GalleriesTransnistrian Independence Day

In August/September 2019 I spent 2 weeks travelling around Ukrain and Moldova. You can see more of the photographs from this trip in my Ukraine/Moldova 2019 Flickr collection. One of the most memorable experiences of the entire trip was visiting Tiraspol for Transnistrian Independence Day.

Transnistria is a self-declared but unrecognised independent state sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine. In the Transnistrian capital of Tiraspol, on Spetember 2nd each year, the Transnistrian people celebrate independence with a military parade followed by a massive street party that lasts all day and into the night. In 2019 I was lucky enough to be there to witness the festivities for myself.

I hope I captured a little of the atmosphere in these photographs, from the military parade, to the crowds, dancing and general festivities, to those taking a moment to remember those who perished in the Transnistrian War of Independence and ealier Soviet wars, together with the Soviet era monuments Tiraspol is famous. There are also those seeking a few quiet quiet moments by the river as they do their best to escape the noisy revellers partiying nearby.

Tiraspol's city center seemed (perhaps surprisingly given some of the things you may hear about this part of the world) clean, spacious, green and pleasent. But you don't have to wander from from the main high street to find serried ranks of crumbling, identical Soviet era apartment blocks, and I've tried to capture some of the atmosphere there too.

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