For several days, Russian propagandists led by Vladimir Solovyov have discussed a range of wild theories relating to the pending Ukrainian counterattack. On May 3, the Russian media reported that Ukraine was moving troops to Odesa, in preparation for an attack on the Moldovan breakaway province of Transnistria.

“The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have moved thousands of soldiers to Odesa Region to prepare a provocation in Transnistria,” Russia Today reported on May 3.

According to Russian media, up to 4,000 Ukrainian troops were moved to the Odesa Region in April, Solovyov providing video ‘evidence’ on his Telegram channel. The Russians claimed that the troops were housed at a number of locations but these were switched every 2-3 days.

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Screenshot from Solovyov’s channel, May 3

As if the claim, that Ukraine would contemplate an attack on the territory of Moldova, was not the strangest aspect of his theory he went into more detail, claiming the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) were going to carry out a diversionary assault on Tiraspol, the so-called capital of Transnistria, while the actual target was an weapons storage site in the village of Kolbasna.

Map showing location of KolbasnaGoogle Maps

 

 "From May 9 to 15, a group of the Ukrainian armed forces is planning to move towards Tiraspol and organize an armed provocation to distract Russian troops. A second grouping will head to the village of Kolbasna in Transnistria to seize ammunition depots at that time," according to commentary in ‘Russia Today’.

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On Feb. 24, the Russian Defense Ministry warned that Ukraine had stepped up preparations for its invasion of Transnistria in cooperation with forces from Moldova. This theory was denied by both Moldova and Ukraine.

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