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Chisinau and Tiraspol

Written on: Wednesday August 15th, 2012

A journal entry from: November 2011 until...

Is Transnistria a country? Well, no other country recognises it, but it certainly doesn't feel like Moldova.

Coming from Ukraine by train was odd. We went through the border from Ukraine into Transnistria - where we stopped for a while, although no-one asked for our passports. We then passed into Moldova proper - where there is no Moldovan border guards as they do not recognise that Transnistria is a separate country. So... I was in Moldova having never gone through Moldovan customs.

The next day I took a day-trip to Tiraspol - in many ways the last vestige of the USSR. Again, there was no Moldovan border guards, but there were Transnistrian ones - and loads of Russian 'peace keepers'. The one thing I felt sure of about Moldovan/Transnistrian relations is that they were irreconcilable. 

Highlights, as can be seen in the photos included lotsa Lenin, hammers, sickles and consulates of South Ossetia and Abkhazia - the other members of the triumverate of separatist pseudo-states supported by Russia.

The horror stories of officials on either side getting their knickers in a twist about who I was, where I had been and why proved to be unfounded. I have just crossed into Romania from Moldova and received an exit stamp, besides the fact that I had no entry stamp. The only question I got from the border guard leaving Moldova on showing him my passport was whether I was from Galway.