The commander of Russia’s Central Military District said Moscow wants to open a land corridor from southern Ukraine to the breakaway Transnistria region in Moldova.
“Since the second phase of the special military operation kicked off two days ago, one of the military’s Russia is to take full control of the Donbass and the southern region Ukraine“, General Rustam Minnekaev, acting commander of the Central Military District of Russia, said today.
According to General Minnekaev, when they control all of southern Ukraine, Russian forces will open the way to the Transnistria region in Moldova, where he believes that “the Russian-speaking community is being oppressed”.
Meanwhile, the goal of controlling eastern Ukraine will help Russia establish a land corridor connecting the Crimean peninsula, block Ukraine’s access to the Sea of Azov, negatively affecting the country’s economy.
Transnistria is a narrow land between the Dniester River and the Moldova-Ukraine border, with a population of more than 500,000. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the region demanded secession from Moldova, sparking a military conflict in March 1992 and ending with a ceasefire in July 1992.
The separatist government in Transnistria is recognized by only three other breakaway states: Abkhazia, Artsakh and South Ossetia. The Russian military has deployed no more than 1,500 peacekeepers in the area since 1993.
Russia launched a special military operation from February 24 to “de-fascist” and “demilitarize” Ukraine. By the end of March, Russia announced the completion of the first phase of the operation and withdrew its forces from northern Ukraine, moving its troops to the east of the country.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed on April 19 that Russia had begun a new phase of its military campaign in eastern Ukraine, which pro-Moscow separatists have partly controlled since 2014. According to Lavrov, Russia no longer has a choice. There was no choice but to launch an operation as Ukrainian forces intensified their offensive in the Donbass region, forcing the separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk to offer help.
Vu Anh (According to Interfax)
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