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Russia’s Putin may launch false flag in Moldova as Europe war wages on


Noul Neamt Monastery, Chitcani (Moldova), an area under the control of Transnistrian separatist authorities.

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As Russia is facing a staunch, seemingly unanticipated resistance in the field, it has been three weeks since the Ukraine war. Analysts warn that Vladimir Putin might be looking at Moldova as his next target.

A landlocked Eastern European country situated on Ukraine’s western border, Moldova shares several parallels with its neighbor that could see it become a staging post for the continued onslaught — or itself vulnerable to attack.

Adriano Bosoni of Rane Risk Management, director of analysis, said that Moldova could be the next target if conflict escalates outside of Ukraine.

Moldova, like Ukraine, is not part of the European Union, nor is it a member of NATO — though it has ambitions to become both. However, Moldova, like Ukraine is home to large numbers of pro-Russian separatists. They are based in Transnistria, a breakaway state that borders on Ukraine.

They would be weak. It would not be possible to resist.

Clinton Watts

distinguished research fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute

Transnistria is currently governed by an elected Kremlin-backed leader. This could offer Russia a great strategic opportunity. Russia has about 1,500 troops already in this area.

Either Putin could recognize it as an independent state — as he did with Donetsk and Luhansk before launching a full-blown invasion of Ukraine — or it could become the focus point of a so-called false flag event, manufactured by Russia to justify an intervention.

Bosoni stated, “It’s really interesting to me that Russia hasn’t yet recognised Transnistria in its independent republic status the same as it did with Luhansk or Donetsk.”

“If Russia did that, that would indicate that they intend to take the conflict to Moldova,”

CNBC did not receive any comment from the Russian Foreign Ministry or London’s Russian Embassy.

Ukraine: A battlefield with an backdoor to Ukraine

Blinken states that the U.S. is Moldova’s back. However, it does not mean that they support it.

Adriano Bosoni

Rane, director of analysis

“They would not be able to resist. There would be little to no resistance,” said Clinton Watts, a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, of Moldova’s resistance. The country — one of Europe’s poorest on a GDP-per-capita basis — has much less military capability than Ukraine.

Watts said that an invasion in Moldova could open up a door into Southwest Ukraine. Watts noted that Putin might be searching for an alternative strategy given Russia’s unsuccessful attempts to surround the capital Kyiv.

Tiraspol (the capital and the largest city of Transnistria), is an unrecognized separatist state in Moldova.

Getty Images | Moment | Getty Images

“They might hold out.” [on Kyiv]He said that Russia should “try to circle in upon Odessa” first, and was referring to Odessa in southern Ukraine. Russia might then seek to seize the South of the Country, as it has already closed in upon Mykolaiv 130 km to Odessa’s east.

Watts said, “I believe it’s more probable that he wants southern Ukraine to reunite with Transnistria and use that as a launch pad to take Moldova.”

A precarious job

Moldova might face the same fate as Ukraine if that happens. It could be locked in conflict against a superpower around the world, while its Western allies sit on the sidelines.

The President Maia Sandu of the country stated that “In this area now, there is no way for us to feel secure.” said earlier this monthDuring a meeting between U.S. Secretary Of State Antony Blinken.

Blinken offered America’s support at the time for the tiny republic. The small republic had applied days before for EU fast-track membership. However, the EU and NATO are not likely to provide significant support.

“Blinken claims that the U.S. holds Moldova’s hand.” Bosoni stated that this does not imply they support it.

That is, critically, what distinguishes Moldova from other former Soviet countries, like the Baltic States of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. expressed national security concernsAnger mounting from Russia’s neighbor. They are all members of NATO and the EU, which suggests that they would be able to rely on their NATO partners in case of an invasion by Russia.

And that leaves Moldova in a precarious position if Russia makes it its next target.

“It may not happen in 48 hours. Watts said that it could take up to 48 months.