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So when I called the Moldovan election the least important presidential election in the world (see here) I was definitely wrong. It's gotta be the Transnistrian one, which has just happened. I was told that the average turnout was estimated at slightly over 25 percent. Apparently it is so unimportant that even Transnistrians themselves don't give a damn about it.

And I thought I'd post some random Transnistrians from Tiraspol to celebrate. I bet these three didn't vote.

In Tiraspol, Transnistria, Moldova.

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In Tiraspol, Transnistria, Moldova.

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Yes, both of them.

More weddings all over the world here.

In Benderi, Transnistria, Moldova.

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In Tiraspol, Transnistria, Moldova

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The groom surprised the bride with their wedding ride, which he put together himself at this wedding in Tiraspol, Transnistria.

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They had the streets decorated with flags for the New Wine Day in Tiraspol, Transnistria (btw, these are Russian not Moldovan or Transnistrian flag colours but I want to cover this in a separate post).

This little dude liked the flags and took one from this street decoration (he chose red).

And then he just walked home with it. And yeah, that statue is Lenin.


Oct. 20th, 2016 09:31 pm
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I went to the restroom at a cafe in Benderi (a town in Transnistria), remembered [ profile] badrobot68's last public post and took this photo with my phone. I hope that using my camera in public restrooms was not the new frontier which I now have crossed.

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In Tiraspol, Transnistria, Moldova.

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Transnistria, the break-away region of Moldova heavily populated by ethnic Russians and Ukrainians is smaller, poorer, a bit more run down and paradoxically quite a bit more expensive than Moldova. The streets of its cities also look much emptier than the streets in Moldova do, many people left the region it seems even compared to Moldova. They do love their dogs there though.

This girl with this puppy were members of a dog owners' club and were preparing to march through the central square of Tiraspol (the capital of Transnistria) on the New Wine Day, which coincided with the "City Day" this year after they moved the wine day because of the bad weather. Note the guy on the right with a Russian flag. The Region is very pro-Russia. The topic of "joining Russia like Crimea has" is a popular one here. The red and green flag the guy on the left is holding is the flag of the Moldovian Soviet Socialist Republic. This is how they called Moldova when it was part of the Soviet Union. It is now the official flag of Transnistria.

Many stray dogs are dressed. This is partly because it can get quite cold here in winter but mostly to make them look like they have an owner and save them from being shot as strays. Many of them have hand-made bright red collars like the one this dog has for the same reason.

These three are luckier and have a home. They were very excited to be going for a walk.

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In Tiraspol, Transnistria on Young Wine Day. Young Wine Day here is something like Beaujolais Day in France, a celebration of the new wine release.

New toy

Jun. 8th, 2016 02:01 am
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This guy just bought this toy for his kid at a second-hand shop.

In Transnistria, Moldova

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I managed to take a couple of photos of this Transnistrian border and passport control officer with my phone through the rear view mirror. Taking photos is strictly forbidden at the border crossing so this is the best I could do.

Note the shoes. Chasing someone in these would not be an option but kicking with those heels could be effective. She had a gun too though.

It was a very unexpected place for glamour, grey, wet, muddy road full of dusty cars queuing up for passport control, people running around, cars getting searched. But she just calmly glided over all that chaos feeling beautiful in those shoes. Her face expression and he behaviour were completely different from the rest of the crew. Straight back, calm face, no hurry, no shouting. And I think it was because of the shoes. And she was way more effective and faster than the other officers. I have always been sceptical about the importance of getting another pair of shoes but I think I see it now. Apparently a new pair can change everything indeed. At least I think it did at this Transnistrian border crossing.

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Yesterday we visited Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria. Last year we managed to visit just one village there right at the border with Moldova but yesterday we made it to the capital. We were impressed by the sky over the city. Note what is advertised on the right. Yes, it is caviar. Transnistria is the poorest break away region teetering on the edge of insolvency of the poorest country in Europe.

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It looks like we are going to Transnistria next week. Their capital, Tiraspol would be the second largest city in Moldova if they didn't break away and it looks to me like it has now practically merged with Bender (it is just five miles away), which would be the fourth largest town in Moldova.

They have their own currency there, it is Transnistrian Rouble, our host showed us a couple of notes, here they are:

The guy on the tenner is Alexander Suvorov, the Count of Rymnik, Count of the Holy Roman Empire, Prince of Italy, and the last Generalissimo of the Russian Empire. He is a national hero in Russia.

Suvorov is one of the greatest generals in history and is one of the few who never lost a battle, being undefeated in over sixty large battles while frequently having the numerical disadvantage (Wikipedia).

He avoided comfort in his everyday life, even in peaceful times he “did not walk, but ran, did not just ride but rode very fast.”

The French King Louis XVIII said the following about Suvorov, “a small man, thin, frail, ill-proportioned… but under all these oddities there was a great military genius. In his army Suvorov was a real leader and solders followed him everywhere and without doubts. He was like a sword of Russia… ”

Suvorov believed that ‘a military man must know the languages of the nations with whom he is fighting,’ so he developed a fluent command of French, German, Greek, Turkish, Italian, Polish and Latin, as well as some knowledge of Arabic, Finnish and Persian. He also rejected a suggestion that the Russian army rid itself of its musicians, saying, ‘Music doubles, trebles the force of an army.’

Here are a couple of his quotes:

One minute decides the outcome of a battle, one hour the success of a campaign, one day the fate of empires.

It is very difficult to do one's duty. I was considered a barbarian because at the storming of the Praga 7,000 people were killed. Europe says that I am a monster. I myself have read this in the papers, but I would have liked to talk to people about this and ask them: is it not better to finish a war with the death of 7,000 people rather than to drag it on and kill 100,000.

As long as the enemy fights he must be beaten relentlessly, but a defeated enemy and especially the civilian population must be treated generously.

The more comfort the less courage there is.

If we had not driven them into hell... hell would have swallowed us.

He who is afraid is half beaten.

One cannot think that blind bravery gives victory over the enemy.

And this is a picture of some Moldovan wild flowers to make this post easier for [ profile] wosny to tolerate in their friends feed. I know that [ profile] wosny hates war but likes wild flowers.

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We had fresh cherries straight from the tree of our hosts' neighbours today. First cherries in the village were ready to eat on the 5th of May this year.

We are trying to see if we could go to the self-proclaimed break-away Transnistria Republic for the V Day military parade there on the 9th. It is one of the last "Soviet Union" enclaves and we are told that the V Day celebrations there are done in true Soviet style and are very interesting to see. And I am a sucker for self-proclamed, break-away, closed, frozen in time and weird places of course. The parade in Tiraspol, the Transnistrian capital will be very pro-Russian we are told, in contrast with the official parade in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, which this year will be a joined affair with the US. Pro-Russian protests are expected in Chisinau against the participation of the US in the parade and pro-West protests are expected in Tiraspol against the Russians apparently. The grass is always greener on the other side of Nistru (the river which separates Transnistria from the rest of Moldova) it seems.
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The call

The way

Noul Neamt Monastery, Transnistria, Moldova.

After Transylvania we could not resist going further east to Moldova. And then of course we could not leave without checking out the breakaway pro-Russian region of Transnistria.


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January 2017

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