The Kremlin's proxies in the Russian-occupied part of Moldova claimed on March 9 that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) had allegedly tried to assassinate Vadim Krasnoselsky, the so-called president of Transnistria.
Transnistria is a breakaway region internationally recognized as part of Moldova that has been occupied by Russia since 1992. The region hosts 1,500 Russian troops and a large Soviet-era arms depot.
The SBU denied the Russian proxies' allegations, saying that it was "a Kremlin-orchestrated provocation."
Transnistrian officials declared that they arrested several suspects, including one who was born in Tirasopol, the capital of Transnistria, but allegedly moved to Odesa several years ago, according to TV8, a Moldovan news site.
The purported terrorist plot involved a Land Rover packed with explosives capable of causing damage within a radius of several hundred meters, with the aim of targeting Transnistrian officials, TV8 said.
Russian propagandists have claimed that Ukraine, Moldova or NATO are preparing an attack on Transnistria. There is speculation that this is a facade for a Russian plan to invade or destabilize Moldova.
On Feb. 23, the Russian Defense Ministry alleged that Ukraine was preparing a provocation against Transnistria, with Ukrainian troops disguised as Russian soldiers.
Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Rechan said in an interview to Moldova's TV8 on Feb. 21 that the authorities were aware of "several" Russian destabilization scenarios, including Russia's plan to take control of the Chisinau airport in the Moldovan capital.
"We have strengthened our capabilities and are prepared for various scenarios aimed at the security of the Republic of Moldova," Rechan said, adding that "Moldova opts for a peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict and we must align our goals in terms of security, peace and stability in the region."
On Feb. 9, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukrainian intelligence had intercepted a Russian plan to destabilize the political situation and seize power in Moldova.
Russian missile strikes against Ukraine also pose a risk of the war in Ukraine spilling over into Moldova. On Feb. 16, Moldovan police patrol found part of a missile near the border village of Briceni in the country's north.
Meanwhile, Moldovan officials denied reports that Russian missiles crossed their airspace during the latest mass missile strike against Ukraine on March 9, urging the public to rely on information from official sources.