I have some strong personal reasons for wishing to visit this place, but I'm advised not to do so, as it's considered dangerous zone - result of its political instability.
If you look it up on the internet you'll come upon expressions such as "improbable state","break away country", 'phantom nation", "nobody's land", "the Cuba of Europe", "frozen conflict zone", "self proclaimed republic", "illegal state", "separatist region", "disputed sovereignity".
I must say, it all sounds quite intriguing and even....thrilling. Good stuff for writers and movie makers , especially with all those rumors about activities such as smuggling, drugs, arms and human traffic going on there. Besides, it is said to have excellent ...cognacs.
Transnistria, or more accurately, Transdniestria , a strip of land beyond the Dniester River, is bordered by two ex-USSR countries :Ukraine (east) and Moldova (west), On the map, its shape is that of a snake (see the top picture with the stamps), 400 km long, 20 km wide. There is indeed something 'snaky' and obscure about this territory and its history.
The capital city is Tiraspol ('Tyras' being the greek name for the river Dniester). Transnistria has a population of some half a million people and the languages spoken are russian, ukrainien, and moldovan (a dialect of romanian but spelt in cyrillic ,not latin script). Russian, is the official language of the government.
Transnistria and its borders (Web map)
De juro,Transnistria is part of Moldova; de facto, it is an independent state since 1990 , though not recognized as such internationally.
It should be mentioned that in summer 1941 , Transnistria, was conquered by German and Roumanian troops and its territory used as concentration camps for jews residents of north Romania and Ukraine. It was the land of atrocities against thousands of innocent people. This lasted until 1944 with the arrival of The Red Army.
Peace talks and negotiations have been going on and off since the brief war between Moldova and Transnistria in 1992, the participants being representatives of the relevant sides: Transnistria, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Eu. It seems nobody's in a hurry to solve the problem , the present situation probably suits their interests. Transnistria is pro-Russia and has russian military protection. Moldova is pro-Romania and pro-EU (European Union), and although she wants her honor and piece of territory back, the Transnistria issue might confront her with Big Mother Russia and interfere with her own aspirations of possible integration in the EU .
My wild guess is Tranistria snake will stay like this, and eventually be accepted by the UN and its members. Nowadays, a tiny , breakaway, independent country is no longer considered a curiosity .
Moreover, I think the future belongs to small countries with more or less homogenous population. We're ,perhaps, going to witness a fragmentation of the world's bigger countries into smaller entities as a result of the constantly deterioration of world economy and rising of social tension.
In the meantime, my advice to those participating in the peace talks is: keep talking people! "Talk more - No war" is my slogan .