September 2 - Anniversary of Transnistria's Declaration of Independence

Posted on September 2, 2018

Flag of Transnistria -
like a lot of things in Transnistria,
the flag looks like a throw-back to
the old USSR!
Right before the Soviet Union broke up in 1991...

Right when all manner of Soviet "republics" were agitating for independence and self-rule...

A place called Transnistria proclaimed itself a separate Soviet republic. The Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, proclaimed right back: No, you're not. You're part of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Above, the location of Moldova, between Romania and Ukraine,
in Europe. Moldova is in red. Note that Moldova is landlocked.

Below, the location of Transnistria in Moldova.
Transnistria is in red.

Of course, soon after this the USSR dissolved, and Moldova became an independent nation. In 1992, military conflict broke out between Transnistria and Moldova over the whole independence thing. The conflict lasted less than half a year (thank goodness), and the ceasefire was a 3-way agreement with Russia and Moldova as well as Transnistria. The upshot is that Transnistria is pretty much independent...but it's not recognized as independent.

Like...every nation that is recognized as a nation sees the region as a part of Moldova. As does the U.N.

As a matter of fact, only three other small unrecognized states have recognized Transnistria as independent. Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both considered part of Georgia by the outside world, but both having declared independence - they consider Transnistria a fully independent nation. Artsakh, which is considered by most of us to be part of Azerbaijan, also recognizes Transnistria's independence.

Moldova considers Transnistria an "autonomous territorial unit" with special legal status. Transnistria has its own constitution, government, parliament, military, police, postal system, currency, vehicle registration system, flag, national anthem, and coat of arms. It has an elected president as well as a prime minister and parliament. There is even a demilitarized zone between Transnistria and the rest of Moldova!

In addition to the more normal looking metal-based
coinage and paper-based currency, Transnistria
produced some unique plastic money.

Most Transnistrians have Moldovan passports, but some have Ukrainian or Russian passports and citizenship.

As for me, I never knew Transnistria even existed!

An important feature of Transnistria is the river Dniester.

Transnistria is considered a post-Soviet "frozen conflict" zone.

The capital and largest city of Transnistria is Tiraspol.

Tiraspol is considered the second largest city in Moldova!

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