transnistria by Retlaw Snellac on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Transnistria - Some pictures of a short visit on a rainy day.

Fortress of Tighina (Bender).

The first traces of a settlement on the site of the present city Tighina (Bender) dates from 1st-2nd centuries AD, during the Dacians. Subsequently, mentions about a city appear in the early Middle Ages, the shoal from Tighina being protected by a fortress from the 9th-11th centuries. During Cuman domination (11th-13th centuries), the city is already named Tighina (in Cuman language means “pass”). The city was first mentioned as an important customs post in a commerce grant issued by the Moldavian voivode Alexandru cel Bun to
the merchants of Lviv in 1408. Later, Ştefan cel Mare builts a fortress of earth and wood (a palanca), conquered by the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1538. The Ottomans rename the city Bender, meaning “transient enhanced”, and build here, within a year, under the supervision of the architect Koji Mimar Sinan, a fortress of stone.
Fortress resist several attacks over the centuries (the fort’s area was expanded and modernized by the prince of Moldavia Antioh Cantemir) and only during the Russo-Turkish wars of the late 18th century it is conquered and reconquered several times until it is permanently occupied by the Russians in 1812. In 1713 there was the site of skirmishes (kalabalik) between Charles XII of Sweden, who had taken refuge there with the Cossack Hetman Ivan Mazepa after his defeat in the Battle of Poltava, and Turks who wished to enforce the departure of the Swedish king.
After 1812, the city shares the history of Bessarabia, about which i wrote here. Tighina was part of the Moldavian Democratic Republic in 1917-1918, and after 1918 the city belonged to Romania. Along with Bessarabia, the city was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, but in in 1941 was retaken by Romania, and again by the USSR in 1944. Since 1991, the city has been part of the independent Republic of Moldova.
The fortress, rectangular and with six towers, is situated on the western bank of the river Dniester, the highest one, and is surrounded by three rows of walls. To enter in it, after climb a hill and pass the outer defense wall, have to cross a footbridge over a deep defensive ditch, formerly filled with water.
After a while, the defenders saw that the ditch without water is more difficult to past, so it has not been ever filled. Under the fortress lies a vast network of tunnels which leading to the city, where the soldiers quartered in recent years have found many artifacts, but they also have lost, one of them being found after three days.
Due to the city’s key strategic location, Bender saw the heaviest fighting of the War of Transnistria. Since 1992, Bender has been formally in the demilitarized zone established at the end of the conflict, but is de facto controlled by Transnistrian authorities. Some of the former outbuildings of the fortress were used as barracks for the 14th Army and now is used for training the Transnistrian army recruits. Only fortress itself was released for tourists.

NATO’s top commander, General Philip Breedlove, said Sunday there was a “very sizeable” Russian troop presence on the border with Ukraine and warned of a possible incursion into the Moscow-backed separatist territory of Transdniestr. “The force that is at the Ukrainian border now to the east is very, very sizeable and very, very ready,” the head of the US European Command told the Brussels Forum. “What I think is worrisome is that Russia has used these series of snap exercises to sort of condition us,” he added at the forum organised by the US think tank the German Marshall Fund. Russia’s military announced Friday that it had carried out exercises in Transdniestr, a Moscow-backed separatist territory of Moldova which lies on Ukraine’s southwestern border.
Source: AFP
` Drone has been ` Shot-Down ' over `Transdniestr ' in Moldova's Break-Away Region '

` Drone has been ` Shot-Down ‘ over `Transdniestr ‘ in Moldova’s Break-Away Region ‘

#AceWorldNews – MOLDOVA – March 25 – A drone has been shot down over Transdniestr, Moldova’s breakaway region, the region’s security service has reported on its website.

On March 23, the pilot-less aircraft was photographing and videoing the republic. Transdniestr special services recovered the video record from the drone, the statement says.

According to preliminary information, the unmanned…

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transnistria by Retlaw Snellac on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Transnistria - Some pictures of a short visit on a rainy day.

