1992, Revisited

All blame for what happened in 1990-1992 during the brief “war” between the Republic of Moldova and Pridnestrovie is now placed at the feet of Russia, which is not just overly simplistic but factually wrong.

Transnistria FAQ

After my interesting adventure in Transnistria, I realized that basically, no one knows anything about this country. Excuse me, no one outside the Russian-speaking world. Therefore, I present to you the world’s very first FAQ page for Transnistria, the country that doesn’t exist, except, of course, that it does. Isn’t Transnistria a breakaway republic? Kinda…

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Trigger warning: if discussion about the Russian language threatens your self-identity, stop reading now! Few Romanians know that their tax dollars have been paying to broadcast news in the Russian language since 1975. Yes, you read that right. Radio Romania International, a state-funded broadcaster operating out of Bucharest had been treacherously providing news content in…

The Russian Queen of Romania That Almost Was

Have you ever seen this photograph before? It is, quite possibly, the single most important photograph ever taken in the 20th century. The woman on the far right, holding a baby, is Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanova. The young man in the back is Crown Prince Carol. The photograph was taken on July 14, 1914,…

Why Do Romanians Hate and Fear Russia?

Over the years, I’ve documented a deep-seated fear and loathing for Russia amongst Romanians, and I really want to know why. Setting aside, momentarily, reactions to the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin since 2000, I wanted to know if there is any factual basis for all this enmity. Therefore, I decided to go through…

The Unkindest Cut

A few months ago, a dipshit from England contacted me to inquire as to whether I wanted to host some advertising on this site for the Untold Music Festival that’s currently ongoing in Cluj. In exchange, he didn’t want to pay me any money, only offer me free tickets, so I turned him down. For…

Games With Frontiers

Last week, I watched live as a commercial airliner heading from Moscow to Chisinau flew in circles inside Hungarian airspace before making an emergency landing in Belarus because an unidentified Romanian official spontaneously decided to ban the flight from crossing Romanian airspace. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, only Russian-language media has written about…

Dong Ma?

I think most people are familiar with the ancient Latin aphorism in vino veritas, literally in wine there is truth, usually interpreted to mean that a person drinking (wine) is often prompted to speak a truth. But for me, what happened not too many days ago at a bar at 2:00 in the morning was…

Afterburner Part 2

Word Count: 664 After I wrote my post Afterburner, a commenter made the obvious connection to another kind of food. When I mentioned this to my wife, she just said, “Duh”, and I shook my head in disbelief that I’d missed such low hanging fruit in my original post. Whereas the Romanian word usturoi (garlic)…

Bianna Golodryga

Word Count: 198 Well folks, I’ve been living here in Moldova for more than a year now, and even married myself a local woman, but I have heard almost nothing about famous Moldovans. Oh sure, there are some, particularly noted musicians and dancers that enjoy great success in the Soviet Era, as well as one…