The separatist republic of Transnistria, in Moldova, claimed that it prevented a terrorist attack carried out by Ukraine’s secret services (SBU) against the population and top officials including President Vadim Krasnoselsky.
The statement made by the separatists’ Ministry of State Security on the morning of March 9 marks a visible change in the tone after the authorities in Tiraspol have repeatedly played down warnings by Russia about imminent attacks from Ukraine.
On the other hand, Ukraine said it suspects Russia of planning provocations under a false flag in Transnistria, with the aim of undermining stability in Moldova.
A Land Rover with 8kgs of RDX explosives was allegedly brought into the area by Vyacheslav Kisnichan, who according to the authorities in Tiraspol was working for SBU and specialised in mining, NovostiPMR.com reported, quoting a government statement. Kisnichan allegedly received an assignment from the SBU to monitor and then eliminate the leadership of the republic.
“The suspects have been arrested. They are making confessions,” the news agency reported.
Transnistrian officials said they will turn to Ukraine for clarification in connection with the case. The appeal will also be sent to the participants of the 5+2 negotiation format, aimed at finding a settlement to the longstanding frozen conflict in Moldova, and to the UN.
Transnistrian prosecutor Anatoly Guretsky said that “the attack was planned and ordered by SBU to take place in the centre of Tiraspol, where usually there is a large crowd of people.
“A Land Rover was supposed to detonate. There were 8 kilograms of RDX explosives in the car, as well as screws, nuts and wire. The radius of destruction from such an amount of explosives is hundreds of metres.”
Criminal cases have been initiated and are being investigated for the offences of ‘Preparation for a terrorist act’ and ‘Preparation for the murder of two or more persons, in connection with the performance of this person's official activities, committed by a group of persons in a generally dangerous way’.