Transnistria is just a sliver of land between Moldova and Ukraine. But it's becoming a focus of war.

1 min read


Transnistria, Moldova get new focus amid Russia’s Ukraine invasion

  • Transnistria is a breakaway region that occupies a long, narrow slice of land alongside Ukraine and Moldova.
  • Moldovan government officials have long treated Transnistria with caution due to its close connections with Russia.
  • Experts say it’s unlikely Transnistrians would join Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Transnistria is a literal powder keg, as it’s home to a massive stockpile of aging Soviet-era explosives and ammunition.

REZINA, Moldova — The Russian-uniformed border guard holds out his hand and the truck driver hands over his passport and other documents — a routine and otherwise unremarkable transaction except that it’s happening hundreds of miles from Russia.

Instead, it’s taking place within the tiny European country of Moldova, at the border of the Russia-aligned territory known as Transnistria, which is home to an estimated 20,000 tons of Soviet-era weapons, ammunition and explosives, and more than 1,000 Russian troops. 

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