Is Transnistria communist? Transnistria gets called a lot of things, from the last of the Soviet Union, the place that didn’t get the Cold War memo, to a whole heap of other stuff, but is it still red as Lenin’s winter nuts?
To read about socialist countries click here.
A background to Transnistria
We have covered Transnistria a lot, so will not go too crazy on the history lesson, but to summarize, it was party of the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic, but is made up of Russian and Ukrainian nationals rather than Romanian/Moldovan.
Are Romanians and Moldovans different people? This is an argument I had whilst we visited SOFEX and I can confirm that some people think it is, while others do not.
To read about SOFEX click here.
Anyhow when the referendum to create the USSR 2.0 came about Transnistria voted heavily in favour of keeping the Union, while Moldova at the time at least was more keen on uniting with Romania.
Click the link for inflammation about the New Union Treaty
Moldova Declares independence
With the failure of the August Coup and the dissolution of the USSR Moldova declared independence only for both Transnistria and little known Gagauzia deciding to fight for either independence of unification with Russia.
You can read about Gagauzia here .
And while the later was placated the former was not and with the help of Russian troops the Prednistrvie Moldovan Republic (PMR) was formed. It has remained an unrecognized country since, but a country it is.
Why is Transnistria a country?
If it looks like a cat, smells like a cat and acts like a cat, there’s a good chance it is a cat. Transnistria has everything that fits the Montevideo convention for being a country and is recognized by countries that are recognized by United Nations countries.
To read about unrecognized countries click here.
So, while a map might show it as part of Moldova the reality is that it is not.
Is Transnistria communist?
The quick answer to is Transnistria communist is that no it is not. Transnistria operates as a market economy, with there being plenty of millionaires a high paying football club, as well as private monolith corporation that controls almost all business in the country, namely Sheriff.
You can read about Sheriff here.
So, why do people think it is communist? Essentially had the Soviet Union remained communist then Transnistria would also have remained communist, with it having a statue of Lenin, as well as a hammer and sickle on its flag.
There is also a lot of Soviet style nostalgia, as well as the “ country” being part of what many feel is the Soviet Union 2.0. But, there is actually more to the story than this.
Is Transnistria Communist China style?
And this is I feel the most interesting part, Transnistria is to an extents still communist, but only if you view it through a prism of 21st century Chinese, or Vietnamese communism.
To read about living in a Soviet time Warp click here.
Transnistria loves the symbolism of the Soviet Union, loves the nationalism and the pageantry, all with a strong government. What it also likes is wild west style capitalism, very reminiscent of what China was like from the open door policy to before the reign of Xi.
In essence Transnistria looks like what I feel the Union of of Sovereign Soviet Republics might have looked like had they retained the Union, with the USSR adopting Socialism with Soviet Characteristics – Ala China.
Whether this is true, or not we will never know, but it does at least make any interesting case study in argument for it. Is Transnistria communist though? No, at least by my standards, although perhaps less if you look at it through Chinese tinted spectacles.
To read about our Transnistria Tours click here.