted by the Parliament and is still in force.
The counter-movement arose in Transnistria. Public organizations opposed the translation of the Moldovan language into Latin and for the introduction of two state languages. At the same time, in response to the creation of the “Popular Front of Moldrva”, the “Interdivision” was created there (later called “Unitate-Unity”).
Then, again, knowing how it happened in Ukraine, it is necessary to create a manual parliament. Remember "Suitcase-Station-Russia"? This is just from that time. Only with the addition of "Russians for the Dniester, Jews for the Dniester". There was a minority in the new parliament of Pridnestrovians, but this minority was constantly threatened and beaten. Isn't it Ukrainian lustration? Ultimately, the deputies returned home without finishing the session.
And in Chisinau, marches have already been held demanding to go to Tiraspol and Bender. One of the marches to "calm down" Gagauzia, which also declared its independence, even took place. On September 6, 1991 in Transnistria, the formation of its own military units began to counterbalance the Moldovan ones.
The blood that still boils
Little is said about the beginning of the hot phase of the conflict. History (as well as the beginning of the conflict in the Donbass) is being rewritten and turns into a completely indigestible mishmash of fiction. Meanwhile, everything began in Dubossary on November 2, 1990. It was then that the Moldovan nationalists, with the support of the OPON of Moldova, arrived to cleanse the city from the separatists.
The OPON column was stopped by local residents and police officers at the bridge. The Moldovan side today tells about the employees of the local police department of the fairy tale, as overtrained and equipped fighters. Alas, only 135 cadets of the local police school under the leadership of 8 officers of the same school came forward to help local residents. Agree, the capital's OPON against the cadet boys does not look like a weakling at all.
By two o'clock in the afternoon, people gathered on the streets of Dubossary, by the way, at the signal of the GO sirens. A living wall stood on the streets of the city and did not allow OPON and nationalists to enter the city. The confrontation was all over the city. Naturally, in such a situation, the attackers need to intimidate the defenders. Which was done at 15:30. The defenders opened fire from machine guns. The result is three dead and 9 wounded.
Sacred sacrifices worked the other way around. The defenders of the city not only were not afraid, but also began to prepare to strike at OPON at night. The command became aware of this, and the police simply fled the city. The same thing happened at the checkpoints, which were organized by OPON along the way.
So, at one of the police posts, women were chased away, who came from the nearest village and with a rake drove out the "servants of law and order" from their native land. And the men from the village of Dzerzhinskoe just gathered to take the post in the ring and disarm the police. Upon learning of this, the police fled to a nearby town.
I will not talk about the numerous clashes that took place after Dubossary. Anyone interested in this can easily find materials on that war. The scheme of the war is also about the same as in the Donbass. Point operations and sniper. Both sides successfully wrested weapons and military equipment from units of the 14th Army. Moldovans intimidated civilians by shelling villages from cannon and rocket artillery.
The Russian 14th army, despite the fact that units and subunits were often attacked from both sides, despite the loss of personnel, remained strictly neutral and did not participate in the conflict. True, it should be recognized that some units, consisting of local residents, went over to the side of Transnistria, took the oath and acted as combat units of the republic's defenders.
In addition, volunteers from Russia and other republics of the former USSR began to arrive in Transnistria (again, an analogy with Donbass). Russia could no longer stand on the sidelines of the conflict and on July 7, 1992, representatives of Moscow arrived in Transnistria to resolve the conflict. The Moldovan government resigned and on July 21 an agreement was signed “On the principles of the settlement of the armed conflict in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova”.
Peacekeepers and an operational group of Russian troops in Transnistria
In fact, the 14th army in many ways, even participating in the conflict, performed peacekeeping functions in Transnistria back in 1992. This is the opinion of the citizens of the unrecognized republic. That is why the Republic annually celebrates the Day of the Entry of the Russian Peacekeeping Forces on July 29. The agreement mentioned above made it possible to do this officially. Thus, this year marks the 28th anniversary of the Russian peacekeeping mission in the region.
