Christ on a fucking cracker. Seriously.
You know, I am quite certain that I am literally the only person on the planet who has had regular run-ins with the police in Romania, Moldova, and Pridnestrovie. Furthermore, beyond the fact that I was (and remain) a foreigner during these interactions, what makes it all even weirder is that I am not a criminal.
Indeed, although I’ve been “detained” a half dozen times, I’ve never once been arrested, and I’ve certainly never been charged with a crime, much less convicted of any criminal offense. I just don’t have the “common sense” to be an obedient little sheep like most folks in these parts, so I keep tangling with the stupid cops.
So listen to me when I tell you that the police forces in all three countries are mindbogglingly incompetent in a way that’s quite difficult to understand from an objective point of view, and the PMR government just fucked over the most high-profile case they’ve had in years.
Thin Blue Line
But before we get into this week’s big event in PMR, it’s important to understand that the way the police are organized in this region of the world is different than in the USA or Britain.
First, all the police are part of a national administration (called the Interior Ministry), not a local or regional one, even if the actual police officers on the ground serve in their home towns or local regions.
Secondly, broadly speaking, the police in all three countries are organized into completely separate and independent divisions along these lines:
- Border patrol/enforcement
- Traffic enforcement
- Criminal investigation
- Crowd control
- Prison guards and management
- State/national security service
- General policing
In other words, if you’re a traffic cop, you’ll never get to “transfer” over to border patrol or even general policing because you work for traffic enforcement and traffic enforcement alone.
In PMR, the three divisions that deal with the public on a daily basis (customs, border patrol, and traffic enforcement) are staffed by professional, courteous, and highly competent people.
On the other hand, the “general police” division (known locally as the “militia” for complex, Soviet-related reasons) is full of the biggest dumbasses in the country. Frankly, if they ever manage to successfully find a stolen car, it’d be a minor miracle.
Believe me, I spent two hours in a Tiraspol police station a while back trying to get a single one of the morons in there to show me the definition of “theft” in the criminal code, and none of them could do it, either in an online format or in a printed book of laws and regulations.
This was after our landlord stole my wife’s laptop computer, which the police refused to believe was “stealing” until I informed them that the computer was in the landlord’s car at that very moment, and that I was going to go “not steal” it back while they sat around and kept blabbering their nonsense.
The longer I stayed there and argued with them, the more officers wandered in to join in on all the “fun,” and it wasn’t long before some more senior guys barged in to start shouting and yelling their usual nonsense.
And it wasn’t long after that before the captain showed up, and the reason I knew that he was the captain was literally because he was not wearing a uniform of any kind.
That’s right. Once you get to be a big enough “cheese” in the PMR police, you basically never do any work at all and just spend your day surfing the internet, yelling at subordinates, and running personal errands while wearing a fucking track suit without the slightest bit of shame or embarrassment that you’re out of uniform.
Anyway, it was these morons in the police, with a hefty assist from the political leadership of Pridnestrovie, that fucked up their biggest case in years this week.
The MGB Takes Center Stage
Last week, in the afternoon hours of March 9, the state-run news agency alerted its readers to a rare emergency bulletin (🇷🇺) from the MGB that said that they had caught two Ukrainian terrorists red-handed with a bomb.
The MGB is the successor agency of the KGB in Pridnestrovie and is equivalent to the SRI in Romania, SIS in Moldova, MI5 in Britain, or FBI in the United States.
Frankly, there’s not really a whole heck of a lot for the MGB to do in PMR anymore. Firstly, it doesn’t operate any offices or spies or agents outside of the country, instead wholly relying on the Russian government (FSB) for that kind of information.
Secondly, there isn’t a whole lot of anti-government activity inside PMR. That’s largely due to the fact that PMR isn’t “internationally recognized,” so every single person here has the legal option to get a passport from another country (Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, and/or Russia) and then get out, if they really don’t like it here. Third, PMR is a rather stable, peaceful country without any criminal gangs, mafias, or wide-spread crime of any type.
