The neutral nation of Moldova has been hit by a defensive Ukrainian missile. Power outages are also being felt around the country.
For the second time in less than a month, a neutral country in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has been hit. This time it’s Moldova, a small nation on the south of Ukraine that does not belong to NATO.
A missile collided within Moldova’s border, and it is thought to be another S-300 anti-air rocket from Ukraine. A similar missile hit Poland last month, killing two NATO citizens and sparking immediate fears for a possible start of WWIII.
When the missile that hit Polish territory was found to be Ukrainian, European leaders still blamed Moscow. Russia was responsible for the invasion of Ukraine and the latter had all rights to defend herself. If Russia had not attacked in the first place, there would have been no such accident.
And now another missile fell into Moldovan territory, though luckily without killing anyone this time. Moldova has also experienced severe power outages, a consequence of their grid connection to Ukraine.
With winter now in full swing on the European continent, Moldovan citizens are forced to stay in the cold for no apparent reason. All of it while a full scale war rages on their border.
But Moldova has yet another reason to dislike Russia, and has all interests in supporting Ukraine in its efforts.
The Transnistria quagmire
Remember how the current war started because Putin officially recognized the existence of two Republics within Ukraine’s borders? Those were the Republic of Donetsk and Luhansk, two separatist regions inside Ukraine at war with Kyiv since 2014.
After the official recognition, Putin invaded Ukraine “in protection” of those two Republics, just to annex them a few months later. Now, imagine the same thing just within Moldova’s borders.
The region of Transnistria is a narrow slice of land on the Eastern side of Moldova. It is a small unrecognized nation with its government and de facto independence. The reason why Moldova never tried to reconquer Transnistria back was because of the military support by Russia.
When the war in Ukraine broke out, many thought that Putin would target Moldova next using the same pretext. And indeed it is very likely that, had the Ukrainian port of Odessa fallen, Moldova would have been invaded.
But Odessa did not fall. Ukraine stopped Russia at the city of Kherson, which they have now reconquered. So, Moldova was safe for now, especially after the huge Russian failures in Ukraine.
This however does not prevent Moldovan citizens to be fearful of Putin. Moldova, like Ukraine, is not a member of NATO and, unlike Ukraine, has a small and untrained military.
Furthermore, as we said, Moldova is still experiencing some unpleasant effects from the war. If however Ukraine holds out, which seems likely for now, Moldova will be safe from Russian hands.