Military Review

Bendery tragedy. Twenty-four years to the bloody events in Transnistria

June 19 in the Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublika recall the Bendery tragedy - the events of 24 years ago. Then, in June, 1992, bloody battles between Transnistrian militia and Moldovan armed forces for control of the city of Bender began. AT history these events are included as Bendery tragedy. Hundreds of people became victims of these tragic events, hundreds more were injured of varying degrees of severity, approximately 100 thousand people were forced to leave the city, becoming refugees. Thousands of houses, dozens of enterprises, educational and medical institutions of the city of Bender were damaged.

The history of the Bendery tragedy goes back to the period of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Then, in a number of Soviet republics, nationalist forces, which advocated secession from the Soviet Union, were activated under anti-communist and Russophobic slogans. At the same time, the Allied authorities in fact turned a blind eye to the activities of nationalist groups, and if they intervened in conflict situations, they did so extremely ill-conceivedly. Pro-Romanian nationalists became active in Moldova, who supported the recognition of the identity of the Moldovan and Romanian languages, the translation of the Moldavian language into Latin script, the proclamation of the Moldovan language as the state language of the republic. A large political organization of Moldovan nationalists was formed - the Popular Front of Moldova, which was supported by the republican leadership. In turn, the communists and internationalists of the republic formed an interdvizhenie, opposing the nationalist hysteria.

It should be borne in mind that Moldova was not a mono-national republic - numerous Russian and Ukrainian people lived in Transnistria, Gagauzians lived in Gagauzia. In both regions, Moldavian nationalism met with harsh rejection, since the inhabitants were well aware of what would follow the satisfaction of the demands of the Moldovan nationalists. The further aggravation of the conflict between the Moldavian nationalists, who by 1989 dominated the republic’s leadership, and the inhabitants of Transdniestria and Gagauzia, was caused by the adoption of the draft law “On the functioning of languages ​​in the Moldavian SSR” in March 1989. Provision was made to recognize the Moldovan language as the state language of the republic, depriving parents of the right to choose the language of instruction of children, administrative responsibility for using a language other than the state language, in official documentation and official communication. Naturally, this bill actually turned all the rest of the population of Moldova, except Moldovans, into people of the “second grade”, since it deprived them of the possibility of occupying managerial positions and discriminated when educating the younger generation.

The situation worsened after the coup of the State Emergency Committee in August 1991. On August 25, a Declaration of independence of the Pridnestrovskaia Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic was adopted in Tiraspol, and on August 27 Moldova proclaimed its independence. By this time, own armed formations were already operating in Moldova - the police, detachments of the special purpose police, the so-called. "Carabinieri". In turn, militia groups were formed in Transnistria. To support Transnistrian militia, volunteers from Russia began to arrive, primarily Cossacks. In March, 1992 began an armed conflict in Transnistria. The events in Bender became one of its bloodiest and most tragic pages.

The city of Bender is located in 10 km. west of Tiraspol, on the other side of the Dniester River. Bender is connected with the rest of Transnistria by road and railway bridges across the Dniester, as well as a bypass road through Mereneshty and Chitcani. Bender is a large economic center and the second most populous city of Transnistria. In the spring of 1992, Bender was 90% controlled by Transnistrian forces and 19% controlled by the Moldovan police and Moldovan nationalists. Therefore, in the city at the same time operated the departments of the Transnistrian police and Moldovan police. It is clear that within the framework of the conflict in Transnistria, the city was of strategic importance for both parties. The Moldovan authorities sought to seize Bender, turning it into a springboard for further actions against Transnistria. The seizure of Bender was planned for 15-16 in June 1992.

Bendery tragedy. Twenty-four years to the bloody events in Transnistria

The formal reason for the introduction of the Moldovan armed formations in Bendery was a shootout at the city's printing house, located next to the Moldovan police station. Police officers surrounded the car carrying the circulation of the newspaper “For Transnistria” and detained the driver and major Igor Yermakov, who was transporting the newspapers, who were in it. To the aid of the major arrived Transdniestrian guardsmen, at whom Moldovan policemen opened fire. The sound of the shots to the building of the Moldovan police fighters went Territorial consolidated detachment. The head of the Moldovan police department, Bender Victor Guslyakov, called the authorities in Chisinau and requested immediate assistance. In response, Moldovan Interior Minister Konstantin Antoch ordered the deployment of Moldovan Interior Ministry troops into the city, and Defense Minister Ion Costas, the troops of the Moldovan army. For the operation to take Bender, the 1, 3, and 4 infantry battalions and the police brigade were detached. Towards the city, columns of armored vehicles of the army and the police headed. Take the city was planned in two groups. The first, under the command of Colonel A. Gamurari and including the police brigade, was to enter Bender from the south and make its way into the city center. The second, commanded by Colonel L. Karasev, a former Russian officer who had gone over to Moldova, included a brigade of the Moldovan army. Karasev’s group was tasked with entering the city from the north and blocking the bridge between Bendery and the village of Parcani.

