If you’ve never heard of Transnistria or Pridnestrovie, you are not alone. This is the ‘Renegade Republic’, which no state in the world recognizes although they have their own parliament, currency, passport, and national anthem.
Tiraspol is the capital city and the almost 500,000 citizens of the country speak Ukrainian, Russian, or Moldovan. Transnistria is located in Eastern Europe, right between Ukraine and Moldova and it’s considered one of the poorest countries in Europe.
Communist symbols are common in Transnistria because they are a significant part of their history. Even the streets retain their original names. For instance, there is still a Lenin Street. While other countries completely demolished anything that reminded them of Communism, the citizens of Transnistria believe that keeping them is a sign of gratitude and acknowledgement of their forefathers.
People are leaving the small towns and villages in droves, searching for job opportunities. Most of those who remain in the countryside are farmers. Some of the men are able to find a place to work, but there are hardly any positions available for women. The fact that everything has been privatized makes it even more difficult. There was a time where there were dozens of factories, but they have all been shut down.
Salaries are not very high in Transnistria. A family has to make do with as little as $80 to $150 US per month. That’s only enough to cover a few bills. As a result, many people fall deep into debt as they struggle to make ends meet.
The elderly have an especially harsh and lonely life, which sometimes seems to boil down to a long boring wait for death to show up.
What does the future hold for this unrecognized country?