An unrecognized country celebrates the Great Victory Day in Transnistria 07th-12th May 2017
How about celebrating on 09th of May – the Victory Day with military parade in a non-existing soviet country? Strange, isn’t it? Strange, but possible… Transnistria is one of the former Soviet Union’s original “frozen conflicts”, and a template for later Russian-backed disputes including Eastern Ukraine. It has remained unrecognized by any states other than Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia after its 1992 war of independence from Moldova. Each year on 09th of May Transnistrians stage an elaborate Victory Day celebration in the capital Tiraspol to remember the victims of WWII, known as the Great Patriotic War. So let’s go and see how they celebrate, meet locals and talk to them, visit their capital Tiraspol, understand their religion – Russian orthodox, see their country, history and discover how they live and what they have to offer.
Chisinau – Cricova – Tiraspol.
Morning we will start a short city tour of Chisinau. Around 11.30 am we will depart to Cricova. You will visit one of the biggest underground wine cities from Europe – “Cricova” – opened in the 60′-mainly the only good thing left after the soviets. (Wine tasting+lunch). Cricova boasts nearly 120 km of underground tunnels that are large enough for vehicles to drive through. At the deepest point, the tunnels are 100 m below the ground. The natural limestone helps to maintain a constant temperature of 12-14 C (54-57 F) and humidity of 97-98 percent , creating optimal conditions for storing wine. Around 16,00 departure to Tiraspol, dinner and accommodation in a 4* Hotel.
Victory Day in Transnistria
Today we invite you to discover TIRASPOL (capital of Transnistria) – the old USSR is still alive and well in Transnistria. It is a breakaway territory within the internationally recognized borders of Moldova. Although not recognized by any state or international organization, it is de facto an independent state named the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. The country’s national coat of arms still includes the traditional hammer and sickle and the Lenin statue hasn’t yet been pulled down. The Pridnestrovie today may still retain the look of a Communist state and it’s called “the last remaining Stalinist dictatorship in Europe”.
We will enjoy a visit to the main street with its parliamentary building boasting a relatively new Lenin statue. Opposite, a T-34 tank from the Great Patriotic War era forms part of a monument which also contains soil from the pivotal battle of Stalingrad. You probably won’t miss the Soviet-style banners either! Contrary to popular perceptions, Tiraspol is a quite and peaceful city with no military activity since 1992. The only people in uniform you will usually see are military officers and policemen. Military parades are held annually on Independence Day (2 September) and on Victory Day (9 May).
Discover the inside part of this country.
Today we will discover the inside part of this country.We will drive towards the north, along the Dniester River. You will be amazed about the communist monuments still to be seen in villages and small towns like Grigoriopol, Ghidirim, Dubasari, Ribnita etc. We will stop in Dubasari and we might meet the Rabi and discuss about the Jewish camp built here in WW2, may be even visit a alcohol factory and discuss with the management about their problems. Lunch on the way to a local family. The highest point will be the city of Kamenca, the city built by gen.
Bender-New Neamt monastery-Chisinau
After breakfast we drive to Bender, where we will visit its medieval Fortress. The fortress was built in one the most powerful of the medieval cities of Moldova-Tighina (old name Bender), which was an important trade outpost. Originally built as a small wooden fort by Stefan cel Mare, it was fortified with stone during Petru Rares’ rule, just like Soroca fortress.
Bender fortress is an architectural ensemble of irregular quadrilateral plan, surrounded by wide walls, 2-3 meters thick, made of limestone and brick. The fortress has 10 artillery bastions at the corners, 11 towers, and 6 gates. It is surrounded by a moat of stone. After the last battle of the Russo-Turkish War, in 1806 the city was acquired by the imperial Russian military authorities, becoming “legitimate” master here in 1812, after the occupation of Bessarabia. Next stop – the Museum of Bender Tragedy. In 1992, during the bloody conflict at the time of the Soviet Union’s collapse, 1000 people, both military and innocent civilians, were lost near Bendery. A memorial museum of the Bendery Tragedy opened September 1, 1997, the fifth anniversary of the tragedy. Creation of an exposition in the museum became the first attempt to comprehend – in chronological sequence and reflect by methods available to the museum – the events in the city of Bendery at the end of the 20th century, which began with political strikes in August-September, 1989, eventually resulting in civil war by the summer in 1992.
New Neamt Monastery is an Orthodox monastery, located on the Dniester River the edge Chitcani village, only 10 km to the south of the town Bendery. This monastery was founded in the reign of Alexandru Ioan Cuza. Deposits reach its churches and bell tower became a museum of the Soviet military glory. Monastery was reopened in 1989, when repair works start churches Assumption and St. Nicholas the Great. In 1991 here the Monk Seminary St. Paisius Velichkovsky, the language of instruction if Romanian. Today we will have lunch with the abbot of the holy monastery, drink local wine made by monks, visit their wine cellar. After lunch departure to Chisinau. Farewell dinner with the wine tasting in a special restaurant. Accommodation in a 4* hotel.