That’s why, as you might remember, it was not totally surprising when the MGB was caught completely flat-footed last Easter when three Ukrainian terrorists rode into town and fired rocket-powered grenades at the MGB headquarters in downtown Tiraspol.
The perpetrators of that heinous attack were never caught or even identified, showing just how incompetent and useless the MGB is. Let me tell ya, if I spoke fluent Russian, I would’ve gone down there and chewed them out myself for being so disorganized that they couldn’t even get together an APB, for fuck’s sake.
Anyway, the MGB’s luck seemed to have turned last week when they announced that they had arrested two Ukrainian terrorists. But the brief bulletin contained a strange coda at the end, saying that “Much more information will be given in tonight’s [state-run] news broadcast.”
Why? Why include that detail? Of course, the news was going to cover a big arrest like that of a terrorist (here (🇷🇺) is a text version). This is what the news does every time the police make a big arrest, so why mention that at all? And why not just give all the details in the MGB bulletin and instead make people wait to watch it on the TV news?
I swear, as soon as I saw that little line about “more details on the news tonight,” I knew something was fucked. That’s why I’ve waited until now to write about it.
On top of all my dealings with the police, I’m also in the unique position of having spent dozens of hours down at the state-run TV news station here in Tiraspol as well.
Originally, I went down there to shoot a brief interview along the lines of “hey, golly, another foreigner loves Tiraspol,” but I later got shanghaied into helping them do some English-language voiceovers for some tourist videos, so I spent quite a lot of time down there.
To that end, I can aver that the young people in the editing rooms are extremely competent and fast workers. On their computers, they can professionally edit and assemble videos way faster than I ever could during my movie making days, and they churn out high-quality stuff on a daily basis.
Therefore, it was no surprise that the news broadcast was a professionally edited, well-done 22-minute segment on how two Ukrainian terrorists had been arrested and how they had planned to use a car packed with explosives to create a mass casualty event in downtown Tiraspol.
The video, which was later posted on YouTube (as all PMR news broadcasts are), was entirely in Russian with the automatic closed captioning (subtitles) disabled, as is the norm. Yet within hours, it was taken down by YouTube, most likely at the behest of the Ukrainian government, saying it was “spreading misinformation.”
Here’s roughly what the video contained:
- A voiceover explaining what the terrorists had confessed to and were planning to do.
- Lots of B-roll from the city of Tiraspol, especially the flower market.
- Clips of the (lead) terrorist confessing to preparing the attack.
- Clips provided by the MGB of the explosives and other items seized from the terrorists.
- Clips from PMR’s chief prosecutor, Anatoly Guretsky, explaining the criminal charges.
The B-roll was typical, high-quality stuff that viewers of PMR (including myself) are used to, and the voiceover laid out the plan whereby the terrorists were going to place the bomb (in the car) in front of the president’s office and then remotely detonate it on March 8.
March 8 is International Women’s Day, and it is a big deal around here. Furthermore, the president’s office is only about 100 meters from the biggest flower market in Tiraspol, so there obviously would’ve been a lot of people in this area buying flowers on March 8.
The PMR Prosecutor Gunetsky’s clips were exactly what you’d expect, sort of dry and with lots of technical talk.
But it was the confession and the MGB footage of the items recovered that were distinctly odd.
The alleged terrorist is a guy named Vyacheslav Kisnichan, also known as Vyacheslav Sarazhinsky. He was born in PMR in 1979 (making him 44-45 years old now) during the Soviet era, and his family or “last” name at that time was Sarazhinsky.
However, in 2011, he decided to move to Odessa (Ukraine), and somewhere along the way he acquired Ukrainian citizenship while switching his last name to Kisnichan (his mother’s maiden name).
Exactly what he was up to during the past 12 years is unknown, but he was basically a low-level criminal and thug with charges in Ukraine for things like drug possession, burglary, and “hooliganism.”
Last year, when the war in Ukraine began, this guy got hooked up somehow with the SBU (Ukraine’s state security agency), probably to get out of being conscripted and thrown onto the front lines against Russian troops.
The SBU then allegedly gave him some basic spy training and some camera gear and then sent him back to Pridnestrovie around October of 2022, and since he’s a PMR citizen, he didn’t need any special papers or do stuff like register as a refugee.
