Saturday, November 21, 2009
Welt Online has a fairly detailed first person perspective on Transnistria, the breakaway region in the east of Moldova that is a bit reminiscent of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia in being strongly pro-Russian and willing to use military force to separate, but also quite different in that it borders on Ukraine and Moldova, whereas the other two share a direct border with Russia which is what made it so easy for Russian troops to move in last year during the war with Georgia. This puts Transnistria in a kind of no-man's land:
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As you can see, eastern Moldova is nowhere close to Russia. Transnistria is also markedly different from Moldova's other ethnic region called Gagauzia - instead of fighting a war and ending in a cold stalemate, Moldova and Gagauzia talked their issues over and now Gagauzia is an autonomous territory within Moldova and nobody has to point guns at each other.
Since the article is pretty long I won't comment on it except to say that it's definitely worth reading for those interested in Eastern Europe and all these tiny autonomous regions that most have never heard of but those living there would be willing to die for. Google has a translation here that is as always slightly awkward but good enough for the task.