John Helmer: NATO Regime Change in Maldova After Russia Drone Boat Attack

John Helmer:

Here is the Zatoka Bridge in better days




The military, political and strategic significance of the Zatoka bridge as NATO’s supply route to the eastern front of the Ukrainian forces has become clear since the first demolition attack last April.  The US propaganda platform Bloomberg revealed the bridge’s military role last May, when road and rail hubs in the area were hit.

Bloomberg map and labelling. Source:

Strikes against the rail lines in the vicinity were recorded in July  and in August.  Russian targeting of the Ukrainian rail network was analyzed last December by a Russian source here.   With each one of these operations, Moscow was sending a warning to Romania, Moldova, France and NATO that if they escalated and attempted to join the Ukrainian battlefield with their weapons, military experts and advisers, running the gauntlet of the Zatoka bridge, they would be attacked.

NATO escalation followed. Romania has been showing off its French tanks, Israeli drones, and US HIMARS missile batteries since last December;  it is paying at least $6 billion for the new military equipment, spending 2.3% of its Gross Domestic Product on defence – a higher proportion than any other NATO member state except the US.

French AMX armoured fighting vehicles and Le Clerc tanks flying French and NATO flags on “exercise” in Romania in the last week of January. These weapons remain on Romanian territory. Sources: and

The escalation of NATOs warfighting weapons and operational plans in Romania during January put pressure on the Moldovan government next door, and the country’s Prime Minister Gavrilita, to allow the transit of these weapons across Moldovan territory and into the Ukraine, via the Zatoka bridge. Between Smardan, on the Romanian side of the border with Moldova, and Zatoka is a road distance of just over 300 kilometres. Smardan is the location of the French and Romanian “exercises” last month. 


The pressure proved too much for Gavrilita who, though pro-NATO personally and willing to agree to the transit herself, was afraid that public and political opposition among Moldovans might block the roads, triggering countrywide protests and visible resistance to Moldova’s joining the war against Russia. The US, French, and NATO reaction was to replace Gavrilita with Dorin Recean. US university-educated like the Romanian President, Maia SanduRecean has been paid a US salary for many years,  As Recean  substituted for Gavrilita and took office in Chisinau, the Russian General Staff delivered its warning to him at Zatoka. That wasn’t the only Russian military warning Recean was given that day.  

Gavrilita’s exit statement revealed her reluctance to continue in office. She repeated to the Financial Times of London her personal anti-Russian line and her fear of pro-Russian sentiment among Moldovan voters. “If the government had the same support at home, we would have progressed faster,” she said. To the newspaper she added that “Moldova was being subjected to hybrid warfare by Russia, including disinformation, cyber attacks and influence operations.” .  The Japanese-owned propaganda organ against both Russia and China omitted to report the French and US military deployments in Romania, the Russian operation at Zatoka, and the Ukraine supply operation in Moldova.  

The Romanian government has now indicated its nervousness, announcing that no Russian missile had entered its airspace last week after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed that it had.  

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