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Main War — Alexander Kovalenko: Regarding the second front and the military operation from the territory of Transnistria into the Odessa region

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Alexander Kovalenko: Regarding the second front and the military operation from the territory of Transnistria into the Odessa region

23 Feb, 2024
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Alexander Kovalenko: Regarding the second front and the military operation from the territory of Transnistria into the Odessa region

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By Alexander Kovalenko

"Again, there's unrest around Transnistria. Truth be told, it's mostly informational.

This unease is related to the fact that on February 28, for the first time in 18 years, a congress of "PMR" deputies will be held in Transnistria, during which an appeal to Putin to "accept" the republic into Russia's composition may be voiced. It is expected that during his address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Putin will announce and accept this appeal.

It is believed that this will allow Russia to open a second front and begin a military operation from the territory of Transnistria in the Odessa region.

But...

Currently, there are no signs of offensive groupings being formed on the territory of Transnistria. The armed formations of Transnistria are in a state of "Permanent" combat readiness. Mostly, forces and means are concentrated to ensure the protection of the 1411th artillery depot in Kolbasna and the Tiraspol airfield.

Also, this week, the 3rd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade in Rybnitsa conducted regular command and staff exercises... on maps. During these exercises, a scenario of bringing the brigade to "Full" combat readiness in conditions of a sudden enemy attack and active actions of sabotage-reconnaissance groups was used; organizing the defense of settlements and important objects; conducting defensive combat.

It's worth reminding that the number of the Russian contingent in Transnistria is about 1,700 personnel. Roughly speaking, it's equivalent to 2 MRBs. The number of illegal armed formations on the territory of Transnistria is about 7,500 personnel or 9 MRBs.

In terms of equipment, the situation is approximately as follows:

Tanks - 11 units, i.e., a combat-ready platoon of T-64B/BV and T-72 tanks. There are no less than 30 units of T-64B/BV, T-72, and T-55 tanks in a non-combat-ready condition.

Armored personnel carriers (APCs) - around 150 combat vehicles of types BMP-1/2, BTR-60\70\80, BRDM-2, and MT-LB. Again, not all of them are in a combat-ready condition.

Field artillery - up to 60 units, namely 122mm D-30 howitzers, 85mm divisional guns D-44, and 100mm anti-tank guns MT-12.

Multiple rocket launchers (MRLs) - 20 units of 122mm BM-21 "Grad"/VW-21.

So, the total potential of the adversary is equivalent to 11 MRBs. But there's a nuance.

The nuance is that these cannot be considered battalion-tactical groups since they do not have standard equipment. Moreover, even the equipment listed as being in the arsenal of the Transnistrian armed forces is not all combat-ready and partly in an unfit state for use.

And if one imagines that this grouping, which is difficult to call assault, invades Ukraine, its complete destruction will take up to two weeks, no more.

On the other hand, as ridiculous as it may sound, this troop group poses a serious threat to Moldova because it represents a much more combat-capable force than the Moldovan army. And therein lies the threat to us - the absorption of Moldova by pro-Russian forces and the overthrow of the legitimate government.

Yes, for Ukraine, at the current stage, the threat from Transnistria is minimal, or rather, it's nonexistent. But the threat is very real for Moldova itself. On this matter, I wouldn't be so complacent. And I want to point out that tensions have been escalating since 2022, and the last peak escalation was observed precisely at the end of February - beginning of March 2023...

Actually, could it be some sort of seasonal escalation for Moscow?"

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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