By: The PH Team
Transnistria is an unrecognized country, internationally recognized as part of Moldova. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Transnistria declared independence from the newly independent Republic of Moldova.
Tiraspol is the capital of the unrecognized country of Transnistria. Once an industrial Soviet city, home to the finest Soviet cognac (KVINT), the city is now the capital of a country that doesn't exist.
The modern city of Tiraspol is considered by many, including in Transnistria to be founded by Russian generalissimo Alexander Suvorov in 1792, although the area had been inhabited for centuries by varying ethnic groups. His statue is one of the city's most distinctive landmarks in Transnistria's capital.
The Russian Empire conquered its way to today's Transnistria, taking the territory from the Ottoman Empire. In 1792 the Russian army built fortifications to guard the western border of what is today the area of Moldova and Transnistria.
The population of the city of Tiraspol is roughly 140,000 with ethnic Russians, Ukrainians and Moldovans (Romanians) making up roughly a third of the population each.
FC Sheriff Tiraspol is the most successful Moldovan football club of recent history - although is it a Transnistrian team and not exactly a Moldovan team.
However, the team has agreed to play as a Moldovan team in exchange for easy eligibility to take part in UEFA matches in Europe, since teams from unrecognized countries are technically ineligible.
Because of the successes of Sheriff, which owns not only the football team but also, car dealerships, supermarkets, gas stations, construction companies and many others, Transnistria has been given the unofficial name as 'the country of Sheriff.'
The city and unrecognzied country as a whole are primarily frequented by international tourists who are interested in its likeness to the former Soviet Union.
Tiraspol itself is home to a large and authentic collection of statues of Vladimir Lenin and other monuments and buildings built during its time as part of the Soviet Union.
Unlike other ex-Soviet States, Transnistria has not taken these statues and monuments down and therefore they are still standing across its capital Tiraspol.
In addition, the suburbs of Tiraspol are also home to old Soviet factories and other abandoned buildings open for adventurous and curious travellers to come and explore.
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