April 26, 2022- There is a slender, virtually unrecognized country in eastern Europe, known as Transnistria, so called because it is delineated by the Dniester River to its east and Moldova, to its west. It is essentially a largely Russian- and Ukrainian-speaking enclave, with Romanian-speaking Moldova having been its former overseer.
Transnistria was the target of bombings, yesterday, in which fortunately no one appeared to have been seriously injured. It has a significant regiment of Russian troops stationed within its borders, ostensibly as a “peacekeeping” force, sent in the wake of a conflict with Moldova, in the 1990s. There is always the chance that Transnistria could be the target of underground forces, with the aim of drawing Russian attention to yet another front, the way the Russians themselves distracted Germany in the 1940s, to the eventual overextension of Hitler’s forces. It is also possible that Russia is conducting these operations as “false flag” maneuvers, in an attempt to gain a pretext for an attack on southwest Ukraine, with its huge port city of Odesa.
In any case, the battle lines are thin, and getting thinner, as a conflict that is increasingly seeming to be based on equally flimsy pretexts grinds on. Russia has forgotten the lessons which its predecessor, the Soviet Union, taught the world about sieges, at St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) and at Volgograd (then Stalingrad). Ukraine has absorbed those lessons masterfully, however, at least so far.
The line of fortune can be thin indeed, yet sometimes a tough line of wire, or hard fiber, can withstand enormous pressure.