On Friday, a Russian general said that one of Moscow's current aims in Ukraine is to establish another point of access to Transnistria, a claim that Russian Russia wants to seize Ukraine's entire Black Sea coast, including Odesa, linking itself to Transnistria. Military experts questioned whether the general comments reflected Kremlin policy, and whether the Russian military could carry out such a mission.
During the build up to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian officials warned of Russian provocations, including in Transnistria — attacks it said Moscow might stage but blamed Kyiv as a pretext for military action.
Transnistria, a thin strip of land with less than 500,000 people, broke away from Moldova in a brief war in the early 1990s with Moscow support, and has a repressive government, heavily dependent on Russia, and Russian state-owned television is dominant there.
Since the Ukraine war erupted, the Moldovan and Ukrainian militaries have been worried about whether Transnistria would enter the fighting as a base for attacking Ukraine from the west.