Transnistria is a strip of land sandwiched between Ukraine and Moldova that is considered to be the last remnant of the Soviet Union!☭
Essentially, when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1990, this region decided it didn’t agree with the system in Moldova, so they decided to declare independence. This resulted in a two-year war between Moldova and Transnistria in which 1,000 people were killed and over 3,000 were injured. Ultimately, this war ended in a ceasefire with no concrete resolution. In the town, there almost seems to be an excess of plaques, monuments, and posters, which commemorate the war.
And as of today, Russia still provides military, political and economic support to Transnistria helping it maintain its autonomy. Most of the citizens here also speak Russian and hold a Russian passport. 🇷🇺
And although the government maintains that Transnistria is NOT a communist state, their is a fair deal of corruption in their elections, and you’ll still find giant statues of Lenin, Stalin, Soviet stars, and T-34 military tanks throughout the capital.
Heck, even their flag has a red star, and hammer and sickle, which is a symbol of a socialist society.
Anyway, here are the logistics of my trip. To get there from Chisinau, I took a 2-hour bus ride to the capital of Tiraspol. 🚌
Cousin Eddie: Merry Christmas! Sh*tter was full! 😂😂
Anyway, as we crossed the military border into Transnistria, I had to get off the bus to register with my passport. Here’s my Google Maps as our bus (the blue dot) crossed over the border into Transnistria. 📑
As I made my way from the train station to my hotel, I felt immediately an eerily quiet vibe in the streets. The surroundings were very industrial and the sidewalks were more or less abandoned. Like a ghost town! 😮
Fun fact: There are only two embassies in Transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which are also unrecognized countries.
Anyway, when I checked into my hotel, the woman didn’t speak any English and only made a gesture with her hands to ask for the money. I had the whole dorm room to myself, since I was apparently the only guest. 🛏️
My Polish friend was also staying with a host who took her out for zucchini pancakes with sour cream. I opted to go grocery shopping at the local Sheriff market instead and came out with a huge stash of food for the next few meals! 4.50 USD for all this! 😀
Overall, there were DEFINITELY some unique things about visiting Transnistria, and of course I found some things I thought were charming, like this vending machine that reminded me of Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast. 💜
Anyway, less than 24 hours later I was happily on a train to Odessa in Ukraine.
Stay tuned to hear all about it! Until then! 😃