Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bender, Transnistria

Transnistria is pretty much everything on the east side of the Dniester river.  However, there are a few places on the west bank of the river, in Moldova, that are under the control of Transnistria.  And you have to go through the checkpoint to get there, even though you are still in MoldovaA bit confusing.

Dniester River
The second largest town, after Tiraspol, has three different names.  In Russian, it is Bendery, in Moldovan it is Tighina, but it is most commonly called Bender.  This town is located in the buffer zone that was set up at the end of the 1992 war in Transnistria.  Some of the worst fighting took place here.

Bender was founded in 1408 and has a population around 94,000.  It is 45 km (28 miles) from Chişinău and only 5 km (~3 miles) from Tiraspol.

There is a medieval fortress.  Unfortunately, the place is not a tourist spot because it is now occupied by the Transnistrian army.  I believe that the Russian 14th Army also has barracks here.

There are several memorials in the center of the town.

Here's a WWII military cemetery next to an Orthodox church.

The Memorial of Memory and Grief honors the defenders of Transnistria who died in the 1992 war.

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