Friday 25 November 2022

The Struggle For Relevance: Transnistria’s Fighting Vehicles

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Transnistria, or the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR) as it is officially called, is a breakaway state situated between Moldova and Ukraine that has largely escaped the world's attention ever since its self-proclaimed independence as a Soviet republic in 1990 and the subsequent violent secession from Moldova in 1992. When Transnistria took control over most of the weapons storage depots located on its territory, it inherited large amounts of highly specialised vehicles while being left without any significant numbers of (self-propelled) artillery or infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs). The limited amount of such equipment that was present in Transnistria was returned to Russia after the conclusion of hostilities, leaving the PMR with an extensive arsenal of engineering vehicles only in service with a few countries in the world, while being almost completely deprived of equipment such as artillery and IFVs. 
In the years since, Transnistria has sought to supplement its vehicle park with a number of homegrown vehicle designs. Many of these are based on existing AFVs, which are then modified to suit an entirely new role. Arguably the best examples of this are the BTRG-127 'Bumblebee' armoured personnel carrier (APC), the MT-LB self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG), the 'Transvee' infantry mobility vehicle (IMV) and the 'Pribor-2' multiple rocket launcher (MRL). [1] [2] [3] [4] Due to a lack of any towed and self-propelled artillery in its inventory, Transnistria was also forced to repurpose its ancient 100mm KS-19 anti-aircraft guns as conventional artillery. With little other options available in the way of gaining new military equipment, Transnistria is sure to unveil other curious design solutions in the future as it struggles to maintain a relevant fighting force.

Our list of Moldova's inventory of armoured fighting vehicles can be viewed here.

This list attempts to list all AFV types currently in service with the Transnistrian Army. This list only includes vehicles and equipment of which photographic evidence is available. ATGMs, MANPADS, trucks and jeeps are not included in the list.
(Click on the vehicle or equipment type to get a picture of them)


Armoured Fighting Vehicles


Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Missile Systems

Infantry Fighting Vehicles


Armoured Personnel Carriers


Infantry Mobility Vehicles

Technicals And Fast Attack Vehicles

Command Posts And Communications Stations


Engineering Vehicles And Equipment

Towed Artillery


Multiple Rocket Launchers

Towed Anti-Aircraft Guns


Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Guns


Reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

[1] A Forgotten Army: Transnistria’s BTRG-127 ’Bumblebee’ APCs
[2] DIY On The Dniester: Russia’s Transnistrian SPAAG
[3] Ingenuity In Isolation: Transnistria’s Humvee Copy
[4] A Forgotten Army: Transnistria Unveils New Type Of Multiple Rocket Launcher
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