Moldova laments 90 Percent Of Military Equipment Is Outdated

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A large part of Moldova’s military equipment dates back to Soviet times and is in urgent need of replacement, Defense Minister Anatolie Nosatii told RFE/RL, adding that the money allocated by the government for defense amounts to a small sum but is still important for its badly underfunded and underequipped army.

Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest countries, was part of the Soviet Union until 1991, when it declared independence. It has a long border with Ukraine and has been hosting hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees since the start of Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has some 1,500 troops in Moldova’s Moscow-backed separatist region of Transdniester, a sliver of land sandwiched between Moldova proper and Ukraine.

“Some 90 percent [of our military equipment] is of Soviet origin and dates back to the 1960s to the 1980s…. You cannot modernize a ZIL-131 [military truck] or an antiaircraft system made in the 1970s,” Nosatii said.

The pro-European government of President Maia Sandu accelerated its EU bid after Russia invaded Ukraine and in June was given candidate status alongside Ukraine.

Moldova’s armed forces consists of 6,500 professional personnel, while 2,000 conscripts are being recruited annually for compulsory military service. The military also employs 2,000 civilians as auxiliary personnel.

Photo courtesy Moldova Army

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