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Video: Transnistria - Little Known Secret State.

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The Strange Case of Transnistria

Video: Transnistria - Little Known Secret State. People & Power reports from Transnistria, a criminal state only Russia recognizes.

Transnistria, also known as Trans-Dniester, Transdniestria, and Pridnestrovie (Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic), is a "breakaway republic" also claimed by Moldova. The international community supports Moldova's territorial claim to the territory, with the claimed official status of an autonomous territory. It is de jure part of Moldova and de facto an independent. It is organized as a presidential republic, with its own government, parliament, military, police, postal system, and currency. Its authorities have adopted a constitution, flag, national anthem, and a coat of arms.

Transnistria is located mostly in a strip between the Dniester River and Ukraine. After the dissolution of the USSR, Transnistria declared independence leading to the war with Moldova that started in March 1992 and was concluded by the ceasefire of July 1992. As part of that agreement, a three-party (Russia, Moldova, PMR) Joint Control Commission supervises the security arrangements in the demilitarized zone, comprising 20 localities on both sides of the river. Although the ceasefire has held, the territory's political status remains unresolved, and Transnistria has been de facto independent since that time.

Transnistria is sometimes compared with other post-Soviet frozen conflict zones such as Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia. The latter two since declaring their independence from Georgia after the 2008 South Ossetia war have subsequently recognised Transnistria as an independent state and plan to establish diplomatic relations in return for the recognition of themselves.