Fears Putin days away from annexing ANOTHER part of Europe in fresh Hitler-style landgrab to mark Ukraine anniversary

Fears Putin days away from annexing ANOTHER part of Europe in fresh Hitler-style landgrab to mark Ukraine anniversary

VLADIMIR Putin could be on the brink of attempting another Hitler-style landgrab in Europe – the annexation of a Moldovan territory.

Fears are growing that the warmongering tyrant, 71, will attempt to strike at the West by announcing warped plans for the former Soviet republic that neighbours Ukraine next week.

ReutersPutin may announce an annexation of the pro-Moscow breakaway region of Transnistria following the second anniversary of his war against Ukraine[/caption]

East2WestRussian so-called ‘peacekeepers’ take part in a parade to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Transnistria’s illegal independence[/caption]

There are reports that the pro-Russian breakaway region of Transnistria – which illegally declared its independence from Moldova in 1990 – is plotting to appeal to Putin to join Russia.

The landlocked strip along the Dniester River is wedged between both Moldova and Ukraine, which will pass its second anniversary in the grips of a grinding war with Russia this weekend.

Putin already has a so-called “peacekeeping” force of up to 2,000 troops in the region, which has a population of about 470,000 that Moscow says overwhelmingly wishes to be incorporated into Russia.

He is also believed to have thousands of paramilitaries on the ground, ready to take arms when the call comes.

Putin is set to make a major speech at the Russian Federal Assembly on February 29 – sparking fears he will use it to green light plans for an annexation.

The day before, a “congress” of local politicians has been called in Transnistria amid speculation they will issue a formal appeal to join Russia.

The last such congress led to such a demand.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has insisted Moscow will “not leave its citizens living in Transnistria in trouble”.

Local opposition politician Gennadiy Chorba claims the plot to grab Transnistria is in progress, as part of Putin’s re-election campaign.

This will give Putin a supposed “legal” power to step into Transnistria which has been in limbo since the end of the Soviet Union. 

Observers have argued that the dictator is highly aware of the West’s trembling commitment to Ukraine – failing to meet its needs for arms – and senses he could get away with a new annexation.

Moscow could then use the breakaway territory to move against the rest of Moldova, seen as another goal, and as a point for attacks on Ukrainian port Odessa, seen as a far more significant prize. 

Moldova president President Maia Sandu sounded the alarms last year when she claimed Russia was planning a coup in her country.

Her parliament has a pro-Western majority and seeks to have Moldova join the European Union.

Ukrainian intelligence said the potential move by Moscow is “unconfirmed” but is being monitored closely. 

Sources also stress it would be difficult for Putin to drag troops off the frontlines in Ukraine to strengthen his forces inside Transnistria, which have been stationed there since the Soviet era.

But opposition politician Gennady Ciorba warned President Sandu of the Kremlin threat, stating that “the psychology of the current leadership of Russia, in particular Putin, is very similar to the psychology of Hitler in the late 1930s.”

Ciorba continued: “Attempts to appease people like Putin lead to only one thing – the growing appetite of the aggressor.”

Ukrainian Military analyst Aleksander Kovalenko described the reports as “concerning”.

And he warned: “This group of [Russian] troops poses a serious threat to Moldova, since it is a much more combat-ready force than the Moldovan army.”

Russians are the largest group among the population of Transnistria with almost 30 per cent.

Another 29 per cent are Moldovan or Romanian, while 23 per cent are Ukrainian.

It comes as the tenth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea passed this week.

And yet military experts told The Sun that the Ukrainian territory still remains the “decisive” battle of the war.

A decade ago, unmarked Russian tanks moved into the Crimean peninsula and so began a grinding and painful war that would eventually be fought all across Ukraine.

Russian troops dubbed “little green men” appeared in uniforms without insignia or bearing any flags.

In under two months between February and March 2014, Putin’s forces seized strategic sites, installed their own illegally appointed officials and annexed the peninsula.

However, experts warned that Putin’s legitimacy is tied to the embattled peninsula.

“If Crimea falls, Vladimir Putin could too,” former US General Ben Hodges said.

East2WestMoldovan president Maia Sandu has been sounding the alarms that Russia is planning a coup[/caption]

East2WestPutin is feared to want to annexe the whole of Moldova[/caption]

East2WestThe region of Transnistria would give Russia a major base to attack western Ukraine, particularly the port city of Odessa[/caption]

East2WestOpposition politician Gennadiy Chiorba warns that the Russian tyrant is planning a Hitler-style landgrab[/caption]

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