The very first picture we ever took of Sherman, our motorhome. Ten years ago today. Photo taken August 19, 2007.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Cabri Regional Park, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Where are they going next? Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on September 25th!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

It's not often we talk about politics...

But I felt it was important to give some background on the area that we are now visiting.

We're now in the country of Transnistria. Officially called the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. The problem is that this country doesn't really exist.

Oh, it's a country. It has its own border, its own border guards, its own passports, its own government, its own parliament, its own currency, and its own military.  Yes, it's a country.

The only problem is that it's not recognized as a country by any other country. And it's been this way for 25 years or so.

It's a fairly complicated history, but I'll try and put it into basic terms.

Back in the period between 1990 and 1992, Moldova became an independent country, separate from the USSR (Russia). At the time there were a lot of Russians and Ukrainians living in the red area in the map below who felt that they were not going to be fairly represented by the new Moldova, and so they made up their own territory along a strip of land between the Dniester River, and the border of Ukraine.

There are 500,000 people living in Transnistria.

There was a two year civil war that ended with a ceasefire agreement being signed on July 21, 1992. That ceasefire is still in place today. Legally, it's still part of Moldova.

Transnistria residents would prefer to be part of Russia. And Russian military peacekeeping forces are still active in the area. 

But otherwise, besides recent training exercises, there has been no military activity since.

Interestingly, both Moldova and Bulgaria have recently held democratic elections and the pro-Russian candidate won in each case.

Despite the fact that Canada, the United States, and Australia advise against travel to the area (the UK simply says they will be able to offer "limited assistance" if you do), we have read about many people who had visited this "country that isn't a country", and we decided we wanted to do the same. Actually, we find the warnings kind of funny. Other than the occasional report of a bribe request by a border guard, nobody has ever had a problem.

So...we are here now! Tomorrow, we'll tell you our border crossing story!

Any questions? Ask away...

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12 comments:

  1. Very cool! I wonder if Johnny from One step forward has gone there...the country that wasn't a country. You may have to get him to go!

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    1. Yep, I just checked and he has been here but only for one day. I sorta figured that he would have been.

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  2. I have to sheepishly admit that I had never, ever heard of Transnistria. Should be interesting.

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    1. Not to worry, we didn't know about it either until we started doing our research on Romania and Moldova.

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  3. The pages I've read in the last couple of days paints it as a highly corrupt society. It will be interesting to get your take on all the goings on.

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    1. So far we aren't seeing a huge difference between here and Moldova proper but we also haven't spend much time here yet. Today should give us a better idea. As for highly corrupt, I think most countries are, some just hide it better than others.

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  4. Would you please identify the area that your map seems to show is a separate country SE of Moldova on the Black Sea?

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    1. That is actually part of Ukraine. I guess it looks deceiving because of the red line from the arrow.

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  5. I love your blog! But today I am bombarded with pop-up ads. Is this a new thing you added!

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    1. Nope, that's not from us Peter. You must have some kind of virus or something.

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  6. This is so fascinating! I have to admit I knew nothing about Transnistria before I read this blog post.

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    1. We knew nothing about Transnistria either until Kevin started doing the research on Moldova and came across it and then of course we wanted to visit. When traveling you sure do learn a lot about the world.

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