Moldovan armored vehicles overcame barriers built in March-May by Transdniestrian militiamen and locals. At the same time, around 21.00, Moldovan nationalists and an OPON police brigade broke into the city, breaking the resistance of the militia as a result of a two-hour battle. City Executive Committee Bender ordered the mobilization of militias and volunteers. The fighting took place near the buildings of the city executive committee and the printing house. The whole evening reinforcements were sent to the city, and only ten Cossacks arrived from the Transdniestrian Republic. Moldovan troops, in turn, arrived with a column of armored vehicles. Two battalions formed by Bulgarians from the village of Parcani came to the rescue of the militia.

Such a small number of Transnistrian forces in the city was explained by the fact that Tiraspol, following the agreements on the peaceful settlement of the conflict, brought all the Transnistrian armed forces out of the city beyond the Dniester, except for the police and the territorial-rescue units. In particular, the Bender Guard was relocated to the village of Parcani. Only the 2-th Bendery battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Kostenko refused to carry out the order to withdraw the troops. The detachments of Cossacks and guards assigned to the Dubasari and Grigoriopol regions were not able to arrive quickly to the aid of Bender. Therefore, on the night of 19 on 20 June, only the militia units from among the people of Bender and the workers of local enterprises resisted the Moldovan troops. In the battles on the square outside the city executive committee, the marching chieftain of the Black Sea Cossack Transnistrian army Semyon Driglov was killed. Bender was assisted by a detachment of militia from the village of Gyska, which, although under the control of Moldova, was supported by Transdniestrian authorities.

The fighting in Bendery caused a massive outflow of civilians. In Tiraspol, tens of thousands of refugees rushed out of the city by rail in freight cars. Only in the early morning of June 20 was mobilization announced in Tiraspol. All this time in Bender continued fighting between numerous Moldovan forces and scattered militias. Finally, Guardsmen and policemen from Tiraspol and special forces of the MGB “Delta” arrived to help the residents of Bender. In the meantime, the Moldovan troops seized a number of enterprises in the city and set about uniform looting, taking out equipment and products to Chisinau.

As you know, in the region of the Dniester stationed part of the Russian 14-th army, which maintained strict neutrality. However, 20 June Russian units still had to intervene in the conflict - after the Moldovan police tried to take by assault Bendery fortress, which housed the rocket brigade and the chemical battalion of the 14 Army. The soldiers attacked the Moldovan police repulsed. In addition, the Moldovan formations opened artillery fire on the location of the 14 Army. The army command demanded that the Moldovan command immediately cease hostilities.

Transnistrian guards seized three tank T-64 of the 59th Motorized Rifle Division of the 14th Army, then - with five more tanks, after which they launched an attack on Bender. On the bridge, a battle took place between the Moldavian and Transnistrian units using tanks and artillery. In the village of Parkany, the military unit of the 14th Army went over to the side of Transnistria and took the oath of allegiance to the PMR. It was possible to defeat and force the Moldovan military unit, located at the Bender bridge, to flee. From the Moldovan units, almost the entire rank and file deserted, so almost only officers participated in the battles. Colonel Karasev and his chief of staff, Lt. Col. Chikhodar, were wounded during the fighting on the bridge and taken to the hospital. Later, Colonel Karasev died of his wounds. Moldavian units threw armored vehicles and retreated to the outskirts of the city. However, the street fighting in Bender continued until June 23. On June 22, two Moldovan Air Force aircraft bombed the bridge, but bombs fell in the village of Parkany, causing the destruction of several residential buildings. Several residents of the village of Parkany died as a result of the bombing. In the end, one of the planes was shot down by the 14th Army's air defense forces after trying to bomb an oil terminal.

