Under 35s Forum - Transnistria: The Country That Doesn't Exist

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Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the ongoing instability in Eastern Ukraine has reemphasised the acutely serious effects of frozen conflicts on regional security, domestic stability, and political legitimacy. As many observe the long-lasting effects of another Russian-backed protracted conflict in Ukraine, interest in other post-Soviet frozen conflicts, notably the unrecognized Moldovan territory of Transnistria, has been reinvigorated. For now, it seems, the little ‘country that doesn’t exist’ is firmly on the European map.

Transnistria largely projects a Russian or, rather, Soviet-style nationhood: a hammer and sickle on the flag; a Supreme Soviet Parliament; a secret service aptly called the KGB; and an urban landscape peppered with moribund statues of Lenin. Its affinity to the Fatherland is both intriguing and concerning, providing outsiders a window into the past. Now it is receiving greater international attention, there is need for deeper examination into the psycho-political culture and foreign policy of this small, inFortress Documentarydependent republic.

The Under 35s Forum is delighted to host ‘Transnistria: The Country that Doesn’t Exist’, which will include opening remarks from acclaimed author and adventurer, Rory MacLean, writer of Back in the USSR: Heroic Adventures in Transnistria (2014) and Berlin: Imagine a City (2014), an exclusive showing of the award-winning Czech documentary Fortress with popcorn, and a panel discussion.

Rory Maclean TransnistriaThrough the prism of Transnistria, this discussion will address the various security and political implications of frozen conflicts, and, moreover, examine how the violence in Ukraine will affect Transnistria’s current political landscape.

Confirmed speakers include: 

  • Dr Igor Sutyagin, Senior Research Fellow, RUSI
  • Professor Stefan Wolff, Professor of International Relations, University of Birmingham
  • Rory MacLean, Author
  • Dr Jonathan Eyal, International Director, RUSI

The discussion will be followed by a drinks reception in RUSI's Library. To register for this event please click the 'book your place now' button above, or for any queries please contact Hannah Croft at Hannahc@rusi.org.

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