- Pridnestrovian Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic
name = Pridnestrovian Moldavian SSR
full-name = Pridnestrovian Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic
loc-name = Приднестровская Молдавская Советская Социалистическая Республика
year_start = 1990
year_end = 1991
p1 = Moldavian SSR
flag_p1 = Flag of Moldavian SSR.svg
s1 = Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic
flag_s1 = Transnistria State Flag.svg
arms = Transnistria-coa.png
motto = Russian: Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!; Moldovan: Пролетарь дин тоате цэриле, униць-вэ!
language = Russian, Ukrainian, Moldovan
Igor Smirnov(at independence)
2 September, 1990
ussr-start = n/a
ussr-end = n/a
area-rank = n/a
area = 4,163
water = negligible
pop-rank = n/a
pop = 680,000 (
1989) [ [http://www.citypopulation.de/Moldova.html Moldova - Cities, Towns and Provinces - Statistics and Map] ]
density = 133
currency = Ruble
time-zone = + 3
Anthem of Transnistria
The Pridnestrovian Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (PMSSR) was created on the eastern periphery of the
Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic(MSSR) in 1990 by pro-Soviet separatists who hoped to remain within the Soviet Unionwhen it became clear that the MSSR would achieve independence from the USSR. The PMSSR was never recognized as a Soviet republic by authorities in either Moscowor Chişinău. In 1991, the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republicsucceeded the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic.
MASSR and MSSR
The Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic from which the PMSSR seceded was created in 1940 following the Soviet annexation of territory belonging to inter-war
Romania. When Bessarabiawas ceded to the Soviet Union as a result of an ultimatum, it was combined with a strip of land on the left bank of the Dniesterwhich had formed the nucleus of a Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic(MASSR), with Tiraspolas its executive capital, throughout the interwar period.
The newly fused territory became the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, and was quickly sovietized. In this process of
collectivizationand “dekulakization,” the left bank of the Dniester had a clear advantage: The territory had been collectivized during the First Five-Year Plan (FFYP) during the 1930s, it had enjoyed a reasonable amount of industrialisation, and boasted relatively experienced, trustworthy cadres.
The MASSR had been formed on the basis of what Terry Martin has termed the Soviet “Piedmont Principle”: [Terry Martin, "The Affirmative Action Empire, Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939" (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001), 274-5.] by creating a "homeland" for
Moldovansacross the Romanian border, the Soviet leadership hoped to advance their claims on Romanian territory. While the role of the MASSR in the Soviet Union’s eventual incorporation of this land was negligible— the Soviet ultimatum to Romania did not mention the Moldovan nation, let alone use its right to national self-determination as justification for the invasion [Charles King, The Moldovans, Romania, Russian, and the Politics of Culture (Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2000), 91.] — the former autonomous republic did provide a Soviet elite ready to assume leadership in the new union republic.
The perils of "perestroika"
In the second half of the 1980s,
Mikhail Gorbachevset the political context for the war in Moldova and redefined the political process in the union republics with a series of reforms that comprised his program for perestroika. While intended to reinvigorate the Soviet system, perestroika also undermined the strength of key institutions which provided for central control of the Soviet Union. [See Stephen Kotkin, "Armageddon Averted, The Soviet Collapse, 1970-2000" (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).] This devolution of power to federal republican governmental was matched by a simultaneous explosion of mass participation in the now open debate about the Soviet future.
In the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, as elsewhere in the Soviet Union, political activity was expressed along various channels, including the groups and clubs organized independently of a government that had long withheld the right of association to any sort of civil organization. Two sets of concerns were particularly prominent in the debates that accompanied the opening of political dialogue in the late 1980s. The first was concern for the ecologic devastation that was so characteristic of Soviet industrial society. The second, and increasingly ascendant concern, revolved around the Moldovan (or Romanian) language and national heritage that many felt had been trammeled by Soviet and Russian domination.
These concerns found expressing in the activism of the Moldovan Movement in Support of Restructuring— a movement of the intelligentsia oriented mostly towards generalized economic and political liberalization—and the Alexei Mateevici Literary-Musical Club, which pulled together prominent cultural and political figures, activists and citizens to celebrate and discuss Moldovan language, literature and history. [William Crowther, “The Politics of Democratization in Postcommunist Moldova,” in "Democratic Changes and Authoritarian Reactions in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova." Karen Dawisha, and Bruce Parrott, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1997), 288.]
Work Collective Soviets ("sovety trudovykh kollektivov", STKs) were another institutional basis of political mobilization. These were created throughout the Soviet Union in 1987 with the "Law on State Enterprises" as part of the perestroika reforms. They were intended to foster democratization and increase efficiency in Soviet industry. However, they were also ready-made forums for debate and provided a structure which activists used to take control of Moldovan industry in late 1989.
