As we get more and more questions related to the on-going conflict in Ukraine, we decided to write this short FAQ on the situation in Transnistria/Pridnestrovie during these troubled times.
Transnistria (formally knows as Pridnestrovie, or the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic) shares a common border with Ukraine (the length of it being a bit over 400 km/250 miles). A contingent of Russian peacekeepers are present on the Moldovan segment of the Pridnestrovian border (ensuring peace in the security zone between Pridnestrovie and Moldova), while another contingent of Russian soldiers guards an old Soviet ammunition depot in a village near the Ukrainian border.
Because of this, the name Transnistria appears frequently on maps of the conflict, often accompanied by a mention of the Russian peacekeepers, and sometimes accusations against our republic.
Here is all you want to know about the reality of this situation. Feel free to ask your questions in the comment section, and we will try to update this FAQ with our answers as soon as possible.
What is the position of the Pridnestrovian government in the current situation?
Vadim Krasnoselsky, the President of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (Transnistria), stated many times the neutrality of the Republic in this conflict.
Peaceful Pridnestrovie does not pose a military threat, does not hatch plans of an aggressive nature. We are focused on ensuring peace within the republic and look forward to stabilizing the situation outside of it. Pridnestrovians provide assistance to those who are forced to seek security. Refugees find support, help and shelter here.Vadim Krasnoselsky, in his 1st March address.
I emphasize once again: Pridnestrovie has never planned and does not plan any actions of an aggressive nature in relation to our neighbors. I watch with alarm and regret the events taking place in Ukraine. Pridnestrovie is still open and continues to provide assistance and support to Ukrainian residents in need of help, who due to a tragic set of circumstances are forced to leave their homeland.Vadim Krasnoselsky, in his 6 March address.
What is the situation with refugees in Transnistria/Pridnestrovie?
More than 6,000 refugees from Ukraine came to our country. Many came to their relatives or friends, some only transited through our country, and others stayed in the places of accommodations provided by the government (between 400 and 500 people) as well as by regular people who decided to open their doors to families in need.
Kids can join the local schools, and get some special support from the educative staff to adapt to the local school system. People gave toys, clothes, hygiene products as well as anything that can be needed for them. Families can stay in the country as long as they wish.
Since the border with Ukraine is now closed (by the Ukrainian side), the influx of people has slowed down, although many still comes through Moldova. Some Pridnestrovians also offer their help at the Ukraine-Moldova border.
Is the border with Ukraine still open?
Ukraine has closed the border with Pridnestrovie since February 28. To reach Pridnestrovie from Ukraine, or go to Ukraine from here, you need to go through Moldova.
Has Transnistria attacked Ukraine?
Ukrainian officials and media have repeatedly accused Transnistria of attacks on the Ukrainian territory since the first day of the conflict, and this information sometimes appeared in foreign media as well. All those accusations have been debunked by both Pridnestrovie (Transnistria) and the Moldovan government (which, unlike ours, is international recognised, but not specially friendly towards us). After each accusation, the Ukrainian side eventually corrected the information, but often in a really discreet way…
You can find official statements of the Pridnestrovian side here and there, and from the Moldovan government on their official Telegram channel. You can find some articles in the Ukrainian press as well: for example here or there.
As a reminder, Pridnestrovie/Transnistria doesn’t have airplanes, helicopters or long-range missiles. The Russian units stationed in the country don’t have any either. The country is landlocked and doesn’t have a working airport, new equipment and units can’t appear in the country without crossing into the Republic of Moldova or Ukraine.
I’ve heard the Council of Europe stated that Pridnestrovie (Transnistria) was a territory occupied by Russia?
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution on March 15, 2022, to designate Pridnestrovie (Transnistria) as a Moldovan territory occupied by Russia. This is a purely political move, related to the situation in Ukraine, since the situation in our country hasn’t changed. There is no more Russian presence than stated earlier in this article, only the peacemaking mission and the troops guarding the old ammunition depot. The new wording is just an artifice to increase diplomatic pressure on both Russian and Pridnestrovie.
So, how many Russian troups are stationned in Transnistria/Pridnestrovie?
While I don’t have the official numbers, it is generally accepted by all parties that less than 1,500 Russian soldiers are present in Pridnestrovie, spread between the peacekeeping mission between Moldova and Pridnestrovie and the protection of the aforementioned Soviet ammunition depot. They don’t have fighter jets, long-range missiles or anything of the sort, being a peacekeeping and defensive force.
What about food shortages?
Because most imported products normally come from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, many of them are not available anymore. Pridnestrovian businesses increased their local production to make sure we have enough of everything. There’s been some tension on a few products due to panic-buying (notably salt, which comes from Ukraine usually), but in general the situation is fine. There is plenty of food for everybody. Due to a history of economic blockades from neighboring countries, Pridnestrovie is more prepared in this domain than other states relying on imports.
Last update: March 27, 2022
Got a question about the current situation in Pridnestrovie in relation to the situation in Ukraine? Write it down below in the comments, and we will update the page with our reply.