The Country That Doesn’t Exist

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In the Republic of Moldova, there is an independent region for almost 30 years: Transnistria. This country, not recognized by the United Nations, declared itself independent in 1991, following a short war between the region and Moldova, concluded by a ceasefire. Transnistria is organized as a country: Government, constitution, parliament, military, police, postal system, currency, flag, national anthem or even vehicle registration. This region, which dreams of being a country, is struggling to be recognized worldwide. However, a recent event has brought Transnistria to light: a football match.

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In the Champions League, Tiraspol’s football team “Sheriff FC” took on one of the most famous teams in the world: Real Madrid. Sheriff FC won the game in Spain before welcoming Real Madrid home on November 24 to a 3-0 loss.
For the occasion, the country brought out its most beautiful brooms made of twigs, shone its 70s Lada and brought out its most beautiful Transnistrian flags … always accompanied by the Russian flag. Indeed, Transnistria is deeply attached to the era of Sovietism and claims it loud and clear: The hammer and the sickle are present everywhere, even on the flag. The official language is Russian, Russian soldiers are everywhere, typical Russian vehicles that one would call old or very old here, are numerous and used every day there.

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According to a second hand store manager from Lebanon, “Nothing is expensive, a scarf, 25 rubbles (5 Lei), a big winter coat, 75 rubbles (15 Lei). It is very easy to live in Transnistria. “. The discourse of the inhabitants of this non-country is always positive, we might even wonder if they would not be forced to speak under threat of reprisals. Indeed, the KGB is still present and the population must pay attention to their actions and words.

Transnistria, 150 km from the Romanian border, is a unique place, another world. A historical break where nostalgia and the era of sovietism endure.

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Author : Paul LESOUEF