I can’t say for sure where he was living in PMR all that time, but I did see that the vehicle (a Land Rover) he was allegedly going to use was registered in Bender (aka Tighina), PMR.
Several things about his video confession were very weird. First, recorded police confessions generally involve a camera that is positioned very close to the person asking the questions. This means that the suspect is either looking at the camera or close to it when they speak.
But in all the videos I saw, the camera was positioned way off to the side, approximately 90 degrees from where Kisnichan was sitting, and it’s not even clear that he knew it was there. Furthermore, the audio quality is poor, another indicator that this was less than a professional set-up for an interview slash confession.
Secondly, Kisnichan appeared to be completely relaxed throughout. He didn’t look drunk, high, anxious, or otherwise agitated or disturbed. He certainly didn’t look frightened or cowed either. Instead, he just spoke very matter of factly about everything as though he were describing the plot to a movie he saw in the theaters last week.
Third, the only thing visible in the camera frame is Kisnichan and the bench he is sitting on, and behind him is only a bare white wall.
I admit that I’ve never been in the MGB building, but all the cop offices I’ve seen in PMR, Moldova, and Romania are cluttered with all kinds of crap on the walls, especially awards and citations, and it’s very common for interior walls to be painted in two different colors.
Anyway, despite all this, the news segment seemed like a slam dunk. Kisnichan admitted to working for the SBU as part of a plan to blow up a Land Rover to try and kill as many people as possible during the March 8 holiday.
Add that to the recovered car, the explosives (8 kilograms of RDX), the way the explosives were packed in ball bearings and metal screws to maximize the shrapnel damage, the messages on his phone from his handlers, and other evidence, and it seemed like an open-and-shut case.
Beside the ringleader, Vyacheslav Kisnichan, a second man was also arrested in Tiraspol by the name of Igor Sikaylo (there were no video clips of him confessing to anything).
Sikaylo is not from PMR but is from Ukraine (Odessa region) and entered PMR as a “refugee.” Two other Ukrainian “refugees” were also identified as being part of the plot, and were supposedly the ones who bought the Land Rover, but they left PMR long ago.
As I mentioned, Ukraine got its co-conspirators in Silicon Valley to get the PMR news video taken down from YouTube right away.
Nonetheless, all of the Russian and pro-Russian media jumped on this story, as you’d expect, and PMR President Krasnoselsky had to put out an appeal for people here not to foment any anti-Ukrainian stuff due to the acts of a few bad apples.
Oddly, though, PMR’s foreign minister (Vitaly Ignatiev) decided to insert himself into the case as well and started talking about going to the United Nations to “deliver evidence” or give some sort of speech or testimony about everything. Not quite sure how that’s going to happen, if it ever does.
The Moldovan authorities, just as expected, reacting by first demanding that Tiraspol hand over all the evidence so that the “legitimate authorities” (i.e. Chisinau) could investigate, which is a laugh.
The Moldovans then said that they had no way to “corroborate” Tiraspol’s evidence against Kisnichan and Sikaylo, which duh, of course not. They then concluded by saying that PMR is full of shit, and the whole story is a Russian “provocation.”
Ukraine, as expected, denied the whole thing and said it was all a Russian lie.
The Western media, likewise, downplayed the entire thing and made it seem like a giant nothing burger. Because, of course, it is forbidden to criticize the government of Ukraine in any way, and also, duh, PMR is full of dirty liars and cigarette smugglers LOL
Frankly, though, this is where the story should’ve ended, except for the coda in a few weeks’ time that Kisnichan and Sikaylo were convicted in court and sentenced to lengthy prison sentences.
But it didn’t end there, did it? No, of course. Because the police in PMR are fucking idiots.
Change of Plans
Originally, the timeline of how the terrorists were caught went like this:
- On March 3, 2023, someone with half a working brain at the MGB saw on their surveillance cameras that Kisnichan was installing some kind of clandestine video surveillance device of his own on or near the president’s office (it’s in a residential neighborhood with a playground literally next door).
