On Monday 18th September 2023 I started my journey to Transnistria, the country that does not exist. Europe’s last communist outpost on Ukraine’s western border. The land that actually belongs to Moldova, but was given up by Moldova after 2 years of civil war from 1990-1992.

My journey started with a flight from Oslo, Norway to Bucharest in Romania. The plan was to take the road from there, up through Romania and into Chisinau in Moldova. Then travel the last two hours by bus to Tiraspol in Transnistria and back again the same way. A 12 day journey with 2-3 day stops mainly in Bucharest, Chisinau and Tiraspol.

The main target was Transnistria to document Europe’s last communist regime. The world’s only “country” that still has the hammer and sickle as a symbol both on passports, money and in the official flag. Transnistria, trans- D’niester, or east of the river, is actually called Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Republic. The land area is 50 km at its widest and 220 km long and they have their own parliament and president. They have their own currency, the citizens have their own passports, they have their own army and their own police force, they have their own license plates and a border with strict visa rules in the old communist way… but they cannot travel anywhere with the passport, it is not a valid travel document. You can only buy the currency within the limits of the monetary value has no currency code. The number plates do not apply outside the borders because they are not internationally recognised. The country has everything, but is not verified by the UN and is not really a separate country. But is in reality still part of Moldova, -just not in practice.

Do you want to hear the stories and see the pictures? Book a talk and I will tell and show photos from the trip and encounter with this strange hidden gem of an outpost.

Transnistria, the country that does not exist!

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