Transnistria is a small strip of land that broke away from Moldova after the fall of the USSR. It has an unusual history and an even more unusual present, as it is still not recognized as a sovereign state by any other country in the world.
Transnistria is basically a Russian colony, with almost no locals left and almost all jobs taken over by Russians.
The whole place has basically been turned into Russia’s own personal Hawaii, complete with hotels and nightclubs catering to rich Russian vacationers.
This article will explain everything you need to know about this unique country, so keep reading! If you like this article, also check our blog on The 10 Strangest Places on Earth
What is Transnistria?
Transnistria is a small strip of land that broke away from Moldova after the fall of the USSR. Or, to be more accurate, it was a part of Moldova that declared independence from Moldova.
Basically, in the 90s, Moldova (a small Eastern European country) fought for its freedom from the Soviet Union.
During the chaos that followed, some people in the eastern part of the country (called Moldova) declared independence from Moldova, and the country they formed was known as Transnistria.
After a short war, Transnistria was recognized as a sovereign state by no other country in the world. Basically, Transnistria is like one of those countries that doesn’t exist except for the fact that it does.
Now, Transnistria is a curious country for many reasons, as we’ll see below.
Why does no country recognize Transnistria?
First of all, Transnistria is not recognized by any other country because it is not a real country. Technically, Transnistria is a breakaway region from the country of Moldova, but the people in the Moldovan government refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of Transnistria as a state.
Transnistria is a Russian colony, with almost no locals left and almost all jobs taken over by Russians.
The whole place has basically been turned into Russia’s own personal Hawaii, complete with hotels and nightclubs catering to rich Russian vacationers, Transnistria is more like Russia’s satellite state, like Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
But even Abkhazia and South Ossetia are recognized by a few countries, while Transnistria is not. So basically, Transnistria is a breakaway region that has no support from any other country.
Why does Russia support Transnistria?
Now, why do the Russians support Transnistria? The short answer is that Transnistria is a sliver of land that the Russians use to exert their influence in the Eastern European region. Basically, Transnistria is under Russian control.
It has been for decades. This means that the Russians have a base of operations in Moldova, just like they have bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Transnistria, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia are Russian beachheads in the region.
From those territories, the Russians can exert pressure on the rest of Eastern Europe, while at the same time being able to use the lack of recognition as an excuse to not have to do anything about it.
What’s the story of Transnistria?
The story of Transnistria is, quite literally, the story of the end of the Soviet Union.
Transnistria has changed hands many times throughout history. It was part of the Moldovan kingdom until the Ottoman Empire invaded and took it for themselves.
After that, it was part of the Russian Empire until the Russian revolution, when it became part of the Moldovan Republic.
During the Second World War, it was occupied by Romania, and after that it became part of the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Transnistria declared independence, but fighting broke out and the country was basically turned into a Russian colony. Now, it is a Russian beachhead and a vacation destination for rich Russians, who flock there every year.
Why is it still not recognized?
As we’ve seen, Transnistria is not recognized because it is a Russian colony. Basically, the Russians don’t like that Moldova is part of the European Union and they want to ensure that it never joins.
Transnistria basically exists so that the Russians can exert pressure on the Moldovans and stop them from joining the EU.
Basically, the lack of any other countries recognizing Transnistria is the result of a power struggle between the EU and Russia, in which the Russians use Transnistria as a bargaining chip to force the Europeans to back off from Moldova.
The Europeans are not allowed to push for Moldova to join the EU because then they would offend the Russians and Transnistria would remain outside of the EU. Basically, the Russians use Transnistria as a bargaining chip in the EU-Russia struggle for influence.
Who Is Fighting in Transnistria?
Transnistria is an autonomous territory in Eastern Europe, where Russia exerts its influence and uses Transnistria as a bargaining chip against the EU.
This is why you have a lot of Russian troops stationed in Transnistria. The EU has also sent peacekeeping troops to Transnistria in the past, as have other non-EU countries like Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova.
The thing is, there is a long history of fighting in Transnistria because the Russians have been trying to keep the Moldovans from joining the EU for years.
Meanwhile, the Moldovans want to join the EU and be a part of the rest of Europe, but the Russians have been using Transnistria to stop them from doing so.
The Moldovans have been trying to break free from the Russian pressure for years, but the Russians have used Transnistria as a bargaining chip to stop them from doing so.
What is Life Like in Transnistria?
Life in Transnistria is like living in the 90s. The whole place is under Russian control, which means that it is a very strict and authoritarian place.
Transnistria is a very closed society where the Russians exert their control over the locals to a very high degree.
Transnistria is a place for Russian tourists to go and party. It is like a big resort for Russians, and it has become a colony of Russia and it’s like a very authoritarian 90s-style resort.
How to Visit Transnistria and Where to Stay
Visiting Transnistria is a bit like visiting Cuba. You have to go through a lot of red tape to get there and once you’re there, you are stuck there.
More so, you’re not allowed to just show up in Transnistria without going through the proper channels.
You have to apply for a visa and be approved to visit the country before you can go there.
Once you’re there, you can stay in a few hotels, as there are a couple of hotels in Transnistria. If you want to visit Transnistria and see what this curious country is all about, you can, but be prepared for a very strict lifestyle.