Russian Armed Forces hires soldiers from Transnistria in the peacekeeping forces by ... classified advertising! Transnistrians who want to be hired in the Russian Army on contract should meet several criteria: Russian citizenship, military record with the mention "suitable for service" and a visit permission for at least one year in the region.

The ad in Makler

Deschide.MD wrote this summer about the recruitment campaign, held by the Russian Federation on the territory of Moldova. The Russians then placed information and recruitment tents in Transnistria. After publishing the article, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration took notice and urged the Russian Embassy by diplomatic channels to stop recruitment in Moldova.

Meanwhile, the recruitment staff withdrew the tents from Ternovca and Slobozia. However, the recruitment in Russian army has not stopped. The Russian authorities have placed this ad in the classified advertising in a newspaper in Tiraspol. Something like this: Russian Army, Military Service, stability, social package. The advertisement has two phone numbers.

The person who answered the cell number of one of operators from the region said that for enrollment in the Russian army is required the applicant to have Russian citizenship, official registration in Transnistria (at least one year), military record, where it is highlighted that the person is suitable for service. More details, he says, we can find out during a meeting in Tiraspol, where we should to bring all the mentioned documents. The person on the phone also said that the service on a contract basis will be done in Tiraspol and Bender, in Peacekeeping Forces of the Russian Federation.

Putin's decree from 2015

Initially, Deschide.MD assumed that this ad was placed in the context of the decree signed by Vladimir Putin in January 2015 on mercenaries in the Russian army. The decree is allowing foreigners to join the Russian army on a contract basis if you speak Russian, have a "clean" criminal record and age between 18 and 30 years. The decree also stipulates that the registration of mercenaries in the Russian army is done on Russian Federation territory. Those who placed the ad told Deschide.MD that the recruitment done by them has nothing to do with the decree of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Similar ad in Vkontakte

These are not the only ads on recruitment in the Russian army. There are other ads in the internet on enrollment in the Russian army in Transnistria. For example, on the social network Vkontakte is posted since September 2014, an ad by which young people aged between 19 and 33 are urged to sign a contract for military service in the Task force of Russian Troops (GOTR) in Transnistria. "The salary starts at 22,000 rubles (about 350 dollars) for the first level of the tariff, without considering the experience; the paid annual leave starts at 44 days and is calculated based on experience, transportation to Transnistria and back is paid, as is paid the ticket for a family member." The candidate must hold Russian citizenship. Applicants over the age of 27 years must have a university degree. All applicants must have clean criminal record. The ad's target group are residents of the Russian Federation. In that ad is mentioned that GOTR is engaged in a peacekeeping mission in Transnistria.

The retirement age for those enrolled is determined from the coefficient of a day and a half for a day and, if the soldier on a contract basis is participating in "a peacekeeping operation", the coefficient is three days for one day. "With regard to living conditions, here everything is much cheaper, an apartment can be rented for 100-150 dollars a month. The atmosphere, contrary to the information published in the media, is quiet, fights are not occurring. The only problem is the situation in Ukraine and the impossibility to cross the Ukrainian border. The arrival in Transnistria is done through the Chisinau International Airport by air, therefore a foreign passport is needed," is written in the ad.

The announcement was posted before Ukraine denounced the agreement of transit for Russian soldiers through Ukrainian territory.

A similar ad about enrollment in GOTR is also on the official website of Military Commissariat from Yaroslavl Oblast. The announcement dates from 2013.

Russian peacekeeping forces do not have a UN mandate

Alexander Zubco, expert at Promo-Lex says that enrollment through certified advertising shows that Russian peacekeeping forces have problems with rotation.

"The Russians are guided by the agreement signed by Yeltsin and Snegur in 1992, which stipulates the stationing of peacekeeping forces in Transnistria. These forces must be mandated by the UN, there are UN criteria that should be met for the mission. Transnistrian region, however, does not meet the UN criteria. Therefore, this peacekeeping mission contravenes the UN mandate," Zubco declares.

According to Zubco, in the Russian troops are enrolled people living in the Transnistrian region and that fulfill their mission alongside peacekeepers from the Russian Federation. Obviously, these Transnistrian peacekeepers in the case of a conflict will be biased.

Logically, the peacekeepers in Transnistria had to come from Bryansk Oblast, where the headquarter of the South Military District is, which includes GOTR. Normally, Moscow would have to inform Chisinau regarding the candidacy that is going to fulfill service in Transnistria. Chisinau, in turn, must approve that nomination. This however does not happen.

70% of the GOTR quota wants to go back to Russia

TIMPUL newspaper wrote in June 2016 that 70 percent of the soldiers from Task force of Russian Troops asked the permission of Moscow to leave the breakaway region.

"The presence on the territory of Moldova has become a burden for the Russian military men, imply our sources within the Joint Control Commission. Following the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, they found themselves isolated in Transnistria, not being able to go home since their return to the phantom republic became impossible. Therefore, our sources claim that 70 percent of the soldiers Task force of Russian Troops (GOTR) have asked the Ministry of Defense in Moscow to be transferred to military units of the Russian Federation," TIMPUL wrote.

Russian military men got into this situation after the Supreme Rada in Kiev adopted the law on denouncement of the Agreement on transit through Ukrainian territory of Russian military forces stationed temporarily in the Republic of Moldova in May 2015. Russian soldiers could get in the breakaway region by Chisinau airport, where, however, they are detained and deported, banned from entering the territory of Moldova again.

According to TIMPUL, there are cases in which, to avoid the check in the airport they depart from Russia to Romania and then enter Moldova by passing Prut. Moreover: both Moldovan and Ukrainian authorities have said they will not allow Russian aviation use their airspace for military supplies.