Gregory Baranski

Trips :

Journey into the past - Transnistria

What is Transnistria?

Transnistria, officially the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, is an unrecognized state internationally considered to be part of Moldova. It declared independence from Moldova in 1990 following the collapse of the Soviet Union, but it has not been recognized by any UN member states. Transnistria is a narrow strip of land between the Dniester River and the Moldovan-Ukrainian border. It has its own government, currency, and military, and is heavily dependent on economic and military support from Russia.

Border control

For the first time I had my backpack searched so thoroughly, the military guy with Russian flag was asking a few times if I have “foto, video or pistol”. After opening every pocket of my backpack he let me go and gave me a migration card. Because the fact that the state is unrecognized by UN - they can’t legally give me a stamp.

Migration card Migration card that you receive on the border control.

First impression

Sheriff company Sheriff is a company that owns supermarkets, gas stations, casinos, football club and many others.

Flags Transnistrian flag with the Soviet Union symbol, and a Russian flag next to it.

I went to some random hotel and asked for a WiFi access, for the first time since yesterday morning. On HostelWorld I’ve found “Like Home Hostel” for 200 MDL / night ~ 11$.

Money / Cash

First problem was paying for something, including the hostel itself. I expected to just use an ATM in Tiraspol, but stupid me didn’t know that nobody accepts any European card like VISA or Mastercard. And I only realized that after trying to withdraw money from 10 different bank branches.

So I’m stuck in some mini version of Russia with 50 MDL that I brought from Moldova, which is equivalent to 2.5$, I got nothing to eat and an unpaid hostel. I exchanged the Moldavian Lei’s into the Transnistrian Rubles.

As my priorities were to eat something, I found some junky food in the centre and spent all of my money. There I met a girl, originally from Ukraine, now studying in Greece, but visiting Tiraspol because of her sister. I explained her that that’s my only money, and asked if I can maybe buy some Rubles from her, instead she offered me a drink, I don’t usually drink anything, but she insisted. It was one of the first people that I met in Tiraspol, I didn’t know yet how lucky I was to meet someone speaking in English.

This is it?

Morning next day - we’ve found a way with the hostel manager to pay, I can send her money on PayPal, and she’d also give me additional 200 rubles. Cat always falls on 4 legs.

With the equivalent of 11 bucks I went out, seeking soviet monuments. Cars brought a lot of attention - there were mostly old Russian Lada’s.

Old Russian Lada’s Old Russian Lada’s are everywhere

I didn’t have to look for long to find the searched soviet monument. Hammer and a sickle Hammer and sickle on national symbols.


It’s a very unique place in Europe, where it feels like time has stopped, I truly enjoyed the time there, and it helped me a lot when it comes to learning Russian. до свидания.