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How to visit a non-existent country

Transnistria has a president, a democratically-elected government, a flag, and unlike the little ‘nations’ created by survivalist weirdos, a population of more than one. 


The only problem with Transnistria is that nobody officially recognises its existence. 



Much like the airline that doesn’t exist, Transnistria obviously exists in the fact that it is a tangible place (near the Ukraine), but the nation of Transnistria simply does not exist in the minds of the UN member states, who simply consider it to be part of Moldova.


Once upon a time Transnistria did indeed belong to the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova. But, when the Soviet Union fell apart, Transnistria made moves (namely a four month long war resulting in some 1,500 casualties) to declare itself independent of Moldova.


So nowadays, while Moldova has no control over Transnistrian authorities and Transnistria acts as an independent country, no other nation in the world recognises it excepting the very powerful Abkhazia, Republic of Artsakh and South Ossetia.


Talking to National Geographic, local tour guide Anton Dendemarchenko said that “we do not officially exist, but when people visit us, we feel that somehow we do exist”.


Transnistria is reportedly one of the few places in Europe where former communist symbols are still found in their original place, “like statues of Lenin in front of the Parliament, and streets and avenues named after Marx, Engels, and Yuri Gagarin”, the National Geographic reports.


So what’s good in Transnistria? Apparently the most important industry and main export of Transnistria is a cognac, aptly called Divine. One bottle can cost up to $1,700. Visitors to Transnistria can buy a bottle much cheaper than what is exported, which surely makes for a good souvenir.


Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 12 January 2018

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