Strange, but for many readers is news the fact that the MS in Transnistria consist not only of Russian servicemen, but also of Moldovan and Transnistrian ones. As well as the fact that the soldiers of the 14th Army were not the peacekeepers.
The countdown of Russia's peacekeeping activities has been going on since the landing of peacekeepers at the airfield in Tiraspol in 1992. The 14th Army is the backbone of the operational group of Russian troops in Transnistria. If we consider the current situation, the task force is subordinate to the command of the 14th Army.
The Russian peacekeepers received a mandate from the UN Security Council for their activities and now represent this very international organization. The MS of Russia includes two battalions of peacekeepers - the 82nd separate guards motorized rifle battalion (military unit 74273) and the 113th separate guards motorized rifle battalion (military unit 22137). Both battalions consist of 4 motorized rifle companies, command and control platoons, grenade launcher, technical support, material support and medical support.
In addition to peacekeeping battalions, which directly serve on the line of contact, the operational group includes the 540th separate command battalion (military unit 09353), which is engaged in the protection and disposal of ammunition stored in the arsenal. This battalion consists of a security company (management company, 4 security platoons, a security department of the military prosecutor's office and a security department of military counterintelligence), a communications center, a feldeger communications station, an engineer platoon, a department for storage and disposal of weapons and military equipment, a maintenance company, a logistics company, a fuel depot, a training ground and a military band.
The total number of the operational group in Transnistria is only about 1700 people.
Above, I talked about the political component of the conflict, but there is one more component that needs to be mentioned. This is an arsenal, which today is the world's largest storage of weapons and ammunition. Both Moldovans and Ukrainians perfectly understood the cost of this arsenal. Especially considering the fact that in the post-Soviet and former socialist countries, the weapons were Soviet.
That is why they did not take this stuff out to the territory of Russia in due time. Ukraine did not give a passage for the removal of ammunition. She did not dare to destroy ammunition on her territory, although this option was proposed. Nobody knows how much and what is there now. Former warehouses of the two border districts of the SA and ammunition removed from European countries.
According to some experts, if the arsenal for some reason is blown up into the air, the explosion will be equivalent to the explosion of a nuclear weapon with a yield of 10 kilotons or more. It is almost impossible to take out these goods today. Simply because during storage, including in the open air, ammunition could undergo corrosion, some changes, and now it is even dangerous to touch them. Sappers are engaged in this in the 540th battalion.
Maya Sandu's speech and numerous statements by Moldovan politicians about the withdrawal of peacekeepers from the PMR are just a report to Western curators about their readiness to be at the forefront of the fight against Russia. In fact, already in her next speech, Sandu abruptly "backed down", saying that she was not going to spoil relations with Russia.
Moreover, there were so many attempts to withdraw the Russians from the TMR that no one intends to count them. The last time it happened was two years ago, when the issue was even raised at the UN General Assembly. The Assembly even passed a resolution on the need for such a conclusion. "On the complete and unconditional withdrawal of foreign armed forces from the territory of the Republic of Moldova." Only now this resolution is interpreted in an original way. Its essence is to withdraw the task force, not the peacekeepers.
The Moldovan politicians are well aware that neither Russia nor the PMR will ever agree to the withdrawal of peacekeepers from Transnistria, if Moldova continues its policy of joining Romania. And over the past 28 years, the republic has practically taken shape as an independent state. All the institutions necessary for the state have been created, a legal system has been created. And now the Transnistrian Republic does not depend on Moldova at all.
The presence of a huge arsenal in the PMR, which must be eliminated, has become an excellent brake for those who like radical solutions. There is no state in the world today that would agree to dispose of as much dangerous ammunition as is left in the arsenal. Simply put, the 540th battalion must leave! And what will the arsenal become then? A huge atomic bomb in the center of Europe?
Have you talked? Declared? Raised concerns?
We continue to live on ...