7 July representatives of the Russian side arrived in Transnistria, a cease-fire agreement was signed. Two weeks later, on July 21, the presidents of Russia and Moldova Boris Yeltsin and Mircea Snegur met in Moscow. The head of the PMR Igor Smirnov was also present at the meeting. As a result of the negotiations, an agreement was signed “On the principles of the settlement of the armed conflict in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova”. 1 August 1992 conflict was frozen, peacekeeping forces were deployed in Transnistria as part of 3100 Russian, 1200 Moldovan and 1200 Transnistrian troops. The war in Transnistria wore a just people's liberation character on the part of the Transnistrian multinational population, who was not afraid to oppose the superior forces of the Moldovan nationalist government. As a result of the hostilities, the Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublika became in fact an independent state entity, which, however, was not recognized by most countries of the world. Today, after 24 after the armed conflict, Transnistria is a real state with its own authorities, armed forces, educational institutions and other necessary attributes.

As a result of the Bendery tragedy, 320 soldiers of the Moldavian army and 425 of Transnistrian soldiers died. According to the Moldovan side, 77 people died, including 37 civilians. The injured - 532 people, including 184 - civilians. Naturally, the fighting in Bender could not but cause significant harm to the urban residential and business infrastructure. 1280 houses were damaged, including 60 houses completely destroyed. Also 15 medical and 19 educational institutions were destroyed, 46 industrial and transport enterprises, 603 state houses were partially damaged, 5 multi-storey residential buildings were destroyed. The atrocities of the Moldavian nationalists in Bender became known to the whole world, although the Western media tried their best to keep silent or distort information about the causes, progress and consequences of these tragic events. The position of Russia in relation to the Bendery tragedy also cannot be perceived unequivocally. After all, Russia seems to have contributed to the resolution of the armed conflict and became the guarantor of the actual political independence of the Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublika, but on the other hand, not wanting to quarrel with official Chisinau, the Russian government continued to maintain relations with the Moldovan leadership. Despite the fact that the actions of the Moldovan side against the civilian population of Transnistria had all the signs of committing war crimes, the political and military leaders of Moldova did not bear any responsibility for their criminal actions against the Transnistrian people.

