Russia to Dominate the Black Sea?

A Snapshot: A goal of Russia & China, Plus a Land Bridge to Balkans through Transnistria, split and annex Moldova via Gagauzia

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May 10, 2022, updated June 2, 2022

 Publisher’s Note: Honorary Columnist Dr. Alexander Los sent this Op-Ed on May 10th. Due to scheduling difficulties, the editorial review process was delayed. By May 23rd, with the installation of the additional S-400 air defense systems in the northwest of the annexed Crimea, seizure of the Snake Island and equipping it with the air defense systems as well, Alex’s warning has only gained importance. June 2, 2022 became a pivotal point, as the Moldovan Parliament adopts a law prohibiting broadcasting of the Russian media in Moldova. This is the third Op-Ed by Alex, related to his 1st on March 28, 2022, “Putin is Ready for the “Red” Button – Can Biden & NATO Still Stop Him? Know Vladimir Zhirinovsky & Andrei Bogolyubsky to Know Putin Better,” and his 2nd on April 22, 2022, “Russia’s War Degrades Ukraine’s Intellectual Power.” This latest Op-Ed – a snapshot in present tense – is a must read for those who enjoy solving complex problems with answers residing in nuances. The United States Department of Defense, along with Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and his executive staff may find this helpful, and as a checklist. The America Times is grateful to Dr. Los for his expertise and analysis – in keeping with the United States’ recent protocol for this War of being open and transparent – in giving some needed clarity as to this meandering War’s direction.

June 8, 2022

Ravi Batra

 

Russia to Dominate the Black Sea? Mediterranean?

In my previous articles, I emphasized the Black Sea region for global security and the actions taken by the United Kingdom and Ukraine. As the Russian invasion into Ukraine evolves into a long campaign, the next target for the No Limits Partnership of Russia and China is to establish dominance over the northwest of the Black Sea. After that, the next, but not the last, target is Moldova – a country, where Russian Federation has been following the same pattern as in any other former Soviet Republic: create an artificial pro-Russian enclave and then to later “liberate” Russophonic or Russophile “Countrymates” and “brothers.” As the world has learned in Russia’s war against Ukraine, “liberation” means killing “brothers,” destroying infrastructure, annexation, and then installation of Russian military bases.

Fig.1. Moldova on the political map

 

Moldova: Administrative and Political

The Republic of Moldova is formally a neutral unitary state, divided into 39 first-level administrative units: 32 districts, 5 municipalities and 2 autonomous entities. In the autumn of 1998, the country’s parliament amended the Law on Local Public Administration, which delineated the competencies of villages (communes), cities (municipalities) and districts. Therefore, from 1999 to February 2003, Moldova was divided into 9 counties, 1 municipality (Chisinau) and 2 administrative-territorial entities that needed special attention: 1) Gagauzia (administrative-territorial entity); and 2) Dubossary district (administrative-territorial entity)

The current division was adopted on December 27, 2001 by Law №764, published on January 29, 2002. It includes 32 districts, 5 municipalities (Chisinau, Balti, Bender, Comrat, Tiraspol), 1

autonomous territorial entity – Gagauzia (administrative center – Comrat), 1 region – Transnistria

(administrative center – Tiraspol), see Fig.2.

Fig.2. Administrative and territorial division of the Republic of Moldova as of May 08, 2022
(source: Wikipedia)

The territories of Moldova, which are officially part of the Autonomous Territorial Entity with a special legal status of Transnistria, are controlled by the unrecognized self-proclaimed, so-called Transnistrian Moldavian Republic (abbreviated as Transnistria), which the international community recognizes as part of Moldova. Population ~ 470,000. In December 2013, the Verkhovnyi Soviet (parliament) of Transnistria adopted in the first reading of a bill on the application of Russian federal law in the unrecognized republic. In March 2014, the Verkhovnyi Soviet of Transnistria asked the State Duma of Russia to develop a law that would allow the recognition of an unrecognized republic by Russia. In September 2016, Transnistria began preparations for joining the Russian Federation, in particular through the harmonization of legislation. In April 2017, the Verkhovnyi Soviet of the unrecognized Transnistrian region adopted in the final reading of a bill according to which the Russian flag became the second “state” in the region. As emphasized in the explanatory note to the bill, the use of the state flag of Russia in Transnistria “is related to the desire of residents of the region to join Russia on the basis of the results of the 2006 referendum.”

