Transnistria is a Russian backed, breakaway state sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine. During the collapse of the USSR in the 1990’s, the region erupted into full scale civil war killing over a thousand people. In the aftermath, the republic of Transnistria was declared and to this day remains an independent state with its own army, judicial system and border controls despite being recognized by nobody other than the three other breakaway states of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
The republic is a land seemingly stopped in time. Whilst Wild West Capitalism has replaced Communism through the ever powerful Sheriff corporation which runs the country, the republic is still littered with remnants of the USSR from hulking Lenin statues to giant hammers and sickles adorning modern banks. May and September see monstrous demonstrations of strength in the form of Soviet style military parades complete with battle tanks roaring down the main streets.
Security situation in Transnistria:
Due to international isolation and the aftermath of the civil war, the post war years saw Transnistria operating as a lawless mafia state and earning a reputation for arms and people smuggling, assassinations and general banditry. However, since a power struggle which saw the Sheriff corporation rise to the top and install their own form of order, the country has stabilized and petty crime is almost non-existent. However, corruption and harassment from police and KGB/MGB can still be an issue to unguided foreigners who don’t speak Russian.
Access for filmmakers and journalists in Transnistria:
Entry to Transnistria for foreign citizens requires a permit and permission, luckily many of the team at Pioneer Media have been operating in the republic for the past ten years and can guarantee entry permits, journalist and film permits as well as access to local fixers on the ground. We will deal with all the bureaucracy. Similarly, we can arrange film logistics within the country at ease. Staff and translators can be found for very affordable rates.