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Pridnestrovian problems


UPDATE 16 OCTOBER 2022


We have been informed by a licensed Pridnestrovian tour guide that pre-arranged day trips with such a guide to tourist sites in Transnistr, without staying overnight in Pridnestrovia and staying overnight in Chisinau at both ends, are permissible and the foreign entrant will not be barred. However the your guide must be registered with the Pridnestrovian authorities; your identity details will be registered with the Pridnestrovian authorities (read: KGB) in advance and you only get one day trip.


We have not tested this ourselves but the source was apparently reliable.


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UPDATE 14 OCTOBER 2022


According to multiple sources, Moldovans are refusing to attempt to enter Pridnestrovia (Transnistr) at the current time.


It seems that the current 'immigration arrangements' in Pridnestrovia are that (a) foreigners are summarily deported when discovered; whereas Moldovans (without a Pridnestrovian identity document) may be incarcerated for an uncertain period and possibly subject to hostile questioning before being deported.


Pridnestrovians with contacts with foreigners are being questioned.


All things considered, Pridnestrovia is now a very dangerous place to visit for everyone and all travel is strongly advised against. Exercise extreme caution when attempting to communicate with anyone in Pridnestrovia.


Please also see our recent article on how to achieve urgently needed constitutional and sovereign reforms in Pridnestrovia:


https://www.the-paladins.com/post/a-federalisation-plan-for-the-pridnestrovian-moldovan-republic


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ORIGINAL ARTICLE 11 OCTOBER 2022


Over recent weeks, as rhetoric over the war in Ukraine has become more extreme, the political attitudes of the Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic have become increasingly insular. The following are the events we know of; there may be others and we invite anyone with other information to provide it to us so that we may update our article.


  1. Since the decision of UEFA a few weeks ago not to hold any soccer matches in Tiraspol but to require the (reasonably good) Pridnestrovian football team Sheriff Tiraspol to play its matches in (the rest of) Molodova, the Transnistrian authorities have 'retaliated' by not letting any foreigners into the Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic.

  2. We do not know exactly what the definition of 'foreigners' is but it seems to include virtually all non-Moldovan and non-Pridnestrovian citizens.

  3. The procedure seems to be that when a foreigner submits his passport for registration at the Pridnestrovian frontier, the domestic KGB issue him or her with a three-year ban on entering Pridnestrovia, irrespective of the connections the foreigner may have with the PMR; and they turn the foreigner back.

  4. There are no exceptions we have heard of to this rule; the foreigner's bags are searched, they are asked to sign papers in Russian confirming a copy of the ban; and then they are not given copies of the papers to keep. They are just turned away. This happened to this author in the middle of the night but we have heard of it happening at more conventional times as well.

  5. At the same time, Russian troops have re-emerged as a third tier of border guards on the border between Moldova and Pridnestrovia (so you must now pass Russian, Pridnestrovian and Moldovan border officials of various kinds). So Pridnestrovia is once again starting to feel like a Russian colony.

  6. As a result, Pridnestrovia's fledgling but potentially successful tourism industry has been annihalated at a single stroke. This is particularly ironic given that the Pridnestrovian government web pages are full of detail about what an agreeable place Pridnestrovia is to visit.

  7. There are now no foreigners at all in Pridnestrovia, save for Russian students.

  8. There is a shortage of food in the shops in Tiraspol, and also of medicines in the pharmacies. The domestic supermarket chain, Sheriff Tiraspol, seems to be having trouble sourcing food from its exclusively Ukrainian suppliers, presumably because Pridnestrovian alliance with Moscow has caused the Ukrainian food suppliers to cut Pridnestrovia off.

  9. Pridnestrovians are also increasingly short of money as they lack a source of foreign income.

  10. This all seems rather sad, as on top of economic collapse political collapse will follow. Once rather well run economically, the economic self-strangulation the Pridnestrovian government is currently engaged in will result in its being held hostage by Chisinau and the European Union: join Moldova as a regular province or face total economic implosion.

  11. As Pridnestrovia struggles economically, her security services will need to become ever more oppressive to maintain political calm amidst population dissatisfaction.

  12. This is a shame for the once prestigious university located in Tiraspol, that will inevitably lose much of its shine as a result.

  13. It also gives rise to the question of what to do with all the hotel rooms and modern apartments that the government was building anticipating an influx of foreigners. Now foreigners are banned, these properties will go to waste.

  14. Because Pridnestrovia is not a functional democracy, the suffering citizenry cannot vote their malperforming government out of office.

  15. Now Kyiv's resistance to Moscow's war in Ukraine is sufficiently strong that it is clear that a Russian push as far as Odessa will never take place (nor will Russia obviously be able to take even Nikolaev, near which Ukrainian troops are already heavily dug in), Russia cannot come to the aid of Transnistr, that is completely cut off from the power of which she is a client state. Hence Pridnestrovia's future seems to be destined as one of collapse and subjugation to Chisinau. And Tiraspol, the capital of Pridnestrovia, has brought all this upon herself.

  16. At one point, Pridnestrovia appeared to have the potential to serve as a shining example of how to achieve balanced federalisation in an ethnically complex region of Europe. Now she has managed promptly to convert herself into an example of how not to undertake federalisation: by closing one's own borders and looking onwards, imagining you will find a miracle by doing this. There are no miracles in autarchy; only dystopias.

  17. Pridnestrovia's only future now, given this unfortunate turn of events, is full integration with Moldova and European Union standards which do not include KGB bans on foreigners as part of tit-for-tat regimes.


It is eminently possible that all Pridnestrovia's current problems are being imposed upon it by Moscow, which treats Pridnestrovia as its client state and imposes such dictates upon Tiraspol as it sees fit. Nevertheless, if true, then that is all the more reason to accelerate the Pridnestrovian government's transition towards a modern European state (or part of one). It is not in the interests of either Moldova or Europe more broadly that Moscow is pulling the strings of this corner of Europe.


This is particularly if (as appears to be likely) a free Ukraine, including the southwestern city of Odessa near-adjacent to Tiraspol, will be integrating with Euro-Atlantic institutions with a menacing Russian occupier of southeastern Ukrainian territory back-to-back.


In the meantime we strongly recommend all non-Moldovan persons not to enter the territory of the Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic. This travel advisory is effective immediately. If people are being deported summarily without papers, it is only one step before people start being detained arbitrarily without due process. And there is no consular assistance in Transnistr.