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Moldova finds Russian drone debris near Ukraine border

by Martin Fornusek February 12, 2024 8:35 AM 2 min read
Russian Shahed-type drone fragments found on Moldovan territory on Feb. 11, 2024. (Moldovan Border Police)
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Moldovan authorities on Feb. 11 discovered fragments of a Shahed-type drone in the Moldova-Ukraine border area not long after a Russian drone strike against Odesa Oblast, the Moldovan Border Police reported.

Russian forces launched three waves of "kamikaze" drones against Odesa Oblast overnight on Feb. 9-10, targeting Odesa and Danube port infrastructure in the Izmail district. Four people were reported injured.

Chisinau suspects that the drone found on its territory was downed by Ukrainian defenses during the Feb. 9-10 attack.

According to Moldova, drone debris was found near the village of Etulia, a Moldovan border settlement some 15 kilometers northeast of the Ukrainian Danube port of Reni and almost 40 kilometers northwest of Izmail.

"We note that there are no risks or dangers for the communities in the area," Moldovan authorities added.

Access to the crash site was restricted, and the fragments were sent for expertise, the Border Police said.

"Russia's war on Ukraine hits close to home in Moldova — again. The discovery of Shahed drone debris in southern Moldova today serves as another stark reminder of the grim reality we face," Moldovan President Maia Sandu said.

"Russia's aggression endangers the entire continent. Support for Ukraine must continue."

Previously, Russian drone strikes against Odesa Oblast led to drone debris being found also on Romanian soil in the autumn of 2023. In response, Bucharest instituted additional security measures in the border region, which included building shelters and air defense systems.

Turkish F-16 fighter jets stationed in Romania were scrambled during the Russian attack on Odesa Oblast on Feb. 9-10.

​​ISW: Russia sets conditions to destabilize Moldova
The Kremlin prepares for destabilizing Moldova, likely as a part of the efforts to hinder its EU integration, among other objectives, the U.S.-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote in its Jan. 28 assessment.
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