CIJM DOSSIER//Who is Leonid Manakov, who is asking Moscow for more peacekeepers. The reaction of the Reintegration Policy Office

Tatiana Gherța
Colaj CIJM

The official representative of Tiraspol in Moscow, Leonid Manakov, is asking the Russian authorities to increase the number of peacekeepers in the separatist region. While Manakov told the Russian press that it is legally possible to do so, the press service of the Reintegration Policy Bureau clarified for that only "the parties signatories of the Agreement of July 21, 1992" have the authority to make such decisions and not individuals who are not part of this mechanism.

According to the representative of the so-called Transnistrian authorities in Moscow, Leonid Manakov, the peacekeeping forces are the primary security factor on the Dniester River and the main obstacle for Chisinau and Kiev. Manakov believes that the longer Russian soldiers remain on the mission, the more the Republic of Moldova will be constrained in its ability to prepare military actions against the separatist region.

"The peacekeeping forces are the main security factor on the Dniester River and the main deterrent to the hotheaded individuals in Chisinau and Kiev. As long as Russia's peacekeeping mission continues, the Republic of Moldova is limited in its military plans and preparations against Transnistria. Transnistria has repeatedly requested an increase in the number of Russian peacekeepers, including the recruitment of military personnel among Russian citizens permanently residing in Transnistria. Therefore, this option exists and is justified, especially considering the worsening security risks, including the terrorist threat," argued Manakov. journalists highlighted the propagandistic influences of Moscow's man, Manakov, as well as attempts to legitimize the questionable independence of the Transnistrian region. Leonid Manakov, born in 1945, continues to be at the forefront of Russian ideology despite his advanced age. He is a former employee of the Russian MVD and former head of the so-called criminal militia in the separatist region. In 2016, he participated in military and later law enforcement actions in the Chechen Republic.

Leonid Manakov, Moscow's representative in Tiraspol, also heads the "Foundation for the Development of Social and Cultural Relations in Transnistria," which acts as a consulate of the separatist regime on the left bank of the Dniester and is located in the heart of Moscow. Through this foundation, the "Russian world" mimics cultural dialogue, organizing illegal referendums, questionable exchanges of experiences, and meetings where Moscow's ideological allies promote the Kremlin's expansionist rhetoric.

In a speech given at the UN Human Rights Council in October 2022, Manakov called on the international community to "recognize the independence of the Transnistrian region," a rhetoric strongly condemned by the legitimate authorities of the Republic of Moldova. He claimed that the Republic of Moldova would violate the rights of citizens on the left bank of the Dniester, and the closure of the border between Ukraine and the Transnistrian region "has led to significant restrictions on the import of essential goods, including medicines." sought a response from the Bureau of Reintegration Policies. According to the spokesperson, Mariana Sarî, it is currently unclear what the status of Leonid Manakov is, and he lacks the legal authority to make such requests.

"Firstly, it is necessary to clarify the status of the so-called representation on behalf of which Mr. Manakov presents himself. Chisinau has been awaiting clarification for over four years. Secondly, in regard to the pacification mechanism, only the signatories of the Agreement of July 21, 1992, have the authority to make decisions, and not individuals who are not part of this mechanism," stated Mariana Sarî.

We would like to clarify that currently, approximately 1,200 Russian soldiers, along with soldiers from both the left and right banks of the Dniester River, are stationed at 15 fixed posts and control points within the security zone.

Tatiana Gherța

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