What to Know:
Moldovan Border Police forces have reported that debris from a Russian Shahed drone was recovered near the town of Etulia along the border with Ukraine. No injuries or damage were reported.
Instances of Russian drones crossing into neighboring countries will continue to happen as Russian forces target Ukrainian port infrastructure along the Danube River.
A brief statement released by the Border Police reported that “today, February 11, 2024, in the area of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border, near the town of Etulia, Vulcanesti district, fragments of a “Shahed” type drone were detected.”
“According to the information of the Ukrainian authorities, a drone attack took place on the night of February 9 to 10 on the Izmail region, on the territory of Ukraine, near the border with the Republic of Moldova. There is a suspicion that the detected drone debris is one of the drones shot down by the Ukrainian anti-aircraft system.”
Poli?ia de Frontier? informeaz? c? în zona frontierei moldo-ucrainene, în apropierea localit??ii Etulia, au fost depistate fragmente de dron?.
Potrivit datelor preliminare, resturile depistate ar fi de la una din dronele doborâte de sistemul anti-aerian ucrainean. pic.twitter.com/NU9akumEAb
— Ruslan Soltan (@ruslan_soltan) February 11, 2024
“We note that there are no risks or dangers for the communities in the area, and the authorities have taken all the necessary measures to maintain a climate of order, peace and public safety,” the statement added.
Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mihai Popsoi, posted to X that “We condemn Russia’s constant barbaric attacks agains Ukraine, which also directly affects Moldova. Remnants of Shahed drone, found today in the south of the country near the border, are a stark reminder of the violence and destruction sown by the Kremlin.”
Why it Matters:
The past several months have seen multiple instances of Russian explosive drones crossing into neighboring countries during attacks against port infrastructure along the Danube River.
Back in September 2023, an explosive drone landed in Romanian territory during Russian attacks against the Ukrainian port of Izmail. A similar incident was also reported in December 2023. In both instances, Romanian officials condemned Russia for violating national sovereignty, however, the Ministry of Defense stated that “at no time did Russia’s means of attack generate direct military threats on Romanian national territory or waters.”
The remains of a Russian Shahed-136/Geran-2 loitering munition were found on the territory of Romania following last night's Russian attack on Ukrainian port infrastructure on the Danube river.
As a result of the impact, a 1.5 meters-deep crater was created. Romanian services… pic.twitter.com/YqdnmM4Jmu
— Status-6 (Military & Conflict News) (@Archer83Able) December 14, 2023
Unlike Romania, Moldova is not part of NATO, so there is no fears of triggering Article IV or V. Despite this, Moldova could take economic or political action against Russia in response to the drone landing in its territory.
As Russia continues to attack Ukrainian port infrastructure along the Danube River, we will likely see further incidents of drones or drone debris crossing into neighboring countries, such as Romania and Moldova, albeit unintentional.