The events in Transnistria were one of the first conflicts in the post-Soviet space, in which openly pro-Western forces of Moldovan nationalists (and Romanian mercenaries and volunteers who came to the rescue) and Russian (and Soviet) patriots opposed each other. There is much in common with the events in Transnistria in the 1992 year and the events in the New Russia (Donetsk and Lugansk republics) in the 2014-2016 years. Not by chance, after 22-24, after the events in Bendery and other parts of Transnistria, in fact, the very same forces turned against each other in Novorossia. On the one hand, Ukrainian nationalists advocating a single Ukrainian language as a state language, suppressing the Russian-speaking population in the south and east of the country, and on the other hand, patriots of various convictions, from monarchists and Russian nationalists to communists.
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  1. 72jora72
    72jora72 19 June 2016 06: 23
    Everything is described more or less correctly, the participation of fighters of units of 59 divisions of the 14th army is not disclosed .... the losses are underestimated, especially among civilians. The role of Romanian mercenaries and units of Moldovan volunteer punishers is not indicated .....
    1. Bumka
      Bumka 19 June 2016 13: 55
      Right! In our city, in Chisinau, under the window, the Romanian special forces thumped all night and gazed at BTR 80, which was impossible to breathe in the apartment!
  2. valent45
    valent45 19 June 2016 06: 52
    The main thing is that Transnistria continues to live and live! drinks
    1. Bumka
      Bumka 19 June 2016 13: 59
      The only territory in the wreckage of Great Russia, later called the USSR, where the Russians stood up for themselves in those years !!!! The rest died silently (in Asia, the Caucasus), snuggled (Livonia, Kazakhstan) or fled!
      1. dv_generalov
        dv_generalov 19 June 2016 23: 26
        Oh well. Have you been there to write this?
        1. Ham
          Ham 18 January 2017 15: 24
          he is right ... in Fergana where I lived there were about 300000 Russians - 3 left ...
          About 200 Russians lived in Grozny - how much do you think?
  3. kind
    kind 19 June 2016 07: 16
    I served there at the time in the rocket brigade. The war found me in the outfit, I was an operational duty officer. After a report to the headquarters of the 14th Army, the first three days did not sleep at all. The article is a small mistake, a missile brigade and a pontoon regiment were stationed on the territory of the fortress, and a chem. the battalion stood across the railway opposite the brigade.
  4. parusnik
    parusnik 19 June 2016 07: 24
    Thank you, Ilya! Bright memory to the defenders of Transnistria ...
  5. Uncle Murzik
    Uncle Murzik 19 June 2016 07: 55
    I mourn the defenders of Transnistria! Eternal memory!
  6. Aleksandr72
    Aleksandr72 19 June 2016 10: 00
    I read the article and I remembered one strange chance meeting. In the spring of 1993 (if my memory serves me), while still a student, I was sitting in the waiting room of the railway station in Karaganda, waiting for the train and reading the magazine "Soldier of Fortune", which then published a selection of articles about the participation of Russian volunteers in the war on the territory Yugoslavia. Sitting next to him was a peasant aged about 40, in a coat, with not at all heroic appearance, slightly plump with such an intelligent beard that did not at all match his worker-peasant face. He sat down next to me, asked me to look at the magazine, and then started a conversation and said that he volunteered to fight in Bendery, was a sniper and shot at Moldovan policemen, whom he called OPON, and at Romanian mercenaries. Although I didn’t believe him right away, it’s painfully his appearance didn’t fit with my ideas about snipers. But the peasant was telling interesting about the battles in the urban environment. Out of politeness, I asked him what kind of sniper rifle he was using, expecting to hear in response: an SVD or a vintage Mosin rifle or even an SVT. The idea that I could use some fancy Western product did not even occur to me. However, the man surprised me with the answer that he fought with the SKS carbine with a telescopic sight. I asked again what about the accuracy of long-range shooting, the man parried - "I shot no further than 300 m, and usually at 150-200 m, in the city it is no longer needed" and they praised the SCS very much. For some reason I did not believe him then. But there was something in it that alarmed me, some kind of discrepancy. Much later, already working in the police, I realized what it was: his gaze, his eyes - cold and lifeless did not match at all with a completely ordinary, plump face and a half-smile, half-smile.
    Then the man apparently realized that I did not believe him, because he politely said goodbye and left. Aya now thinks that it was necessary to question him in more detail then, he obviously wanted to talk it out. And then I did not even ask his name and call sign.
    The defender of Transnistria is eternal memory and respect!
  7. LLI_B_O_H_D_E_P
    LLI_B_O_H_D_E_P 19 June 2016 10: 29
    The article does not indicate that there were three attempts to storm Bender by the forces of the Transdniestrian troops, during the first assault Moldovans knocked out a tank on the bridge
    1. Ilhar
      Ilhar 23 June 2016 18: 42
      Two tanks were shot down
  8. LLI_B_O_H_D_E_P
    LLI_B_O_H_D_E_P 19 June 2016 10: 38
    My father, among the Cossack volunteers, participated in the third successful assault on the city of Bender, got a shell shock, having already captured the bridgehead near the automobile bridge in Bender, among 21 volunteers made his way to the besieged city executive committee in the center of Bender ... from his words, from our Transnistrian side many dead ... By the way, there were a lot of Cossack volunteers from Russia, 6 Cossacks from Saratov lived in my apartment in Tiraspol, they served with my father in the same platoon .... By the way, the war in Transnistria is the only war where nationalists from UNA-UNSO and pro-Russian forces fought on one side, UNA-UNSO came to defend the Ukrainians of Transnistria ...
  9. Neputin
    Neputin 19 June 2016 10: 56
    But all this could not have happened if there had been forces ready to stop the three villains - Yeltsin, Shushkevich and Kravchuk in 1991. How many people they ruined and destroyed human destinies! The damage they inflicted is comparable to the damage from World War II. Burn in hell, you bastards!
    1. dv_generalov
      dv_generalov 19 June 2016 23: 32
      History does not like the subjunctive moods. But you are right, even the Second World War did not cause such damage. Taking into account the people living in the republics, during these conflicts, almost 25 million people suffered social and moral damage, and became refugees.
    2. Pancho
      Pancho 20 June 2016 19: 39
      Quote: Neputin
      But all this could not have happened if there had been forces ready to stop the three villains - Yeltsin, Shushkevich and Kravchuk in 1991. How many people they ruined and destroyed human destinies! The damage they inflicted is comparable to the damage from World War II. Burn in hell, you bastards!

