Transnistria and the invasion of Odessa

This is a discussion cut from my daily posting on the Russo-Ukrainian War. 

Do not think Odessa is in danger anymore from amphibious invasion. The range of a Ukrainian manufactured Neptune missile is 175 miles (280 kilometers). The distance from Odessa to Sevastopol is 188 miles (which is reported to have militarized dolphin pens). The distance from Odessa to Chisinau, the capital of land-locked Moldova (pop. 2.6 million), is about 100 miles. Finally saw an article today that backs my view of the situation: Russia struggles to turn Black Sea rule into amphibious attack. There does some to be some action on and around the now famous Snake Island, which is just off the coast of border between Romania and Ukraine. 

I do hear some talk about the Russian separatist Transnistria (pop. maybe 347,251), officially called PMR (Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic), becoming somehow involved in this war, but I don’t see it. They are pretty small and pretty isolated. Russia does have a force of 1,500 troops there based at a decommissioned Soviet-era ammunition depot at Cobasna where it guards 22,000 tons of military equipment and ammunition. This force consists of two motor rifle battalions, and independent security and support battalion, a helicopter detachment and other smaller administrative detachments. These troops also patrol and man the borders of Transnistria. Suspect the threats to activate them is more for the sake of drawing Ukrainian attention away from the main battle front. Actually activating them would drag Transnistria into the war, which being isolated and almost 200 miles from the nearest Russian units would probably end poorly for them. The “Dnestr Republic” was reported to have 4,500 to 5,500 troops and the Moldavan armed forces consisted of 6,500 troops as of 2007, with their ground forces being 5,710.

A Russian news agency (RIA) quoting the Russian defense ministry today said that 1 person was killed and 27 were missing from the sunk cruiser Moskva and the remaining 396 crew were evacuated. 396 + 1 + 27 = 424, which is less than the ship’s reported strength of 485 or 510. There are reports out there that the count of missing exceeds 27.

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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