"Hello" from the Transnistria conflict: 6 Ukrainians arrested in Transnistria for alleged military surveillance

15:41 Oct. 23, 2016

6 Ukrainians arrested in Transnistria for alleged military surveillance

A Russian soldier walks from the border checkpoint from Transnistria to Moldova. March 10, 2015 in Corcieri, near Chisinau, Moldova. The village is located on the border with Transnistria (Getty Images)

Ukraine's Border Service: The detainees have nothing to do with military service and couldn't conduct surveillance

 "The State Security Committee" (SSC) of separatist Transnistria has claimed they have arrested 6 citizens from Ukraine for allegedly spying, amongst them one employee of Ukraine's State Border Service.

Hromadske Radio news agency reports, the incident happened on October 19 near the village of Rotar, Camenca District of Transnistria.

"Operational servicemen of the border unit have arrested 6 citizens from Ukraine who had been conducting surveillance in the area of training of the SSC detachments", the statement of the SSC of Transnistria reads on its website.

Read also Moldova wants international observer mission in Transnistria instead of Russian forces

The spokesman of Ukraine's State Border Service Oleh Slobodian told Hromadske Radio that the detainees didn't hold any surveillance equipment.

 "Citizen Maliuta has nothing to do with a military service or State Border service. He worked part-time as a fireman in one of the (Border Service) departments", the press secretary explained.

 "They were arrested somewhere near Ukraine's borderline and were transferred to Russian military representatives in the Transnistrian part of Moldova as military persons conducting a surveillance", Slobodian added.

The detainees are still kept in the non-recognized republic of Transnistria. 

Read also Steinmeier supports special status for Transnistria within Moldova

The events in Transnistria, a "breakaway" formation separated by the Kremlin from Moldova, were instigated after the declaration of independence by Moldova in 1991. The Russian-speaking part of the Transnistrian population feared the creation of a "nationalistic" Moldovan state seeking ties intensification with its historically close neighbor – Romania. The conflict developed into the Russia-negotiated ceasefire with Moscow sending to Transnistria a contingent of "peacekeepers", which is still based there.

The conflict is considered unresolved, and occasional negotiations on the crisis are held by Moldova, Ukraine, Russia and the West. 

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