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In Pictures: celebrating Victory Day in Transnistria

Transnistria, an irredentist slither of land between Moldova and Ukraine, is one of the former Soviet Union's original "frozen conflicts", and a template for later Russian-backed disputes including Eastern Ukraine. It has remained unrecognised by any states other than Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia after its 1992 war of independence from Moldova.

Using Soviet rituals for its legitimacy rather than its governing ideology, the territory is ruled by a nationalised mafia and guaranteed by the Russian military. 

Each year on 9 May Transnistrians stage an elaborate Victory Day celebration in the capital Tiraspol to remember the victims of WWII, known as the Great Patriotic War, before visiting the cemetery and then the bottle, with locals and visiting dignitaries infamous for partying into the next day.

Elle Hardy is an Australian freelance writer with an interest in international affairs, politics, culture, and literature.

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  1. Lynsey Addario is an American photojournalist whose work appears regularly in The New York Times, National Geographic, and Time Magazine. She has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur and the Congo, and has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Genius Grant and the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting. She is the author of It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War