Transnistria: A Country That Doesn’t Exist, But Has The Guns To Make You Think Otherwise
“It has been called the most lawless place in Europe and is rumored to be a thriving transit zone for arms and human trafficking.”
An economy thriving on illicit activity: Transnistria. But without recognition as an official state (country), outside governments cannot seem to put enough diplomatic pressure on Transnistria to combat human trafficking and arms smuggling. This is a zone of zero regulation where sub-state organizations and smuggling rings can pay people off in order to run their illicit deals.
Nikki Junker, Founder and Executive Director of With More Than Purpose, wrote about human trafficking in Moldova (and Transnistria) in a blog published by The Huffington Post here.
“Our guide, Smolenski, a 27 year old in an American sports jacket, meets us in front of a WWII era tank for a tour of the city. He co-wrote a book about Transnistria and works for the state-run radio station — but is now trying to set up a tour agency for Western visitors. “I will give you an objective picture of my country,” he says assuredly. The tour consists mostly of war memorials and other sights dedicated to the heroism of the Transnistrian partisan forces in the 1992 “war for independence.””
How interesting it would be to take this tour. I think Transnistria believes by creating tours and attracting tourists it will have to recieve some sort of recognition by tourists that it is in fact a foreign country. As tourists travel to Transnistria, governments may enforce some sort of visa regulation to track these movements.
I would love to see more analysis on Transnistria and more in-country reporting. Maybe it’s time to start booking a trip!
A ‘Thanks’ to those who contribute to reporting on important issues that don’t seem to make headlines as much as they should.