Difference between revisions of "Transnistria"
Revision as of 10:09, 17 March 2006
Transnistria (official name Transnistrian Moldovan Republic; in Russian Pridnestrovie or Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublika) is a part of Moldova that declared its independence in 1990, entailing a civil war that lasted until 1992. Ever since, Transnistria has not been recognised by any country. Due to the ongoing hostilities with Moldova (since July 2004), it is generally not advisable to travel there.
Information is hard to come by - the only information source is the Pridnestrovian "government", and its pages are less than readable, let alone reliable.
Transnistria is divided into 5 administrative regions and two free cities.
Tiraspol, though the largest city, is not exactly the place-to-be. There are few things to see, though you might enjoy a visit to the main street with its parliamentary building boasting a relatively new Lenin statue and a tank from the "independence war" decorated with flowers. Also, be sure to notice the Soviet-style banners. However, a curfew is in effect, and nightlife is non-existent.
Official languages in Transnistria are Moldovan (which is fundamentally identical to Romanian), Russian, and Ukrainian. Moldovan in Transnistria is spelled using the cyrillic alphabet, although some peopme insist on spelling it with the latin alphabet, which is a matter of dispute.
As a non-Moldovan and non-Ukrainian citizen, you can only get into Transnistria via bus or train from Moldova (namely Chisinau). If you enter Transnistria from the Ukrainian side and then try to go to Moldova, the Moldovan government will most likely claim that you have entered the country illegally.
When crossing the "border" between Moldova and Transnistria, you will be checked by Moldovan and Transnistrian officials. You have to pay a fee to the Transnistrian authorities for your stay there. Rates may vary (ask!), but last known rate is 0.50 EUR for a few hours or 10$ for up to three days (May 2003).
There are hardly any train connections within the country, so bus - if available - will be your only choice.
Tiraspol does not exactly boast a shopping mile, shops are few and have a limited choice. Official currency is the Transnistrian Rouble (which can only be used and exchanged in Transnistria), though most shops and sales stands will accept Moldovan Lei. There are exchange offices (at least in Tiraspol) that will change your Euros or Dollars and a few other currencies.