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Private site of Soviet awards collector (and legal publications)

 

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This page has been in preparation since March 2002 and was posted on Victory Day 9 May 2002. 

 

 

Last updated
01-Mar-2016

 

 

 

 

 Photos and tid-bits from Transdnistria - more on News 3, other stories Main News , News 1, News 2 or News 5

 

 

The capital of Tiraspol an open air museum of Soviet memorabilia

Going to Tiraspol is like going back through time. For over ten years now this separatist statelet of the "Transdnistrian Moldovan Republic" adorns itself with Soviet style larger than life propaganda on every corner. Tiraspol still boasts many statues of Comrade Lenin but try finding a cozy cafe for a drink. The T-34 tank in the bottom left corner commemorates the Great Patriotic War (WWII) and the armored personnel carrier (top middle and bottom right) bears the colors of the new "Republic" and stands next to an eternal flame in remembrance of the hundreds of victims of the 1992 civil conflict. Church and State are closely intertwined here too. The Church in the Centre bottom was built at great expense in the center of Tiraspol and is the seat of the local patriarch (reporting to Moscow).

 

Nearest good restaurants and any sign of normal life is either 60kms to the West in Moldova's capital Chisinau (which even has already 3 Mc Donalds!) or about 100km South East in Odessa which literally bustles with commerce and has an air of normality. Visitors beware, you are likely to be obliged to report at the nearest police station if you stay longer than 3 hours and in addition to the omni present watchful eye of the traffic Police (in the same uniforms of the infamous Soviet GAI) you may also attract the attention of the KGB. Photographing is frowned on, for example the building with the massive Statue of Lenin before it houses the Supreme Soviet and the President's Office - hence a highly classified site. Reaching Tiraspol from the European side means obtaining a Moldova visa and then coming through military check-points manned by Russian peacekeepers (second row from top right). Travel is generally not recommended unless you are really looking for an adventure or equipped with a diplomatic number plate! Coming from Ukraine you better have a multiple entry visa for Ukraine and hope for the best. If you are chummy with the Russian military high command you can fly in on military transports.

 

Below left is a poster from the last elections. President Smirnov won again and the opposition remains exiled or silenced quite ruthlessly by the police. The press remains controlled and the place apart from being incredibly poverty stricken is crumbling (click on thumbnail).

               

Above centre, a piece of Tiraspol artwork - a wood box decorated with fine work of straw cuttings depicting the coat of arms and date of independence from Moldova. Artist V.J.Kucherjavenko who was not prepared to accept USD as payment, not for fear of the police, but because he proudly stated "I am a Soviet artist, I do not accept imperialist currency". On right a photo two blacksea cossacks (taken by Mr. V Corcimari - one of the leading press photographers of Moldova who has hundreds of great photos on http://www.photo.md and kindly allowed me to use them).

Copyright 2002-2016 Oldrich Andrysek. Contents are copyrighted but may be used with permission (scans can be downloaded if credit is given). Page created by Nick Ionascu.