War in neighbouring Ukraine has created new challenges and complicated old ones for Moldova. Not least among them is the future of Transnistria, a breakaway region that, with Russian support, has been de facto independent since 1992 and hosts a Russian military presence. But Moldova, which received candidate status in the EU in June 2022, must also define its role in Europe and European security. Crisis Group monitors developments related to the Transnistrian conflict, Russia’s attempts to influence Moldovan politics and the Russia-Ukraine war’s repercussions for the country’s stability. In its advocacy, Crisis Group recommendations emphasise ways forward on Transnistria, mitigating the dangers of the war in Ukraine and Moldova’s role in the evolving European security order. 

CrisisWatch Moldova

Unchanged Situation

Breakaway Transnistria region accused Moldova and Ukraine of drone attack on military base, and voters from breakaway cast their ballots in Russian presidential election. 

De facto authorities in breakaway Transnistria 17 March claimed that a kamikaze drone launched from Ukraine’s Odesa region struck helicopter at military base in de facto capital Tiraspol; Chișinău same day dismissed incident as “an attempt to provoke fear and panic”, while Kyiv accused Moscow (which supports Transnistria) of “trying to carry out provocations and manipulate the information space”. Meanwhile, 46,182 people from Transnistria cast their ballots in Russian presidential election (see Russia), compared with over 73,000 voters six years ago; Russia’s incumbent president Vladimir Putin received 97% of vote. 

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