World: Moldova says it fears a Russian invasion as more neighbors ring alarm over Ukraine war

Ukraine could get any of 'a number of different' jets to rebuild its fighter fleet, but it won't be Russian, top US Air Force general says

  Ukraine could get any of 'a number of different' jets to rebuild its fighter fleet, but it won't be Russian, top US Air Force general says Swedish, French, and other European-made fighter jets are options for Ukraine, but "probably not MiGs," Gen. Charles Q. Brown said Wednesday. US-made fighter jets are only one option for Ukraine as it looks to rebuild its air force to face Russia and other threats, US Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown said on Wednesday. Ukraine has lobbied the US to provide fighter jets — particularly the F-15 and F-16 — to help it counter Russia's larger and technologically superior force since Moscow attacked its smaller neighbor in February.

Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, Pool © AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, Pool Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, Pool
  • Moldova's prime minister said her country is afraid Russia could invade it next.
  • She told CNN that the concern is a hypothetical one for now, but it was still a "risk."
  • Moldova, Ukraine's neighbor, is home to a breakaway region backed by Russian forces.

Moldova, a European country that borders Ukraine, said it fears an invasion by Russia.

"We are worried, of course," Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita told CNN in an interview aired Sunday when asked if she was worried that Russia would move into her country next.

"This is a risk, it's a hypothetical scenario for now, but if the military actions move further into the southwestern part of Ukraine and toward Odesa, then of course, we are very worried."

She highlighted the risk of Russian troops in Transnistria, a Russia-backed region that borders Ukraine and broke away from Moldova in 1992.

A senior Russian commander said in April that Russia wanted to take all of southern Ukraine, which would give it a land connection to Transnistria. Russia has since retreated from much of Ukraine, and is focusing on taking the east.

There have also been increased reports of explosions in Transnistria since Russia's invasion began.

Gavrilita said Moldova was "doing everything possible to maintain peace and stability and to ensure the fighting does not escalate" from the region.

Moldova was once part of the Soviet Union, and Gavrilita told CNN that its people backed the country to be a democracy aligned with Western values. The country also recently reached EU candidacy status.

Russia's neighbors are also worried the country may attack, and have stepped up their defenses after Russia's invasion.

Sweden and Finland have applied to join NATO, while Latvia's defense minister is looking to bring back the country's military draft.

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Germany to send Ukraine 16 bridge-laying tanks, adding to its arsenal of Western weapons, as it wages a new offensive against the Russian invasion .
Germany plans to send Ukraine Biber bridge-layer tanks to help its forces "overcome water or other obstacles in battle," the ministry said Friday.Throughout the buildup to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, NATO countries, including the US, insisted they would not send troops to the region amid concern that the presence of their personnel on the ground would lead to a dangerous escalation of the conflict.

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