 

Russian Major General Rustam Minnekayev: Land Bridge to Transnistria

On March 15, 2022, the PACE adopted the final version of the document “Consequences of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.” Paragraph 5 contains a direct to Ukraine, but also of Georgia and Moldova. [1, 2] The resolution on the de facto occupation of Transnistria was submitted by 21 deputies, nine of whom were representatives of Romania. On April 25, 2022, in the office of the “Ministry of State Security” (“MGB”) of the Transnistrian region in Tiraspol, the “capital” of the self-proclaimed country, there were several shellings of the building of the “MGB.” Russian-made RPG tubes were found after the shelling near the “MGB” building. [3]

The attack came a week after a high-ranking Russian military official raised the issue of Russian-speakers in Transnistria in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, reiterating Moscow’s justification for the war in Ukraine. Major General Rustam Minnekayev, acting commander of the Central Military District of Russia, said that Russia’s military action plan in Ukraine provides for the full control over southern Ukraine, which could provide Russia with land access, aka land bridge, to the so-called Transnistrian Moldavian Republic.

 

And then, Gagauzia

The intervention of Russian troops to the autonomous territorial entity of Gagauzia is a necessary step in the progression of this war on Ukraine. On December 23, 1994, the Moldovan Parliament passed the Law on the Special Legal Status of Gagauzia (Gagauzia-Eri), which gave the Gagauzian compact region the right to autonomy within the Republic of Moldova. The vast majority of the population of Gagauzia is Orthodox Gagauz Turks. [4] Population ~165,000. The predominant language is Russian. [5] It is also noteworthy that the official e-mail address of the President of Gagauzia is a regular address in the Russian domain [email protected] [6]

On February 2, 2014, two referendums were held in Gagauzia: legislative and consultative. More than 96% of voters voted for Gagauzia’s right to “external self-determination,” for Moldova’s accession to the Eurasian Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, founded on January 1, 2010, and against Moldova’s accession to the European Union. [7] To some extent, Russia’s direct influence on Gagauzia is being dampened by Turkey’s direct investment in civilian infrastructure and educational programs.

 

Military infrastructure and capabilities of Transnistria and Gagauzia

Transnistria:

  1. a) Military airfield 1 km northwest of Tiraspol. The concrete runway is 2,500 meters long and 44 meters wide; ICAO code: LUTR; b) A weapons and ammunition depot located in Kovbasna (Cobasna). The arsenal includes about 20,000 tons of artillery and infantry ammunition, as well as other military equipment. The storage life of ammunition and weapons stored there has long expired [8], but still, about 7 – 8 thousand tons of ammunition may be suitable; c) The number of Russian military personnel, according to various sources, are from 1,500 to 2,000 people and located in the cities of Tiraspol and Kovbasna. The personnel of the so-called “PMR” troops is about 5,500 people; d) The mobilization potential for the reinforcement of Russian troops, according to various estimates, is at least 20,000 people.

 

Gagauzia

  1. a) There is no significant military infrastructure, but there are asphalt roads and some sections of the freight railway pass through that territory; b) Mobilization potential for Russian troops. Gagauzia is conscripting into the armed forces of the Republic of Moldova [9].

 

Current Military & Political Situation in Ukraine, and in its South-West

In the beginning of May Russian troops were attacking the Ukrainian city of Odessa with cruise missiles. Ukrainian sources said that Russian special services were to carry out attacks under a “false flag” on key sites in Transnistria. Transnistrian sources claimed that Ukrainian UAVs dropped four explosives on the night of May 6 – 7 at the airport in Varankau on the border of Transnistria and Ukraine. The situation in the Bessarabian direction was tense, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Almost 3 weeks later, as of May 26, 2022 the Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces are protecting the border and conducting counter-sabotage measures.

Fig.3. The current general military situation in Ukraine

 

 

 

 

 

Fig.4. The current situation in Moldova

 

 

 

Potential Escalation by Russian Military: Intermittent target – to the Balkans!

