Visiting Transdniestr: a Government Guide

Visiting Transdniestr: a Government Guide
13 November 2008 | 12:06
“Pridnestrovie is home to 555,000 people made up of 35 different nationalities. It is a multi-ethnic, tolerant society where languages, cultures and religions coexist peacefully side by side… Want to find out what life is really like in Pridnestrovie? Then don’t let your view be judged by what others want you to think. Instead, get it straight from the source.”
 
The Transdniestrian Government’s English language website

.

In the West, Transdniestr is something of an enigma; its name conjures up images of people trafficking, smuggling and of a population subjugated by President Igor Smirnov in Tiraspol, sentiments it claims were created by a Moldovan Government propaganda campaign financed by the United States. Intrigued, I took up the invitation on the Transdniestrian Government’s website to “visit Pridnestrovie for yourself and judge what life is really like in this new corner of Europe.”

Yet arriving certainly felt like taking a step into the past. The army checkpoints and the communist insignia emblazoned across the border post, replete with ominous signs discouraging photography and manned by stony-faced officials created a tense atmosphere at the Nistru River.

Over the ‘border’ in Corjova there was little evidence of the utopian society its website depicted, and despite possessing a certain bucolic charm, the village was devoid of life, and only the sound of yapping dogs in the empty streets broke the eerie silence. But I wanted to “meet the people of this young nation,” although the residents in Corjova were less than keen to talk to me, despite the government’s claims that “ordinary Pridnestrovians will be happy to tell you the good, the bad and the ugly” of living in this pariah state.

The people appeared too scared and frightened to speak, afraid of repercussions from the government and gave little information about themselves, including one man who claimed I was “asking too many questions.” In Moldova I found the people to be open and hospitable, and eager to ask me as many questions about life in England as I had for them, but in Corjova I came up against a wall of silence. There may well be “no restrictions on talking to anyone, anywhere,” but getting them to answer is another matter.

Corjova’s behemoth is a great yellow church built with funds given by Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin, and was the only bright spot in a village that was just a ramshackle collection of houses and arid parks, threaded together by a few pot-holed roads. There was an unnerving sense of being watched wherever I went by a population suspicious and eager to keep in the background, including a scared young man scuttling down the street shouting “I swear I don’t know anything, I don’t know what happened.”

The expressions on peoples’ faces were of gloom and despair, and the atmosphere in Corjova was of a population stoically enduring life in this schismatic republic that seemed a world away from Moldova, despite it being just a short bus ride over the Nistru and its government proclaiming that life is “upbeat” in Transdniestr. “Compare us to either Moldova our to Ukraine, our two neighbours. When you do the comparison, you will discover that we compare very favourably indeed,” its website states proudly, although I left feeling distinctly unimpressed and like I just stumbled through a Soviet timewarp.

But I was able to find one true statement on its website; its tourism page correctly predicted that “by the time you return home, you will know the real facts about Pridnestrovie.”

The texts from the page www.zdg.md are taken over within the maximum limit of 1,000 characters. The direct link to the downloaded article must be indicated in the case of web pages, IN LEAD, mandatory. At least one more hyperlink to the primary source must be indicated in the text. The media institutions that take articles or images for TV or radio shows will cite the source, and the printed editions will indicate the source and the author of the information. The materials on www.zdg.md are protected by Law 139 on copyright and related rights, including the Code of Ethics for Journalists in the Republic of Moldova. The full takeover of ZdG materials can be done only under the conditions of a prior agreement with the editorial office.

AUTHOR MAIL

 .

Information about the Ministers of the Future Government

The list of ministers who will be part of the future Government led by Natalia Gavrilița was published on Tuesday, August 3. The government team includes members of the Action and Solidarity Party, as well as f…
Information about the Ministers of the Future Government

Former Minister of Defense Detained in a Case Related to the Godson of the Runaway Oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc

The former Minister of Defense in the Chicu Government, Alexandru Pînzari, was detained this morning by the officers of the Information and Security Service. He is investigated in the case related to Dorin Dami…
Former Minister of Defense Detained in a Case Related to the Godson of the Runaway Oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc

The Shor Party Deputy’s Case in the Billion-Dollar Bank Fraud was Sent to Court

The Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office sent to court the criminal case in which the deputy of the Shor Paty, Denis Ulanov, is accused of fraud and money laundering, both crimes committed in particular pro…
The Shor Party Deputy’s Case in the Billion-Dollar Bank Fraud was Sent to Court

BREAKING NEWS: President Maia Sandu Appointed Natalia Gavrilița to the Prime Minister Position

President Maia Sandu signed the decree appointing Natalia Gavrilița to the position of prime minister after the Action and Solidarity Party proposed her as their candidate for the prime minister position. Gavri…
BREAKING NEWS: President Maia Sandu Appointed Natalia Gavrilița to the Prime Minister Position

Constitutional Court Declares Unconstitutional the Socialist-Shor Decision by which the US Embassy was Deprived of a Land for Constructing a Diplomatic Complex

The Constitutional Court declared on Thursday, July 29, unconstitutional the amendments made by the Socialist-Shor parties that blocked the transfer of the Republican Stadium ground in use to the Embassy of the…
Constitutional Court Declares Unconstitutional the Socialist-Shor Decision by which the US Embassy was Deprived of a Land for Constructing a Diplomatic Complex

A Socialist Deputy Oblige by Court to Publicly Apologize and Pay 1,000 Euros after Accusing the Presidential Adviser on Health of Having a Fake Master’s Diploma

Socialist deputy Alla Darovannaia was obliged by the Chișinău Court to apologize publicly and pay 1,000 euros for damage to the presidential adviser on health, Ala Nemerenco for spreading the fake information t…
A Socialist Deputy Oblige by Court to Publicly Apologize and Pay 1,000 Euros after Accusing the Presidential Adviser on Health of Having a Fake Master’s Diploma