Reporter.London and The Daily Beast expose plight of Transnistrian dissident opposing Putin’s Ukraine invasion

US website The Daily Beast published an article in collaboration with Reporter.London on October 25, highlighting the unjust imprisonment in Transnistria of Victor Pleșcanov, 58, for expressing criticism against Russia and support for Ukraine amid dictator Vladimir Putin’s war of genocide.

Pleșcanov, a working-class man with a sense of humour and a natural desire to speak up against the kleptocratic authorities in this Russia-occupied separatist enclave on Moldovan territory, was sentenced to three years and two months in prison by a kangaroo court, for having the temerity to display a Ukrainian flag on his balcony in Tiraspol, and for social media posts critical of the Russian-backed regime.

A map showing the geography of Moldova and Transnistria (creative commons license)

Although Transnistria is not recognised internationally, it remains under the control of a local set of oligarchs and security officials subordinated to the Kremlin, acting outside of the authority of the legitimate government of Moldova, while enjoying economic and military protection from Moscow, which has occupied this territory since 1992 when it waged a brief war against Moldova’s independence as the Soviet empire collapsed.

Pleșcanov’s case shows growing alignment between Tiraspol and Moscow in terms of suppressing dissent, and raises the question of why global war sanctions have so far spared this separatist cut-out and its leaders.

While Transnistria has not entered the Ukraine war directly due to its lack of modern military equipment and no access to Russian supply lines, Putin has recruited fighters from this territory for his invasion of Ukraine, and is using his control of the de facto authorities in Tiraspol to wage hybrid war on Moldova proper, which has democratically elected a pro-Western president and government who oppose Russia.

Read the entire story here on The Daily Beast website.