Russia returns to "project Bessarabia": What is known about the plan to destabilize the situation in Odessa region and Moldova

After the failure of the plan in 2015, clashes between the two clans that dealt with this issue arose in the Kremlin. And now, three years later, according to intelligence, Moscow is once again returning to its plan. That appeared on an article on the portal 112.ua.

On the eve of the Security Service of the Ukraine said that the Kremlin is trying to reanimate the project "Bessarabia", which was thwarted in 2015.

According to the Ukrainian special services, in 2014, the Russian Federation prepared scenarios for the creation of "people's republics" following the example of "DNR / LNR" in a number of Ukrainian regions (in particular, Kharkov, Kherson, and Nikolaev). In this case, the situation in the Odessa region in the department was then rated "as catastrophic." According to the head of the SBU Vasily Gritsak, "Ukraine was on the threshold of a second front, when the Russians were ready to enter the Odessa region from Transnistria under the guise of" militia. "

What kind of group?

The Bessarabian People’s Republic is a separatist group that operated in 2014–2015. Her ultimate goal was the unconstitutional proclamation of artificial education - the so-called "Bessarabia". I had a clear hierarchical system of command and control (and even a coat of arms), which was supposed to work in the districts of Odessa region isolated from Ukraine.

What was the plan?

A separatist insurgency was planned for April 2015. The first stage was to be a congress on the proclamation of the "Bessarabian Republic", after which the saboteurs planned to undermine two bridges - in Zatoka and in the village of Mayaki, and also to seize the isthmus on the border with Transnistria.

In nine "cut off" areas (Artsizsky, Belgorod-Dniester, Bolgradsky, Saratsky, Tarutinsky, Tatarbunarsky, Reni, Kiliya and Izmail) under the guise of "militias" ("green men") from Gagauzia and Transnistria, were supposed to go Russian troops.

Against the background of destabilization of the situation (in particular, by killing famous Odessa politicians and pro-Ukrainian public figures, including the people's deputy from BPP Alexei Goncharenko), in addition to separating Bessarabia, in the regional center was planned to seize the administrative buildings and, finally, the proclamation of "Odessa People's Republic". After that, the shaking of the situation in Moldova and Romania was to begin.

What is the purpose?

According to the security agencies, the project of separating Bessarabia from Ukraine was viewed in the Kremlin as a likely channel for reunification by the “LC / DNR” common border, Crimea and Transnistria.

The seizure of part of the Odessa region would have opened the way for the transfer of weapons (in particular tanks, Gradov, and Hurricanes) to the Crimea to Russian troops in Transnistria.

In general, the SBU is convinced that the Bessarabia project should have undermined the situation in the south of Ukraine and spread war and terrorism through Moldova to the European Union.

Liquidation group

On the first day of the special operation to expose the separatists , on April 8, 2015, the SBU detained over 30 people, mostly members of the pro-Russian organization "Orthodox Cossacks." During searches, documents, grenades, explosives, machine guns were seized. It was reported that the detainees acted in the interests of the Russian Federation and performed the tasks of the representatives of the “DPR / LPR”. The group planned to undermine bridges and kill politicians.

Soon the second and third stages of “cleansing” passed.

On April 29, the SBU reported the arrest of 20 people who were preparing to proclaim the so-called "Bessarabia". It was noted that the group, among other tasks, carried out ideological support for the previously detained "Orthodox Cossacks". The SBU seized electronic correspondence with coordinators in the Russian Federation and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, campaign materials, computer equipment, bank cards to finance illegal separatist actions, a significant amount of cash. Also, printing houses where separatist agitations were illegally manufactured were discovered, computer and office equipment on which these materials were made was seized.

Among the detainees were 12 activists of the Kulikovo Field.

In June 2015, the SBU said that a terrorist organization called "People's Rada of Bessarabia" no longer exists, all of its figurants were detained.

Who was behind this?

According to the SBU, the curator of the Bessarabia project was the chief adviser to the Russian presidential administration for CIS affairs, First Deputy Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation Surkov Inal Ardzinba (he is the son of Batu Ardzinba who fought against Georgia in Abkhazia).

At the end of 2015, Ardzinba was put on the international wanted list. SBU in absentia accused him of preparing encroachment on the territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as participation in the terrorist organization "DNR".

The main leaders of the group were Elena Glishchinskaya, Vitaly Didenko and Artem Buzila.

Glashchinska led the channel "New Wave" in Odessa. For directions and instructions she traveled directly to Moscow. She was detained on April 29, 2015, accused of treason. While in the SIZO, she became pregnant and gave birth to a child on April 27, 2017. On June 13, the court replaced her measure of restraint with detention on a personal obligation.

Didenko is an active participant in the Odessa anti-Maidan and editor-in-chief of the Infocenter. He was detained along with Glischinsky and accused of financing the separatist movements and the BNR organization. He went to cooperate with the investigation and admitted guilt. On September 7, 2015, he was sentenced to three years of restriction of freedom. June 14, 2016, he was pardoned by the President of Ukraine.

Artem Buzila - editor of the publication "Nazpravdi". He was arrested for four years for encroaching on the territorial integrity of Ukraine (facilitating the creation of the “BNR”), but a year later he was released under the “Savchenko law” and immediately left the territory of Ukraine.

Exchange of separatists and "Russian interest"

On June 14, 2016, Glashchinskaya and Didenko were exchange for Gennady Afanasyev and Yuriy Soloshenko, Ukrainians convicted in Russia, exchanged.

It is interesting that initially Afanasyev and Soloshenko were going to be exchanged for citizens of the Russian Federation, persons involved in the case of events in Odessa on May 2, 2014, Yevgeny Mefedov and Maskim Sakaulov, but the Russian side preferred two Ukrainian separatists.

According to Gritsak, Russia was interested in Glishchinsky and Didenko so that they could tell the details of the detention by the Ukrainian special services, their contacts with them and why the whole project failed. The SBU interpreted this as the intention of the Russian Federation "to analyze the shortcomings for the future."

How did it all end?

So, in the SBU in 2016, it was stated that the Bessarabia project failed and the hybrid war in southwest Ukraine with access to Europe did not start. According to intelligence, the so-called "FSB group in the Moscow elite" accused the Surkov-Ardzinba group of this, which caused serious disputes in the Kremlin (regarding the distribution of spheres of influence).

Now, three years later, according to the SBU, Moscow has returned to this issue, and in the Odessa region and Moldova it is again planned to loosen the situation. 

Gritsak also said that in the self-proclaimed Republic of Transnistria, near Tiraspol, the runway was restored at an airfield not far from Rybnitsa, which is capable of receiving all types of aircraft. “For us, this is also a hint,” the head of the SBU summed up.

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