• Rîbnița is a town in the north of Transnistria; an unrecognized Soviet state in Moldova where you still see the sickle and hammer on a regular base and you can pay with plastic coins. It’s the third city of the country. A giant steel factory is providing many of the employment and is the main donor of transnistrian budget. There is also a small harbour on the Dnjestr river which creates a natural border between Moldova and Transnistria. In between the communist symbols and the Lada’s you sometimes see a Porche Cayenne. Recently the first big supermarket other than a Sheriff monopoly opened its doors in the capital Tiraspol. In Rîbnița you don’t notice any of these changes yet. Sheriff is the owner of supermarkets, gas stations, a mobile network, internet, alcohol factory (KVINT) and even a football club. In the streets are a lot of billboards with Russian party members on them whom look more like bouncers than politicians. It was made before parliament elections in Russia because there are two hundred thousand Russian citizens living in Transnistria. You get the feeling Transnistria is like a Russian Colony lost in time. Next to the old Soviet blocks there are also modern buildings like schools and hospitals, which are build with Russian money. Because of a lack of perspective a lot of young people move out of the region. They go and study in the Moldovan capital Chisinau and in Ukrainian city Odessa which are less than a two hour drive away or they look for jobs in Poland, Italy, Russia or Ukraine where the wages are higher. Although the infrastructure is better in Transnistria than in the rest of Moldova, the town of Rîbnița barely has any touristic attractions. There are some hotels but according to some locals they stay as good as empty. At night the streets look abandoned. After 22 o’clock you can’t buy any alcohol and during the week the lights are turned off because of savings. The future of the country is unclear. A huge majority of the inhabitants vote to join Russia in a referendum 10 years ago but barely things changed a lot. The president of Transnistria wants to take over all Russian laws, which causes tensions on an international level.