Transnistria is soporific but refreshingly uncool even by Eastern European standards. Nothing is less avant-garde than communism.

I took this picture in the Romanian village in Transnistria where I spent Saturday morning and I apologise that it is the cliched Transnistrian snapshot. There is much  more to the place than just statues of Lenin, and though the villages feel like a time warp they have changed a lot since the Soviet Union split up.

The villagers think the 1920s and 1930s famines in which many died of hunger were not Stalin's fault and bitterly regret the end of the USSR, the end of the village kolkhoz (collective farm) and the loss of the markets for their produce in Siberia and the Baltic states etc. Now the farm is split up and run by businessmen who exploit their workers. They sound like kulaks. Things were better in Mr. Brezhnev's time.

This article is what Wikipedia calls a stub. Come back in a few hours or a day and it will be a wonderful travelogue. Alexander Kinglake won't be in it.

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