The leaflets spread clandestinely to enlist Moldovan soldiers in Transnistria
Word of mouth from recruiters flows on chats for followers of the Moscow cause only. Or hand in hand with flyers printed and neatly folded in the pockets of trusted people. Fixed-salary volunteers are sought to reinforce the 1,500 Russian troops in Transnistria: gunners, snipers, raiders, camouflage and sabotage experts. Fresh forces to keep with the binoculars pointed at Ukraine and the viewfinder at Moldova.
Moscow is running for cover after Kiev has literally walled up the border posts with the enclave where the rules of the Soviet Union are in force, well lubricated by all sorts of illicit trafficking. It is not easy to bring in career soldiers or soldiers of fortune accompanied by a tailored passport for transit through Ukraine. The call to arms is mainly addressed to Moldovans. It is secret and illegal: Transnistria is not recognized by the international community and the operation involves citizens with Moldovan passports who find themselves serving a foreign army. It is not known how many are responding, but sources in Transnistria assure that they are not few. And with nearly two thousand soldiers from Moscow nearby, it’s not like you sleep soundly in Chisinau.
Moldova is going through a severe crisis, with the economy troubled by the war and the livelihood of half a million refugees since February 24th. For the 2.5 million inhabitants with the lowest income in Europe (the average monthly salary does not reach 430 euros), generosity in welcoming will have a high price. And with autumn just around the corner, it can only get worse. The gas tariff has risen to 1,424 euros per 1,000 cubic meters, from 628 in January. The profession of arms, with uniform and “zeta” in plain sight, would like to seduce especially that part of the Moldovan male population left without a profitable job and who has not stopped voting for the pro-Russian opposition. Pay is promised starting from 35,000 Russian rubles (550 euros), accommodation in Transnistria after five years of military service, three meals a day and additional food packages, clothing, free medical assistance, the possibility of retirement after 20 years and advancement of career.
Vladimir Thorik, a Moldovan investigative reporter, managed to pretend to be unemployed and pro-Russian. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a civilian. Nobody is born with a gun, ”the recruiter told him. “If you want to learn, you will learn,” he added before listing all the benefits of the “profession” in the service of the Kremlin. When with colleagues Nicolae Cuschevici and Dumitru Baciu he tried to reconstruct the identities of the Russian emissaries, the reporters of the newspaper He laughed they discovered that they are two Russians for years employed in Crimea and Transnistria in the service of Putin’s plans.
In the country there have never been no reasons for concern. Many think that the attempt to stage a “white coup” is not entirely exhausted. According to local judicial sources, institutional sabotage was thwarted with the arrest of the former president, the Putinian Igor Dodon, still under house arrest on charges of “treason and corruption” for which he risks up to 20 years of imprisonment, and strengthened with the start of a hunt for some influential personalities in politics and finance close to the pro-Russian opposition.
Parliament renewed the state of emergency for another 60 days, giving the government special powers to deal with the consequences of the invasion of Ukraine. Unlike what happens in many European countries, the Moldovan news continues to open the editions with war correspondences. Odessa is two hours away by car, and the first commercial ship is about to land there in months, while the cargo with grain bound for Lebanon has crossed the Bosphorus. The Turks then announced the departure of three more grain cargoes for today.
That’s the only good news. The governor of the Donetsk region said three civilians were killed and five were injured in attacks on a bus stop. Local authorities in Mykolaiv, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk also reported that their regions were bombed. While the Ukrainian forces recaptured two villages around the eastern city of Sloviansk, they were pushed back to the outskirts of the city of Avdiivka. According to the Kiev general staff, Russia could launch a new offensive in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson. But it is precisely here that Kiev’s counterattack is expected at any moment. And by then the new Russian army enlisted in Transnistria should enter service.