"It will untie our hands": Colonel Chernyk explains why we should not be afraid of Russia's offensive from Transnistria

Armed Forces of the "TMR". Source: rosmedia

The illogical behavior of the Russian Federation in the context of its aggression against Ukraine does not allow us to completely rule out the possibility that the invaders will try to launch an offensive against our country from the territory of the temporarily occupied Transnistria. However, if this does happen, we should not be particularly worried about this "threat": the Russian Federation keeps several thousand troops in the enclave, and even they have extremely poor training.

However, if Russia does launch such an offensive, it will to some extent free Ukraine's hands for a major raid on this Russian-occupied territory. What benefits our state can get from such a raid, military and political expert, retired colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Petro Chernyk explained in a commentary to OBOZ.UA.

According to him, versions of a possible Russian offensive from the territory of the temporarily occupied Transnistria may have some basis in fact: the Kremlin has repeatedly resorted to actions that looked as illogical as possible, and even harmful to Moscow.

"You can expect anything from crazy people, but you don't have to be afraid of this, everything is fortified on our side, they have a maximum of 5 to 7 thousand personnel, no more. They have a very low level of training," the expert reassured those who were alarmed by rumors of a "Transnistrian threat."

Moreover, Chernyk believes that such a scenario would even play into Ukraine's hands.

"If they take this step, it will untie our hands in the international legal context and we will be able to carry out a major raid there, say, from the Odesa region. There is the largest ammunition depot in Europe – up to 20 thousand tons of various calibers are stored there. Of course, the question is what condition it is in, but even if a third of it is useful for the armed forces, why not? As strange as it may sound, in some ways, this strike would be beneficial in a geopolitical sense, because it would once again emphasize the unprincipled nature of the Russian Federation and would allow it to resolve the Transnistrian issue by force," the expert said.

At the same time, Chernik did not take responsibility for predicting how civilians in the occupied part of Moldova would react to such a development.

"They are very closed, the whole of Transnistria, there is no information about who is there and what is happening in the social context. I am not able to give this level of assessment," he said.

In general, the expert assessed the chances of a successful offensive from the territory of Transnistria to Ukraine as rapidly approaching zero.

"They have been in isolation since 1991, when the CIS still existed, the Russians brought a little bit of aid there, and since 2014 they have been in absolute isolation. I do not believe in their motivation and willingness to fight," Chernyk emphasized.

Earlier, ISW pointed out that Russia has launched its "hybrid operations" in Moldova. In particular, the Kremlin wants to use Transnistria and Gagauzia for its own purposes.

It was also reported that at the end of February this year, "Transnistria" asked Russia for "protection" from Moldova. In particular, the so-called "deputies" at the congress complained about the "economic blockade" by Moldova and approved a declaration asking the Kremlin for help.

A few days later, Moscow began to squeeze another region of Moldova. We are talking about the Gagauz autonomy, whose leader has since traveled to Moscow several times to meet, among others, with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

Among other things, she said that Gagauzia would declare its independence if Moldova decided to unite with Romania, and also announced the launch of cards of the Russian payment system Mir in the autonomy.

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