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Where is Transnistria and why does it matter?

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By Euronews
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A coat of arms of Transnistria - Moldova's pro-Russian breakaway region on the eastern border with Ukraine - in Transnistria's capital of Tiraspol, September 11, 2021
A coat of arms of Transnistria - Moldova's pro-Russian breakaway region on the eastern border with Ukraine - in Transnistria's capital of Tiraspol, September 11, 2021   -   Copyright  SERGEI GAPON / AFP

Moldova and Transnistria have been engaged in a so-called frozen conflict for two decades but some fear Russia's invasion of Ukraine could spark a flare-up in violence.

Three explosions rocked the pro-Russia breakaway region this week, targeting two radio towers that broadcast in Russian.

Moscow and Kyiv have blamed each other for the flare-up in tensions, accusing each other of wanting to drag Moldova and Transnistria into the conflict Russia sparked when it invaded Ukraine on 24 February. 

The small enclave, sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine, unilaterally declared itself independent in the early 1990s but is not recognised by any other country worldwide. 

But Russia has a small contingent of 1,500 troops in the region it says are peacekeepers. 

Watch the video in the top player above for our report.