FC Sheriff Tiraspol (Russian: ФК Шериф Тирасполь) (known simply as Sheriff) is a famous football club (UEFA real ranking - 143 in 2012-13).
FC Sheriff Tiraspol based in Tiraspol, Moldova, which plays in the Divizia Naţională, the top division in Moldovan football. The club was founded by the Sheriff security company in 4 April 1997, who remain a key sponsor.The club was official refounded under the command of Victor Gushan (the company’s president). The first Sheriff cach, Akhmed Alekserov (who was as a coach in the old Soviet Supreme League), charged with leading the team to the Moldovan top division. Sheriff’s first football trophy is the 1998/99 Moldovan Cup. The club won promotion to the top flight in 1998, after its first-ever season, and dominated the oldovan National Division with ten consecutive titles from 2001 to 2010, winning an eleventh in 2012. The side also have seven Moldovan Cup titles, including six double-winning seasons. However, the club has never reached the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.
Sheriff Stadium is the home of Sheriff Tiraspol and is owned by the local Sheriff corporation. It has a seating capacity for 14,300 spectators. It is eligible for international events, such as the matches of the Moldova national football team.
The club was founded in 1997 by former cop Viktor Gushan, and employee of the Sheriff in Pridnestrovie. The club entered the second tier of Moldovan football, the “A” Division later that year and won its championship by 14 points to gain promotion to National Division.[The club won its first major silverware with the 1999 Moldovan Cup. In the final at the Republican Stadium, Sheriff scored an injury-time equaliser before winning the match against Constructorul Chisinau 2-1 after extra time. Sheriff’s first-ever National Division title came in the 2000-01 season, which also included their second Moldovan Cup triumph as they beat Nistru Otaci on penalties after a goalless match. The league triumph was the first of a run of ten consecutively up to 2010, also including league-cup doubles in 2002, 2006 and 2008-10. Sheriff won each Moldovan Super Cup from 2004 to 2010, but did not have to play a match on four occasions due to winnig it on default through a double. Sheriff were denied an eleventh successive title by Dacia Chişinău in 2010-11, but reclaimed the title the following season.
In 2002, the company constructed the Sheriff Stadium to serve as the team’s home ground. They have dominated Moldovan football since 2001, winning all the championship titles in the Divizia Naţională since then. The team won the Commonwealth of Independent States Cup in 2003 and 2009, becoming the first team from Moldova to win an international title. Sheriff were the first club in Moldova to sign contract players from Brazil and Africa.
From 2001-2002 to 2008-2009, the club tried to reach the group stage in the UEFA Champions League every year, but failed in the second qualifying round every time.
In the 2009-10 season Sheriff finally reached the third qualifying round when they defeated Inter Turku.In the next round, Sheriff defeated Slavia Prague with an aggregate score of 1–1 over two legs, progressing via the away goal rule due to José Nadson Ferreira’s 94th minute strike in the 2nd leg.
They were then eliminated from the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League by Greek club Olympiacos in a Play-off for the Group Stage . They lost 2–0 in the first leg at home, and 1–0 in the second leg away.
Sheriff then progressed to the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League group stage, and were faced with tough opponents. On 17 September 2009, in their first game in the Europa League, Sheriff managed to snatch a 0–0 away draw from FC Steaua Bucureşti.
On 1 October 2009, in the first home game Sheriff lost 1–0 to Fenerbahçe S.K.On 22 October, Sheriff produced a stunning 2–0 victory over fames Dutch club FC Twente in Tiraspol, ending Twente’s 17-match unbeaten run. 2 December 2009, Sheriff managed to snatch a 1–1 away draw from FC Steaua Bucureşti.
In the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League season, on 14–20 July 2010, Sheriff defeated Dinamo Tirana in the second qualifying round (3:1, 0-1).
Then, on 4 August 2010 overcame Dinamo Zagreb on penalties (1:1, 1:1, 6:5) to reach the play-off round, the final stage before the Champions League Group stage.
On 18–24 August 2010, in the play-off round against fames FC Basel, Sheriff lost 1-0 the first match in Switzerland before succumbing to a 3–0 defeat at home.
In the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League season, on 30 September 2010, Sheriff produced a stunning 2–0 victory over fames FC Dinamo Kiev in Tiraspol.
On 2 December 2010 Sheriff managed to snatch a 1–1 from fames Netherlands AZ (football club) in Tiraspol.
On 15 December 2010 Sheriff managed to snatch a 0–0 away draw from fames FC Dinamo Kiev in Kiev.

An alleged Russian intelligence colonel with an obsession for reenacting historical battles, Igor Strelkov, who quit as a key rebel chief on Thursday, was a driving force behind the brutal pro-Moscow insurgency tearing apart east Ukraine. The Russian citizen — whose real name is Igor Girkin — is a fierce nationalist and Orthodox Christian believer who reportedly honed his skills fighting in conflicts from Bosnia to Moldova’s breakaway territory of Transdniestr and Chechnya, before helping Moscow seize Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in March. Normally dressed in military fatigues with a pencil moustache and a wave of oily hair, the secretive commander, 43, was accused of overseeing what the United Nations described as a “reign of fear and intimidation” across rebel-held areas that involved the abduction, torture and even murder of opponents.
Source: AFP