Photos by Gughi Fassino
Transnistria is a narrow strip of land located mostly between the Dniester River and the eastern Moldovan border with Ukraine. After the dissolution of the USSR, tensions between the Moldovan government and the breakaway unrecognized state’s authorities in Tiraspol escalated into a military conflict that started in March 1992 and was concluded by a ceasefire in July 1992. It is governed as the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR). Transnistria’s sovereignty is not recognized by any United Nations member state and it has no diplomatic relations with any of them. Yevgeni Shevchuk, who won the 2011 presidential elections, is widely seen as the candidate of the province’s disaffected youth, who are fed up with a state of affairs that locks its 500,000 people in a time-warped world of red stars and Lenin statues, and giving them passports that no other country recognizes.