Putin on verge of new Hitler-style land grab as breakaway Moldovan region bordering Ukraine begs Russia for ‘protection’

Putin on verge of new Hitler-style land grab as breakaway Moldovan region bordering Ukraine begs Russia for ‘protection’

FEARS that Vladimir Putin is on the verge of attempting another land grab are growing as a breakaway region of Moldova called on Russia for “protection.”

The Russian-controlled enclave of Transnistria, that’s sharing a border with Ukraine begged Moscow for help against “pressure” from Chișinău.

East2WestThe breakaway region of Transnistria illegally declared its independence from Moldova[/caption]

East2WestThousands of Russian troops are part of the region’s “peacekeeping force”[/caption]

The move came from pro-Russian officials who feared the region could become a new flashpoint in Russia‘s war with neighbouring Ukraine.

The thin strip of land has been under Russian control since the collapse of the Soviet Union but is recognised as part of Moldova – but outside the EU and NATO.

And today a special assembly voted to pass a resolution asking Russia to “protect”

The resolution states: “[We resolved to] appeal to the Federation Council and the State Duma of the Russian Federation, requesting measures to protect Transnistria amidst increased pressure from Moldova.”

The appeal notes that “more than 220,000 Russian citizens permanently reside on the territory of the region and the unique positive experience of Russian peacekeeping [force].”

The appeal also urged the UN to respect the “inalienable rights of the Transnistrian people guaranteed by international norms, to stop the violation by Chisinau [the capital of Moldova] of the rights and freedoms of the inhabitants”.

The pro-Russian leadership of the region said: “Since the moment the Moldovan leadership chose and consolidated the course towards the European Union, Transnistria has been subjected to the greatest socio-economic pressure and the most massive violation of the rights and freedoms of the inhabitants of the region.

“Which directly contradicts the European principles and approaches in the field of human rights protection and free trade.”

The call for help was deliberately timed ahead of Putin’s keynote speech to the Russian Federal Assembly in Moscow on Thursday.

It has intensified fears that the Russian leader will seek to take full control not only of Transnistria but Moldova.

Last week, rumours started to circulate that the breakaway region is plotting to appeal to Putin to join Russia.

Putin already has several thousand Russian troops in the region, a so-called “peacekeeping force” which has been there since the end of Soviet times.

The region, seen as a hotbed of crime, corruption and smuggling, has a population of about 470,000 – about 30 per cent Russian.

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

Local opposition politician Gennadiy Chiorba claimed a Putin plot to grab Transnistria is in progress, as part of the dictator’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.

The dictator has noticed the failure of the West to meet Ukraine’s needs for arms, and senses he could get away with a new annexation, say experts. 

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

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

Moldova president President Maia Sandu last year claimed Russia was planning a coup in her country.

Chiorba warned Sandu of the Kremlin threat saying that “the psychology of the current leadership of Russia, in particular Putin, is very similar to the psychology of Hitler in the late 1930s ….

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

Ukrainian military analyst Aleksander Kovalenko has branded Moscow’s moves “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.”

What Is Transnistria?

Transnistria, also known as Pridnestrovie, is a Russian- controlled region in Moldova.

Wedged between the Dniester River and the border with Ukraine, the thin strip of land is an unrecognised state.

A former part of the Soviet Union Transnistria declared independence from Moldova in 1990.

A conflict between Moldovan forces and the separatist movement ended with Tiraspol painting its autonomy.

However, it has not been recognised by any UN member state and continues to be considered a part of Moldova.

A Russian “peacekeeper” presence has been established in the region following the 1992 cease-fire agreement.

It has a population of around 465,000 – most of them have dual or triple Moldovan, Russian or Ukrainian nationality.

East2WestPutin is feared to want to annexe another region[/caption]

East2WestThe region of Moldova shares a border with Ukraine[/caption]

East2WestGennadiy Chiorba claimed a Putin plot to grab Transnistria is in progress[/caption]

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