- Incredibly, the police got their asses in gear and actually caught up to the guy (Kisnichan) and arrested him before he could disappear.
- Between March 4-8, Kisnichan leads the police to his accomplice Sykaylo, who is also arrested, and to the Land Rover packed with explosives.
- The MGB carefully video documents the removal of the explosives from Land Rover and show how it was designed to create massive amounts of shrapnel.
- The MGB video records Kisnichan’s confession, which includes the plan to set off the bomb on the March 8 holiday.
- On March 9, the MGB publishes its bulletin and everything is put together for the big evening news broadcast.
Well, guess what I saw yesterday, to my utter dismay?
PMR’s Chief Prosecutor, Anatoly Guretsky, decided to hold himself a lengthy press conference (🇷🇺) in front of a grand total of four people (all of them state-run media journalists) to announce that the terrorist Kisnichan actually had a different plan all along!
Listen, I don’t know Guretsky that well, and I’ve never met him or even seen him on TV before, but he is an extremely poor speaker, often mumbling his words, and it is quite evident that he is not used to speaking in public. He had trouble figuring out which way to look during his conference, and he seemed almost nervous, in an excited way.
According to Guretsky, the original terrorist plan was actually to set off a bomb to kill the OSCE delegation (🇷🇺) that visited Bender (aka Tighina) on February 14, 2023.
The OSCE is the “international” body that, among other things, is the coordinator of the peace talks aka “final settlement” negotiations between PMR and Moldova stemming all the way back to the 1992 conflict.
These days, the OSCE delegation mostly just listens to PMR complain (legitimately) about harassment from the Moldovan government, and nothing ever changes.
Yes, it’s a pro forma thing, but since it is headed by outsiders (from Macedonia this year per the rotating leadership agreement inside the OSCE), it’s really the only way that PMR and Moldova can sit down at the table to discuss anything.
And precisely because so many foreign diplomats are involved in the OSCE delegation, this whole alleged Ukrainian terrorism thing takes on a completely different dimension now. Instead of a few pro-Russian nobodies here in Tiraspol getting blown up, now it involves prestigious people from “real” countries in Europe!
So, what the fuck happened? Were the terrorists going to blow up the president’s office and kill a bunch of civilians at the flower market on March 8? Or was their plan to assassinate a bunch of foreign diplomats on an official mission to Bender? And why the hell was this not mentioned during the big March 9 television news special?
Incredibly, according to the mook Guretsky, it was only via “further examination” of Kisnichan’s phone that evidence was discovered about the planned attack on the OSCE delegation.
And what is this evidence, you might ask? I’ll tell you. It is a video recorded on an ordinary smartphone from inside a public bus. Yes, that’s right. I’ve ridden the number 19 bus dozens of times (it shuttles between Tiraspol and Bender) and recognized it instantly.
What this guy Kisnichan filmed was nothing more and nothing less than the bus having to stop for a few seconds as the OSCE motorcade passed by. It was obviously a total coincidence that the bus had to pause for a moment at that intersection for the motorcade to drive past.
As for why Kisnichan filmed it, I have no idea, but there is no way in hell anyone could have known that the bus would pass by the entrance of the fortress (part of its normal route) at the exact moment that the OSCE motorcade cruised by on its way to a meeting inside the fortress (it’s a huge complex and the #1 tourist attraction in PMR).
However, Guretsky claimed with a straight face that this video was all part of Kisnichan’s master plan to blow up the OSCE convoy of armored vehicles, a convoy that is always flanked by a police escort.
Furthermore, Guretsky claimed that Kisnichan only called off the attack because of how “difficult” it would be to flee to Moldova (and then on to Ukraine) afterward. But that is utter nonsense.
If Kisnichan had a way of remotely detonating the bomb in Tiraspol (on March 8), why couldn’t he do the same in February in Bender? After all, it’s literally three kilometers from the Bender fortress to the Moldovan exclave of Varnita while the Moldovan border is more than 20 kilometers away from downtown Tiraspol.
What the flippity fuck? And why is Guretsky taking point on this case, anyway? I’ve been living in PMR for years, and I’ve never once seen him on television, talking about any case. Is he making a bid for a future presidential run or what?
