State Security Building In Transdniester Damaged By Rocket-Propelled Grenades
By RFE/RL's Moldovan Service April 25, 2022
The Ministry of State Security in Tiraspol, the main city of Moldova's breakaway Transdniester region, has been hit by a series of explosions, according to news reports.
Russian state news agency RIA Novosti on April 25 quoted eyewitnesses as saying they heard loud noises and the windows of houses nearby were damaged.
Posts on social media show an object that appears to be a shell from a grenade launcher lying on the street near the ministry.
There have been no reports of casualties, local news media reported.
Television station TSV showed the windows and doors of the building blown out and firefighters at the scene.
Officials from the breakaway region's Interior Ministry said a shell from a grenade launcher hit the building, TSV said.
The ministry said on Facebook that some of the building's windows were broken and that smoke poured from the structure.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the incident.
Moldova's Office for Reintegration Policy said it was "concerned," adding that it believes that the incident "is related to the creation of pretexts for the tension in the security situation in the Transdniester region, which is not controlled by the constitutional authorities."
It called for calm and for "competent national institutions" to monitor the situation.
The Moldovan Intelligence and Security Service (SIS) met in an emergency meeting in Chisinau, TV8 reports. SIS Director Alexandru Esaulenco was quoted as saying the service was collecting information.
The United States has warned that Russian forces could launch "false-flag" operations to create a pretext for invading the territory of other countries. Russian officials have rejected such charges.
But last week a senior Russian military official, Rustam Minnekayev, said that Russian forces aimed to take full control of southern Ukraine, saying such a move would also open a land corridor to Transdniester.
The incident came hours after Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said in Moscow that Russia saw no risk to its citizens in Transdniester.
"Our position remains the same: We are calling for a peaceful settlement of the Transdniester issue while respecting Moldova's territorial integrity and a special status for this region," Rudenko was quoted as saying by Interfax.
Moldova, which borders on Ukraine, lost effective control over Transdniester after breakaway leaders declared independence in 1990.
That declaration has not been recognized by any UN member state.
But it sparked a war in 1992 between Moldova and rebels in Transdniester backed by Russia over the narrow strip of land between the Dniester River and the Ukrainian border.
Russia still has around 1,400 troops stationed in Transdniester.
With reporting by Reuters
Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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