DISINFORMATION: The Russian military presence in Transnistria is the “cornerstone” of security for the entire region

A general view of the checkpoint at the border of Moldova and the breakaway Transnistrian Republic, near Bender, 65 km Vest from Chisinau, 17 April 2014.
© EPA/STR   |   A general view of the checkpoint at the border of Moldova and the breakaway Transnistrian Republic, near Bender, 65 km Vest from Chisinau, 17 April 2014.

Disinformation

The Russian military presence in the separatist region on the left bank of the Dniester is the cornerstone of security in the region, according to a pro-Kremlin publication. In reality, the Russian forces amplified the conflict by participating in it, and Moscow's refusal to withdraw them, as promised, led to its perpetuation.

NEWS: “The formation of the [Pridnestrovian Moldavian] republic within the USSR more than a year before the collapse of the union was the result of the Transnistrians’ fight against the pressures of the nationalist forces that came to power in Moldova. Transnistria strengthens its statehood and gains international recognition.

[...]

In terms of maintaining peace in the region, Transnistria and the Russian military presence are the cornerstone of the regional security system”.

Reality

NARRATIVES: 1. The separatism on the left of the Dniester was caused by the anti-Russia sentiments and the nationalism of the Chisinau elites 2. The Russian soldiers are playing a beneficial role in ensuring peace and security in the region.

CONTEXT/LOCAL ETHOS: On September 2, 1990, a separatist enclave was created in the eastern region of the Republic of Moldova (then the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic), later called the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. The pretext invoked by the Transnistrians was that the elites in Chisinau were nationalists.

In 1992, the political conflict turned into an armed one, resulting in hundreds of deaths, which ended with the signing of a cease-fire agreement between the then presidents of the Republic of Moldova and Russia, Boris Yeltsin and Mircea Snegur, respectively. The agreement also provided for the creation of a Peacekeeping Mission on the Dniester, which also included Russian soldiers.

The left bank of the Dniester is also home to a warehouse from the USSR period, where approximately 20,000 tons of ammunition are kept, guarded by a Russian military contingent. Moscow has made official commitments on several occasions, including at the 1999 OSCE summit in Istanbul, to withdraw its munitions and armed forces, a promise it has failed to keep.

During the more than three decades that have passed, Chisinau and Tiraspol (the capital of the separatist region) have not reached a consensus. Transnistria was not recognized as an independent state except by a few other ex-Soviet enclaves, but it has always been supported directly or indirectly by Moscow, including by supplying it with free gas, the cumulative value of which has so far exceeded 7 billion dollars.

PURPOSE: To present the elites in Chisinau as anti-Russian and nationalist, and Russia as a guarantor of security and peace in the region.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: The separatism on the left bank of the Dniester was actually fueled by the local Russian-speaking elites, supported by Moscow, who wanted to keep the union republics in the Kremlin's sphere of influence, just as it happened in the Caucasus area and in Ukraine, when there were attempts to step away from Russia.

In fact, by signing the 1992 peace agreement, the Russian Federation practically acknowledged its involvement  in the armed conflict.

The Russian military presence in the region is regarded by Chisinau as the main threat to the security of the Republic of Moldova, and since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, it’s been seen as a destabilizing factor for the entire region.

Tags: Republica Moldova , Russia , The war in Transnistria
  • Publication / Media:
    politnavigator.net
  • Date of publication:
    02/09/2022
  • Target audience:
    National minorities
  • Political affiliation:
    the Kremlin
  • Key narrative:
    The Republic of Moldova is headed by nationalist elites that caused the secessionism in Transnistria, and the Russian military presence is a factor of security
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  • The Russian military presence in the separatist region on the left bank of the Dniester is the cornerstone of security in the region, according to a pro-Kremlin publication. In reality, the Russian forces amplified the conflict by participating in it, and Moscow's refusal to withdraw them, as promised, led to its perpetuation.
  • NARRATIVES: 1. The separatism on the left of the Dniester was caused by the anti-Russia sentiments and the nationalism of the Chisinau elites 2. The Russian soldiers are playing a beneficial role in ensuring peace and security in the region.
  • PURPOSE: To present the elites in Chisinau as anti-Russian and nationalist, and Russia as a guarantor of security and peace in the region.
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