Ukraine warns that Russian-backed forces in Moldova are stepping up recruiting

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Kiev on Thursday warned him Separatist groups supported by Russia in Moldova are recruiting for their ranks like Fly he threatens to expand his campaign outside of Ukraine.

In a statement released by the Ukrainian defense ministry, officials said a letter was sent last week to local government heads in the breakaway region of Transnistria in eastern Moldova.

Ukrainian soldiers search for possible remains of Russian troops after their withdrawal from villages on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, April 1, 2022.

Ukrainian soldiers search for possible remains of Russian troops after their withdrawal from villages on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, April 1, 2022.
(Photo AP / Rodrigo Abd)

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The letter, provided in coordination with the statement, reportedly shows that all men under the age of 55 have been invited by the Transnistrian Ministry of Defense to attend a “special meeting” for 90 days to bolster its army. .

The push to recruit “will guarantee 100% of the personnel of the peacekeeping contingent of the Transnistrian Republic of Moldova, as well as provide jobs for the active population of the republic,” says a translation provided by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

Those who join the ranks will receive “financial and material support, shelter and food”.

Law enforcement officers guard a checkpoint on the outskirts of Tiraspol in Moldova's breakaway Transnistria region on April 27, 2022.

Law enforcement officers guard a checkpoint on the outskirts of Tiraspol in Moldova’s breakaway Transnistria region on April 27, 2022.
(Reuters / Vladislav Bachev)

A sum of 2,800 Transnistrian rubles will also be granted, although since Transnistria is not internationally recognized, its ruble cannot be converted into foreign currencies outside the breakaway region, which makes it unclear what the rate is conversion to US dollar.

Despite current requests for voluntary enrollment for a period of 90 days, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said it has received information suggesting that enrollment will be mandatory.

On Thursday, April 21, a convoy of pro-Russian troops moves along a road in Mariupol, Ukraine.

On Thursday, April 21, a convoy of pro-Russian troops moves along a road in Mariupol, Ukraine.
(Reuters / Chingis Kondarov)

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The letter was reportedly sent on April 21, just a day before a Russian general announced that Moscow’s goal was to gain “full control” over eastern Ukraine along with the regions above the Black Sea and the border with Moldova.

“Control over southern Ukraine is another way out of Transnistria, where there are cases of Russian-speaking people being oppressed,” said Major General Rustam Minnekaev in Russia’s first direct threat to Moldova since his invasion of Ukraine began in February.

Russia echoed the language it used prior to its foray into Ukraine when it said it would launch a “special military operation” to free Russian supporters which it claimed, without evidence, were oppressed by regional authorities.

Two attacks then targeted Transnistria this week, one hit radio masts broadcasting Russian programs while another hit the State Security Ministry in the region’s capital.

Map depicting Ukraine, Russia, Crimea, Donbas region held by pro-Russian forces and neighboring countries.
(Ian Jopson / Fox News Digital)

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Russia claimed on Thursday that these were “acts of terrorism” but did not say by whom or provide evidence to support its claims.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Thursday that the actions in Transnistria “recall the events” that took place in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in its Donbas region “on the eve of the [the] large-scale Russian invasion “.