Current Western politicians usually take for granted the present control of NATO over Eastern Mediterranean (Adriatic) peninsula (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5. As of 2022, NATO has expanded to let in three former Soviet states and all of the former Warsaw Pact countries.
Source: CNBC

 

But, yet again, the history holds answers to most of the questions.

A quick glance at the post-WWII map (Fig. 6) multiplied with the russian mania to regain former domination over regions and nations uncovers further, but not final, russian geopolitical vectors.

Fig. 6. Map of Europe divided with the “Iron Curtain” after WWII
Source: worldatlas.com

 

 

 

According to the strategic plan of the Russian masterminds beyond political leadership, they are seeking maximum dominance along the Black Sea coast, with further creation of a corridor to Serbia and eventually other 10 Balkan nations of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania and Slovenia and, subsequently, the Mediterranean, as an intermittent goal. As a byproduct, Russia is threatening Moldova with annexation. The reason is obvious – eliminate the threat of merger between neutral Moldova and NATO-member Romania, and regain control over the former soviet republic.

Gagauzia is left almost out of scope by the Western analysts, as it does not constitute a significant military interest. However, the lessons learnt show that russian favorite tool is not military, but annexation via so-called “self-determination” of “russian-world” citizens of other countries. Gagauzia is exactly that kind of a russian tool, which will allow to split Moldova.

Public people of Slovakia have already also verbalized that should Russia succeed to take over Ukraine, Slovakia would be the next target. This will trigger the domino effect, as there are countries in the region which, being formal members of the EU and NATO openly declare their sympathy to Russia, and would not prevent Russia to regain access to the Balkans.

But Ukrainians’ fight-back, supported by United States, and many friends and allies in Europe and elsewhere, while surely motivated for Ukraine’s survival, is also the battle to prevent Russian adventurism beyond Ukraine. Its worthy of note, that humanitarian aid is coming from many nations, including, India.

 

Links:

  1. https://www.ipn.md/en/pace-recognizes-occupation-of-moldovas-transnistrian-region-byrussia-7965_1088507.html
  2. https://pace.coe.int/en/files/29855/compendium#amdt-29863
  3. https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-61097074
  4. https://www.gagauzia.md/ru/ato-gagauziya/naselenie.html
  5. https://www.bbc.com/russian/blog-photo-42085858
  6. https://www.gagauzia.md.
  7. https://web.archive.org/web/20140223055253/http://halktoplushu.com/index.php/glavnaia/

novosti/378-rezultaty-referendumov-podtverzhdeny

  1. https://www.dw.com/ru/военный-склад-в-приднестровье-взрывоопасное-наследствоссср/a-18890232
  2. https://docplayer.com/77566646-Protokol-7-zasedaniya-ispolnitelnogo-komiteta-gagauziigagauz-eri.html
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7oPq92W0go
  4. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/aleksandr-dugin-russia-ukraine-vladimir-putin-60-minutes2022-04-12

 

About the author

Author profile

The America Times was re-born on September 11, 2021, with the goal to better inform our
leaders and policymakers of nuances, beyond conventional wisdom, to successfully address
present day “Gordion Knots,” sometimes as Alexander the Great did by cutting it and other times by tediously unraveling it. During March 2022, diplomacy is at a fever pitch in Washington D.C., Moscow, Kyiv, Vienna, Geneva, Brussels, and every major capital of the world, as Mr. Putin's Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 and unleashed their hell on people, infrastructure, cities and sovereignty, while Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky rose to unexpected courage and bravery - declining our offer to evacuate him, by saying: "I don't need a ride. I need ammunition." Everyday Ukranians have answered the call to protect their land from Russia's yet-another attack to subjugate them at best, or exterminate them at worst. The great Russian military has run into the iron will of Ukrainians, a mistake that we expect will deny Russia peaceful sleep for at least two generations and unhappily revibrate in history.

