A new pro-European coalition looks likely to take power in Moldova, putting an end to months of political turmoil, after the surprise defection of 14 lawmakers from the opposition Communist Party.
Moldova, a tiny ex-Soviet republic sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, has been effectively rudderless since a no-confidence motion toppled the previous government in October following the fraudulent disappearance of $1 billion from the banking system of Europe's poorest country.
If Russia can reincorporate Moldova--leveraging Moscow's position in the "separatist" Transnistria--into the reborn Russian empire, Ukraine has a major problem deep in its rear to tie down Ukraine's relatively small armed forces needed to confront Russia in the east and in Crimea.
UPDATE: Well, Putin made up for the loss in the Donbas:
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine reports it has no access to the village of Kominternove, which belonged to the so-called grey zone, being located 23 km from the Ukrainian-controlled strategic port city of Mariupol in Donetsk region, and which was reported to have been occupied by militants from the Donetsk People's Republic ("DPR") terrorist organization on Tuesday.
They're digging in to hold the ground.
Remember, as our administration teams up with Russia and Iran to save Assad by focusing on ISIL, Russia continues to occupy Ukrainian territory and continues to claw away more ground.