Tiraspol is a capital of Transnistria region which is part of Moldova territory situated eastern part of the country. Shortly, we could call it a forgotten remnant of the Soviet Union. Region is an unrecognized country hidden behind a heavily militarized border between Moldova and Ukraine. The region is also known as the “Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic” (or “PMR”), Transnistria is one of the frozen conflict zones that emerged following the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.
For everyone who wants to visit this place - tourists can enter Transnistria either by train, or by driving across the border – we got in on foot from Ukraine. Although, the latter approach means passing through various military checkpoints, complete with tanks and armed guards. Which is relatively interesting if you ask us, and they all want to know whether you are not a journalist. From the moment we entered we were followed by very odd stares and as we covered the whole capital on foot, we understood that it is not just our imagination.
Almost every country in the world refuses to acknowledge the independence of Transnistria region, nevertheless, this autonomous territory features its own presidential government, a national flag, anthem and even a currency – Transnistrian Ruble. They have adapted and speaking Russian language, you can find everything written in Cyrillic here.
What we found most notable about Transnistria – Tiraspol in particular – is the prevalence of Soviet symbols. It is on completely different level than Ukraine, Belarus or any other post-Soviet country we have seen before. Transnistria goes one step further – referring to itself as a “Soviet state”. Communist motifs appear everywhere from schools and universities, to the nation’s hammer-and-sickle flag. Meanwhile, Tiraspol’s parliament still meets in the city’s “Dom Sovetov” or, “House of the Soviets”.
Best of luck planning your holidays in Tiraspol!
Is there anything else you would like to visit while in Moldova?
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