We are honored and privileged to have Hon. Dr. Alexander V. Los – an aviation design global super-star, former president of Ukraine-owned Antonov Company, who can be the "wings" beneath our and NATO's firepower – join the Honorary Board of Advisors & Columnists of The America Times in recognition of his excellence and record of contributions. Dr. Los's life experiences and aviation design superstar, helps him to better decipher what is needed to deter a war, and if one exists, to overcome it without global annihilation. His knowledge and continuing work, as Chairman of ACE Air Combat Evolution Ltd, are the underbelly of war itself which is unleashed when Leaders are not appeasing anymore.  He is welcome to appear from time to time on the pages of The America Times. Reading his current contribution, we are certain, will serve to form a more perfect nation, and world, and thereby enhance both regional and global peace and security; maybe, even in dealing properly with Mr. Putin. A translated interview of Dr. Los by Defense Express was published by The America Times on October 29, 2021:  https://www.america-times.com/interview-with-former-antonov-head-us-ukraine-must-pursue-more-fundamental-forms-of-cooperation/
Benjamin Franklin famously said in 1787: “It’s a republic madam, if you can keep it.”
Dr. Alexander V. Los' contributions in The America Times will help us keep our Republic.
Please enjoy his accomplishments, along with a few pictures – including, with NATO SG Jens Stoltenberg.
Ranju Batra & Ravi Batra
Publishers
Dr. Alexander V. Los

Doctor of Engineering Sciences, PhD, MPA

Age: 44

Professional skills:

• aerospace engineering – 25 years, including 18 years officially at SE ANTONOV

• foreign relations – 22 years

Experience
2021.02 –

present

Chairman, Director, Co-owner, Author of patents, ACE Air Combat Evolution Ltd., UK

• ACE One UCAV air defense systems

2020.06 –

2020.11

President, SE Antonov Company
2018.04.17 -

2018.05.21

Interim President, SE Antonov Company

• Supervision and participation in preparation of the General Terms Agreement with BOEING / AVIALL

• Supervision of participation and presenting Antonov SE at EURASIA Airshow-2018, Turkey

• Official unveiling of the AN-188 international project

2017.01 – 2020.05 Vice President, Head of Design Organization, SE Antonov Company

• Responsibility and personal involvement in the design finalization, assembly, maiden flight, flight testing and flight display of the AN-132D

• Personal engagement in all the major international activity and negotiations with companies from the USA, Canada, UK, Israel, Germany, France, Turkey, Japan, South Korea

• Initiation of the AN-188/AN-77 project. Presentation to the US Senators and the Boeing company

• Supervision of substitution of Russian materials and components, certification of the AN-178

• Initiation of the international project of a heavy high-altitude combat UAV

• Hosting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during visit to Ukraine in 2017

• Hosting President of the ICAO Council Dr. Aliu during a visit to Ukraine in 2017

• Participation in negotiations and preparation of contracts with international financial institutions (CCC, ASHRA, etc.)

• Supervision of the interaction between Antonov and the ICAO, FAA and EASA

• Conducting negotiations with the USA, UK, Canadian, EU and Israeli suppliers

2011.04 – 2016.12 Deputy Chief Designer (Flight Control Systems, Landing Gear and Hydraulics), SE Antonov Company

• Implementation of international safety design procedures in the design organization

• Scientific activity in the professional area

• Development of domestic systems and components meeting the international standards to substitute Russian products

• Extension of cooperation with the USA, UK, Canadian, Israeli and EU suppliers

• Cooperation with the EASA and FAA

2008.06 – 2011.04 Deputy Head of Flight Control Systems Department, SE Antonov
2008.06 – 2005.05 Head of Sector of Primary Flight Control Systems Department, SE Antonov
2002.04 – 2005.05 Designer (ATA 27 Primary Flight Control Systems), SE Antonov
Scientific Degree
2021 Doctor of Engineering Sciences
2015 PhD, Engineering Science
 

 

Education
2019-2021 Kyiv-Mohyla Business School, Kyiv

• Master of Public Administration. Strategic Leadership in National Security and Defense.

1995-2001 National Aviation University, Kyiv
• Graduated Summa Cum Laude

1.  Mechanical Engineering

2.  Management of Foreign Economic Relations

1985-1995 Special School №57, Kyiv
Language
Ukrainian, English, Russian - fluently
Military Service
• Senior lieutenant (reserve), Aviation Engineer
State Awards
2009.08 • Medal “For Work and Achievements” (Order by President Yushchenko)

 

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