Two explosions of unknown origin hit Moldova, across the border from Ukraine

Moldova’s president, Maia Sandu, convened a meeting of her security council after a series of incident in the breakaway region. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

Moldova’s president, Maia Sandu, is convening a meeting of her security council on Tuesday following a series of incidents in the breakaway Moldovan republic of Transnistria and a warning from Moscow that the Russian-backed region could be drawn into the war in Ukraine.

On Tuesday morning, local authorities said that two antennas that carried Russian radio broadcasts were blown up, the second episode of violence reported in the enclave in as many days after unknown attackers shelled the region’s state security ministry in Tiraspol with a handgrenade launcher on Monday.

Transnistria, which borders western Ukraine, is controlled by pro-Russia separatists and permanently hosts 1,500 Russian troops as well as a large arms depot.

Last week, a senior Russian commander said the goal of Russia’s new offensive was to seize control of southern Ukraine and to gain access to Transnistria, creating worries that the small east European country could become a new flashpoint in growing tensions between Moscow and the west.

Officials in Transnistria on Tuesday announced a number of new security measures, further raising concerns about a possible escalation in the breakaway state. These measures included the instalment of military checkpoints at the entrances to the cities of the region and the cancellation of the annual 9 May victory day parade.

Last week, Sandu signed into law a bill banning the orange and black striped ribbons of Saint George, which enjoy wide popularity in Russia as a way to show public support for the government and the military, a move that angered Russian officials. In the same bill, Sandu also banned the prowar signs “Z” and “V” first used by the Russian armed forces.

Source: The Guardian