Blasts rock Moldova as fears rise that Vladimir Putin could be eyeing next target for invasion
- Russian foreign minister suggested Moldova should ‘worry’ about its future
- The nation shares a border with Ukraine and areas were hit with explosions
- The blasts were in the Transnistria region, a Russian-backed breakaway territory
Russia yesterday stoked fears that Moldova may be next in Putin’s firing line – after blasts rocked part of the tiny nation.
When asked about the risks of war spilling into Ukraine’s neighbour after explosions rattled its Transnistria region, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told a Saudi broadcaster: ‘Moldova should worry about their own future. Because they’re being pulled into Nato.’
Transnistria is a breakaway region in the east of Moldova where ethnic Ukrainians and Russians outnumber Moldovans.
The tensions come as Defence Secretary Ben Wallace predicted that Putin could use Russia’s Victory Day to announce an intensification of the Ukrainian onslaught – and perhaps an opening of new theatres of war.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov (pictured) suggested that Moldova, which was hit with explosions, could be Russia’s next target
The explosions destroyed two powerful Soviet-era radio antennas that were re-broadcasting Russian stations in the region of Transnistria
Several explosions believed to be caused by rocket-propelled grenades were reported to hit the Ministry of State Security in the city of Tiraspol, the region’s capital. No one was hurt in the explosions, officials said
UK’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (pictured) believes that Russian president Vladimir Putin will escalate his military action on May 9
Mr Wallace said that the Russian president – whose advances in Ukraine are far behind expectations – might declare war on the world’s ‘Nazis’ at the May 9 parade, which sees Moscow mark the Soviet Union’s victory over Hitler.
Mr Wallace told LBC Radio: ‘I would not be surprised… that he is probably going to declare on May Day that “we are now at war with the world’s Nazis and we need to mass mobilise the Russian people”.’
He added: ‘Putin, having failed in nearly all objectives, may seek to consolidate what he’s got… and just be a sort of cancerous growth within the country.
‘We have to help Ukrainians effectively get the limpet off the rock and keep the momentum pushing them back.’
Analysts had predicted that Putin wanted to be in a position where he could declare some form of victory on May 9.
But with Russian progress on the battlefield being less than conclusive, he may now seek to escalate further.