      You forgot Gorbachev, Yakovlev, Shevarnadze. The truth Gorbachev is still alive, t @ ar.
  10. Nekarmadlen
    Nekarmadlen 19 June 2016 10: 58
    It is strange that nothing is written about General Lebed ...
  11. LLI_B_O_H_D_E_P
    LLI_B_O_H_D_E_P 19 June 2016 11: 00
    It seems to me that the damage is even greater than in the Second World War .... how many broken human fates, how many died due to poor-quality food, diseases as a result of this, tremendous damage to the economy due to the criminal conspiracy of three villains ...
  12. moskowit
    moskowit 19 June 2016 11: 09
    On the conscience of MihGorb and ElBoN and their corrupt environment, all these victims and all these tears of people who died and lost their loved ones in dozens of local wars. I wonder why their Orthodox Church has not yet cursed?
  13. Nazaroff
    Nazaroff 19 June 2016 12: 27
    A special BIG THANKS to General Lebed and the Russian Cossacks! The Cossacks are often "driven" - they say they are dressed up, not real. In 92, I was personally convinced - real Warriors! As well as convinced that they are Romanian warriors - a bunch of cowardly jackals and marauders. The same as were their grandfathers, great-grandfathers - genes are passed down with generation. And Bendery, however, like all other crimes committed by Romanian and pro-Romanian creatures at that time - we will not forget and will not forgive ...
  14. Koshak
    Koshak 19 June 2016 14: 33
    Quote: valent45
    The main thing is that Transnistria continues to live and live! drinks

    God forbid, and New Russia will survive!
  15. Backfire
    Backfire 19 June 2016 14: 45
    Quote: Bumka
    The only territory in the wreckage of Great Russia, later called the USSR, where the Russians stood up for themselves in those years !!!! The rest died silently (in Asia, the Caucasus), snuggled (Livonia, Kazakhstan) or fled!
  16. Divandek
    Divandek 19 June 2016 17: 44
    The kingdom of heaven to the fallen soldiers defending the PMR. How everything is like the events in the Donbass.
  17. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 19 June 2016 17: 47
    General Lebed was sent by Yeltsin so that the 14 army would not go over to the side of Transnistria. And what it is (Swan) Mr., it became clear after Khasavyurt in 1996 year.
    1. 72jora72
      72jora72 20 June 2016 02: 22
      General Lebed was sent by Yeltsin so that the entire 14 army would not go over to the side of Transnistria.
      Dear, do not write that which you do not know ..... and do not compare Lebed as commander of the 14th Army and Lebed the politician. Just after the removal from command of General Netkachev, who simply did not own the situation and openly leaked information to the Minister of Defense of Moldova, Kostas, a turning point in the conflict began (artillery attacks on the accumulations of the Moldovan-Romanian artifacts and armored vehicles cooled the ardor of the Moldovan authorities). And as a politician ...... as a politician, General Lebed Alexander Ivanovich was clearly out of place, and in Khasavyurt he simply announced what he was entrusted with .....
      P.C. And when you make at least one hundredth of a percent useful for a country like Alexander Ivanovich, then you can talk about who woof - but who not .....
      1. Aviator_
        Aviator_ 20 June 2016 23: 26
        There is always a choice for a politician, and Swan made it in 1996. That's all. Correcting his friendly gatherings with the Chechens had a lot of blood. And he died in Kholuisky - he was preparing a meeting of high authorities, but the helicopter flies badly in bad weather. In this situation, I am only sorry for the helicopter and its crew.
  18. Unreal
    Unreal 20 June 2016 00: 33
    I’ve been reading topwar for so many years and have just registered))

    here who are interested there is a much more detailed article on this subject:
    1. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 20 June 2016 02: 22
      I regret the fallen soldiers.
  19. LLI_B_O_H_D_E_P
    LLI_B_O_H_D_E_P 20 June 2016 07: 36
    At the expense of the contribution of the Cossacks, about which a colleague wrote above, I completely agree! Cossacks participated in all the battles that took place, and they were always sent to the most dangerous areas and never failed! By their cunningness they deserved the Glory among the people of Transnistria!
  20. kmv 77
    kmv 77 20 June 2016 15: 36
    Glory to the Transnistrian people !!!
  21. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 24 June 2016 14: 24
    Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic

    Such a narrow strip ---- Union of the former land.
    How it happened, how it turned out --- they could leave their own there ...
    And the years flew for a long time, there the children soon grew up.
    There --- everyone is free, not bent, although they did not enter Russia!

    There is hope --- they will not abandon their own, but it is not known where the end is?
    When will such a day come that there will be victory for us here ?!
    Today's generation may not know about it.
    A drop of poison --- oblivion throughout, so as not to hear, not to read ????????????

    I was very worried about the lives of these people. Finished just now.
  22. Alexei-
    Alexei- 24 June 2016 17: 49
    flew there in August 92 as part of the peacekeeping baht, hmm ... for the 19-year-old dunce from Siberia there were a lot of revelations, so to speak, of life. And it’s not a waste of business ((((