Now, nothing makes sense, and the entire thing looks like a joke. Supposedly, this guy Kisnichan has been running around PMR for six months or so, surveilling and following various government officials and their families.
Then, all of a sudden, he goes from low-level spying to being part of a master plan to acquire and remotely detonate weapons-grade explosives in a mass casualty terrorist event? Or plot to assassinate Macedonian and Austrian diplomats? At the behest of the Ukrainian government?
And all of this is predicated on a shitty, smartphone video taken inside of a public bus and a lackadaisical on-camera confession? Utter bollocks.
Look, I firmly believe that the SBU is capable of sending a dipshit like Kisnichan to PMR to do some very low-level surveillance work in exchange for not getting conscripted into the Ukrainian military. Kisnichan is a worthless criminal thug and obviously would be glad to take the “job,” and his PMR citizenship and familiarity with Tiraspol and Bender just made setting it up all that easier.
But something is missing between some low-level spy shit and a coordinated assassination attempt against foreign diplomats in Bender or a mass casualty terrorist attack in Tiraspol.
Furthermore, while eight kilograms of RDX packed in nails and metal screws is more than enough to kill dozens of people at a flower market, the way the president’s office is situated well off the street means that it’s highly unlikely that even the windows would’ve been cracked, much less any government officials inside (such as President Krasnoselsky, who certainly wasn’t working on March 8) getting hurt.
Frankly, it really feels as though the MGB caught this guy Kisnichan installing a camera somewhere, arrested him, started going through his phone, and then he just started blabbing all kinds of shit to them. Whether that was to “impress” the police or for some other reason, I can’t say, but none of the clips I’ve seen from his confession feel like a guy unburdening himself for being on the precipice of committing mass murder.
And what, exactly, is Gunetsky’s (and Ignatiev’s) angle here? To speak in front of the United Nations as some kind of “testimony” of the atrocities committed by the SBU? That seems unlikely as everyone there will have their minds made up before a single word is uttered.
Is this new “revelation” about the OSCE delegations supposed to dissuade Macedonia and/or Austria from further support for Ukraine? Is it designed to get them to take the assassination allegations seriously? Is the OSCE supposed to now do its own investigation?
Or maybe this is some “master plan” by the Tiraspol government to “prove” to the OSCE that Tiraspol is a genuine victim in order to pressure Moldova into finally fulfilling all the things it’s promised it will do to the OSCE over the years? I don’t know. I really don’t fucking know.
What I do know is that Gunetsky is pulling some kind of power play, and that he is hopelessly out of his depth on anything substantive relating to this case. For goodness’ sake, the man fell to pieces giving a press conference in front of four friendly journalists (who asked zero questions).
And where is the MGB in all this? They haven’t mentioned a word since March 9, and there’s no information about the “new revelations” on their website. It’s also unclear whether they’re even done interrogating Kisnichan or whether some new and even more “amazing” terrorist plans are yet to be revealed.
All I can say for sure is that the PMR government has gotten itself involved in some very foolish and stupid shit here. You can’t just go around making allegations against the neighboring Ukrainian government without having some solid evidence to back it up, especially when roughly 25% of the PMR population is Ukrainian (ethnic and/or citizens and/or refugees).
Who knows? Maybe Kisnichan really is a master terrorist who was only stopped in the nick of time by the investigative prowess of the PMR police. But even if that is true, the PMR government now looks like a bunch of ridiculous idiots for making up wild claims that just get more colorful and exaggerated by the day.
And there’s no better proof of this than the fact that YouTube hasn’t taken down a single one of the dozens of PMR news videos on the topic, including a new upload of the original “prime time” news special.
What a pathetic joke…
One thought on “PMR Snatches Defeat From the Jaws of Victory (Again)”
Gee, Putler is spitting out propaganda about ukrainians being nazis, satanists and terrorists and he’s transnarnian puppets jumped to “prove” he’s right. I’m shocked, i totally wasn’t expecting this. Seems legit to me…
Anyway, are you stealing laptops for a living now?