Ukraine now battle hardened is much more capable than anything Russia has in Transnitria and it is using it well for disruption only.
They are nothing like battle hardened... the battle hardened... or should I say battle numbed are on the front lines in the Donbass... most of the rest have been elsewhere and not fighting Russians directly at all... holed up waiting for the Russians to advance to where they are... they kept waiting when they stopped advancing and have been waiting since... which is a good recipie for troops that are the opposite of battle hardened because they will hear the official description of what is happening... which is success after success, but they will also note the number of troops being sent forward and lack of the people who are alive and well and massacring the Russians on the front line being rotated back for a rest.
- to show that Russia alone is not having actually fully situation under control on the ground (they have only 1500 troops there and in new circumstances are very poorly armed)
They are defending ammo and weapon stores that would last that small group for years if necessary... and most importantly they could blow it all up in place and then move around and be a rather difficult target to deal with.
-to bring world focus back to Transistria and to show to the world it as a step in Putin's dream of restoring USSSR and Russian Empire and increase fear of the Central European countries, they do not have good memories from Soviet occupation times
Who cares what they thing... relations between the west and Russia are likely going to be mostly severed by one side or the other... ensuring the people there have their rights respected is all Russia and Putin wants and they know of they don't make it happen then the freedom and peace loving west will not give it to them.
- to make Russian side guessing what Ukraine will do next, it does not bode well for Russia if Ukraine is able to further escalate and spiral conflict outside its own borders.
This game of chess there are no kings on the table so it essentially comes down to who can remove the pieces of the other side... the Ukraine has no chance because while the Ukraine has more pieces on the board they can't move them and Russia has less pieces that are highly mobile but would rather the other sides pieces leave the board volunterily and are not taken off. If needs be Russia has enough pieces to cover the entire board but they are not interested in doing that.
A Ukrainian escalation just means Putin will be free to escalate too, and the historic track record of western escalations have traditionally gone rather bad for the west or good for Russians or both... coup in Kiev, Crimea joins Russia, US support for Kurds and ISIS in Syria and Russia enters the conflict and seems to be doing an amazing job of helping Assad and Syria... just compare Syria with Libya or Afghanistan right now.
Bringing Moldova into the conflict expands the options for Russia in terms of future border dynamics and arrangements...
We can expect more weapons and support to flow now to Ukraine and much better focus and understanding how Russia is operating in the west. So far Ukraine is doing exceptionally well with cover disruptive action and information war.
Exceptionally well in the information war in the west... in the same way that Jeffery Epstein would be aquitted if the western media was on his side... it is only a crime if western media says so really... so Assange and Manning and Snowden are criminals, while whistle blowers from Iran or Iraq or China or Venezuela are heroes even if their information was a lie and started a war that killed enormous numbers of innocent people.
Concrete and sandbags on the Ukrainian side of the border suggests the Ukraine thinks Russian forces might be attacking them instead...