The Supreme Soviet talks language law
Newly empowered by the weakened
CPSU, and increasingly pressured by the ascendant movement for national reawakening, the Moldavian Supreme Soviet (which became the Moldovan legislature in June 1990) announced its plans to debate a new slate of language legislation that might establish Moldovanas the official language of the republic. The two successive drafts of the proposed legislation--one released in March and the other leaked in August--touched off fierce debate in the republican press and led to the increased political mobilization of groups both opposed to the legislation and those in favor.
During the Moldavian Supreme Soviet session that eventually passed the language legislation on
31 August 1989, upwards of 500,000 people gathered in a "Grand National Assembly" in Chişinău's Victory Square outside of the Supreme Soviet building to show their support. Elsewhere in Chişinău and other cities, smaller rallies voiced opposition.
The strike movement
While the group "Interdvizhenie"-"Unitate-Edinstvo" was the first to organize significant opposition to the language legislation, more effective activity began in the workplace. STKs became the foci around which oppositional activity turned in the early part of the conflict. In Transnistria, close-knit work collectives were ready-made institutional alternatives to the Communist Party cells—also omnipresent at the Soviet workplace. From 1989 to 1991, many Transnistrian party members handed in their party cards or simply stopped paying their dues; simultaneously, the OSTK began using the STKs in the same way the party had used its cells. By the end of August 1989, STKs had "de facto" control over their factories throughout much of
Transnistria. Often they worked with, or were dominated by, factory management. Occasionally, they effectively ousted unsympathetic directors or staff. [There are several examples of this happening. In one case related by the head of the Grigoriopol OSTK, V. L. Bodnar, workers of the "Aksim" factory STK decided to "remove the director, P. V. Tanas, from his position as administrator" and to take "power into their own hands." The STK set up guards to regulate admission to the factory and Tanas was forbidden from returning. In another example, workers at the Bendery rail depot eventually voted for an indefinite strike in the face of opposition from members within the collective, the director of the railroad station,Yu. Gerasimov, secretary of the Moldovan Trade Union Council, S. Krekian, an inspector of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Moldova, V. Floria, department head of the central committee of the trade union of railroad workers, V. Terekhin, and eventually even republican council of ministers deputy chairman, P. Shapa. See Bodnar, quoted in Anna Volkova, "Goriachee leto 1989 goda" (Tiraspol: Tipar 2004), 140-1; and "Gudok", August 30, 1989, trans. in FBIS, September 1, 1989, 28-29.]
Many that were to become active in the strike campaign had been suspicious of the language legislation from the beginning—they suspected this to be the first step towards “nationalization” of the republic at the expense of “their country,” the Soviet Union. [In this sense it was the spirit of the law as much as the exact provisions which worried many of those who went on to become activists. “People were not worried about the actual articles of the law,” wrote one partisan reporter for "Literaturnaia Gazeta" in a later book. “People knew: no one here ever lived by the letter of the law—people lived buffeted by gusts of passion (zhili povetriiami). In 1989 the wind was blowing the wrong way.” See: Efim Bershin, "Dikoe pole: Pridnestrovskii razlom." (Moscow: Tekst, 2002), 19.] However, on
10 August 1989I. M. Zaslavskii, a deputy to the Moldavian Supreme Soviet and resident of the Transnistrian city of Tiraspol, leaked a new draft of the law to the factory newspaper of the “Tochlitmash” Tiraspol Machine-Building Factory im. Kirova. Seeing that the new version would establish Moldovan as the only official language of the MSSR, activists from a number of Tiraspol factories came together to create the United Work Collective Council("Ob"edinnennyi Sovet trudovykh kollektivov", OSTK) and called an immediate strike that eventually led to the shutdown of most major industrial activity (concentrated in the Transnistrian region) throughout the SSR.
The peak of the strike movement came in September 1989 in the immediate aftermath of the MSSR Supreme Soviet's passage of the language legislation. Vladimir Socor, analyst for the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, places the total number of strikers in the MSSR at close to 200,000, writing, "By August 29, when the session of the Moldavian Supreme Soviet convened, more than 100,000 workers and employees at over 100 enterprises were on strike in the republic; their numbers almost doubled within four days.” [Vladimir Socor, "Moldavian Proclaimed Official Language in the Moldavian SSR" "Report on the USSR" 1 no. 37 (September 22, 1989), 13.] This level of mobilization was not long sustained. In part convinced that the language legislation would not be repealed, and in part reassured by the sympathetic conclusions of a commission sent by the
Supreme Sovietof the Soviet Union, [The commission, headed by the Vice-Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet's Commission on National Policy and International Relations, