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Zelensky: Russia trying to destabilize situation in breakaway Moldovan region of Transnistria

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a statement Wednesday that Russia is working to destabilize Transnistria, a breakaway region of Moldova where Russian troops are stationed.

“The goal is obvious – to destabilize the situation in the region, to threaten Moldova. They show that if Moldova supports Ukraine, there will be certain steps,” Zelensky said in a statement released by the Ukrainian government. 

Russia has had troops in Transnistria since the Soviet Union was dissolved, with a Russian official recently saying the country wants full control of eastern and southern Ukraine to create a path from Crimea to Transnistria. 

As the war between Ukraine and Russia continues, violence is breaking out in Transnistria, with two radio towers that broadcasted Russian stations damaged by blasts this week. 

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said it is unclear who was behind the attacks but the U.S. was looking into the matter.

“We’re not really sure what that’s all about, but that’s something that we’ll stay focused on,” he said. 

The breakaway part of Moldova has accused Ukraine of attacking the region, while Ukraine argues Russia is behind the explosions and wants to construct an excuse to invade Moldova. 

“We clearly understand that this is one of the steps of the Russian Federation. The special services are working there,” Zelensky said. “But we understand their capabilities, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready for this and are not afraid of them.”

Tags Lloyd Austin Moldova russia Russia-Ukraine war Russian invasion of Ukraine Transdniestria Transnistria ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky

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