Russia Accusing Ukraine of Planning a False Flag Operation in Moldova Could Light the Fuse for World War III

News & Politics

Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to want to expand the war in Ukraine by dragging little Moldova into the conflict. Putin accused Kyiv of planning a false flag operation against Russian peacekeeping soldiers in the breakaway pro-Russian Moldova province of Transdniestria, also known as Transnistria. Kyiv has rejected the Russian charge and called for calm.

But Putin seems hell-bent on manufacturing an excuse to send more Russian troops into Moldova.

“As a pretext for the invasion, it is planned to stage an alleged offensive of Russian troops from the territory of Transnistria,” a message warned, referring to the pro-Russian breakaway region of Moldova. “To do this, the Ukrainian saboteurs participating in the staged invasion will be dressed in the uniform of the military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.”

The Russian Defense Ministry claims that Ukraine has been massing troops on its common border with Moldova and is just waiting for the provocation.

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“The implementation of the planned provocation by the Ukrainian authorities poses a direct threat to the Russian peacekeeping contingent legally deployed in Transnistria,” Moscow said.

“Russia’s armed forces will respond to the impending provocation of the Ukrainian side in an adequate manner,” the statement added.

A Russian walkover victory in Moldova would give Putin the opportunity to open another front against Ukraine. All he needs is a modern-day Reichstag Fire as an excuse to invade.

Moscow Times:

In the build up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago, the Kremlin attempted to stage or mock up a number of incidents in the Luhansk and Donbas regions which they claimed were Ukrainian military actions targeting pro-Russians. Alarmingly for Moldova, it was all just a pretext for their own all-out assault on their neighbor.

Moldova responded to the alert with its own Telegram message, denying the allegations and calling for restraint. “We call for calm and for information to be received (by the public) from official and credible sources of the Republic of Moldova,” they wrote. “Our institutions cooperate with foreign partners and in the case of threats to the country, the public will be promptly informed.”

With Russian troop morale very low and civilian enthusiasm for the conflict flagging, Putin needs to make the war a matter of survival for Russian sovereignty. That means finding a way to drag NATO into the war, which will whip up the masses and make the soldiers more determined to fight.

The pressure Joe Biden and the rest of NATO are putting on Putin needs to be dialed back. What started as a war to maintain the World War II world order has become a war for the overthrow of the Russian state. It has become that because we’ve given Kyiv the weapons to do it and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has promised not to stop fighting until every inch of Ukraine’s territory seized by Russia is recovered.

Vladimir Putin will never submit. His own survival is now tied directly to the success of Russian forces on the battlefield. With no hope of negotiations by either side, the only way to change the dynamic on the ground is for each side to gather allies to help it fight. China would be a natural ally for Russia and NATO for Ukraine.

This is exactly what happened in World War I. Once the battle lines were drawn and stalemate occurred, it became a matter of the warring nations finding allies; Germany convinced Turkey and Bulgaria to join the Axis powers, while France convinced Italy and Romania to join the allies. Only when the U.S. entered the war did the balance tip decisively to the Allies.

Needless to say, if this happened in Ukraine, the expanded war would eventually draw all the major powers into the conflict.

Putin is counting on the fear of an expanded conflict becoming a world war that would eventually lead to nuclear conflict. On this, the first anniversary of the war, we’ve seen just about everything Joe Biden has done leading to this catastrophic conclusion. If we’ve given up on diplomacy, perhaps Biden should launch now.

Otherwise, Biden should use the full power and prestige of his office to get Zelenskyy to dial back his rhetoric and reduce his war aims. It really is up to the American president to start talking about peace rather than sending one of the belligerents everything he needs to expand the war.

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