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After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, a thin sliver of land on Moldova’s eastern border with Ukraine broke apart from its parent country and declared independence from Moldova. A four-month war followed and some 700 casualties later, a ceasefire was signed. Since then, Moldova has stayed out of Transnistria’s business but still refuses to recognize it as an independent state. In fact, no other nation does.

Yet, Transnistria acts as an independent country, with its own government, military and police force, postal system, currency, constitution, flag, and coat of arms. Its flag still uses the communist symbol of a hammer and a sickle—the only country to do so.


A statue of Lenin stands in front of Transnistria parliament building in Tiraspol. Photo credit: Marco Fieber/Flickr

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