Ukrainians Seek Refuge in Transnistria
With ties to both Russia and Ukraine, Tiraspol commits to support those fleeing conflict while neither endorsing nor condemning the war.
Transnistria’s residents have so far welcomed some 6,000 Ukrainian refugees, as the de facto authorities try to maintain a neutral stance over the war unfolding next door.
The region has strong ties with Russia, which maintains between 1,500 and 2,000 troops on the territory and is seen as a security guarantor since the thin strip of land between Moldova and the Ukrainian border secured de-facto independence from Moldova in 1992.
Links with Ukraine are also solid. The country shares a 400km border with Transnistria and is the region’s main trading partner. Ukrainians make up about one fifth of the region’s 473,000 people.
The political leadership neither endorsed nor condemned the war, merely claiming that the situation in the region remained stable and committing to support those fleeing Ukraine. Public opinion is divided, with many stating that Moscow acted in response to Kyiv’s actions in Donbas, where Ukrainian forces have been fighting Russia-armed separatists.
Photos by Alexander Udodov and Alexandru Vengher.
This publication was prepared under the “Countering Disinformation in Moldova Project”, implemented with the support of the United Kingdom's Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF).