Transnistria, the tiny breakaway region of Moldova, risks being dragged into the Russia-Ukraine war because of reports of a series of explosions in its territory.


About ‘Transnistria’

  • The de facto state lies between Moldova to its west and Ukraine towards its east.
  • Often described as a “remnant of the Soviet Union”, Transnistria declared independence like Moldova did soon after the break-up of the Soviet Union.
  • When Moldovan troops attempted to take over the territory in 1990-1992, Transnistria was able to resist them because of Russian soldiers based in Transnistria.
  • Since then, it has remained free of Moldovan control. However, most countries continue to see Transnistria as part of Moldova.
  • Transnistria is not recognised as independent even by Russia and its economy is dependent on Russia for subsidies and free gas. Most Transnistrians have dual citizenship of Russia and Transnistria or triple citizenship of Moldova, Transnistria, and Russia.
  • Unlike the rest of Moldova, which speaks Romanian, the majority of people in Transnistria speak Russian and use the cyrillic script like Russians.
  • Transnistria has been recognised only by three other unrecognised or partially recognised breakaway states: Abkhazia, Artsakh and South Ossetia.