Tiraspol airport ready for Russian aircraft – Zgurets
Russian forces view Transnistria as a platform for military operations in the near future, says journalist and military expert Sergiy Zgurets
He shared his views on air on Espreso TV.
"The situation in Transnistria is developing quite dynamically. Our sources indicate that Russia considers Transnistria a platform for military operations in the near future. After the destruction of the bridge across the Lyman, an airfield in Tiraspol was prepared to receive Russian aircraft. Russia has two An-26 aircraft and Ka-52, Mi-28 and Mi-8 helicopters in Crimea, which are preparing to deploy about 1,000 Russian military personnel to Transnistria. We are talking about 1,000 soldiers in an assault brigade", Sergiy Zgurets explained.
The military expert emphasized that the Transnistrian contingent numbers 1,500 Russian soldiers. Within a few days, after the escalation in Transnistria, Russia will also transfer its private military contractors (PMCs) there.
"Russia has transferred about 200 of them and plans to attract a certain number of these mercenaries again. It intends to intensify operations in this region with the transition to our territory. Such actions will create another 'hotbed' of tension. At the same time, the range to this region from our facilities is less than 10 km to Tiraspol, or to other affected areas. I think that the planned flights of these aircraft and helicopters have the opportunity for our side to significantly reduce this offensive potential", Zgurets noted.
The expert also added that the situation in Transnistria could develop actively in the near future.
"If it suddenly transpires that Moldova becomes involved in this conflict, then this will mean that Russia's aggression against Ukraine, involving Moldovan interests, is turning this conflict into a broader European one, on a larger scale, which creates additional risks. I think it is too early to talk about Ukraine's security guarantees today. We need to monitor what is happening along the entire line of contact and be able to quickly compensate for such unexpected things with our own capabilities", Zgurets said.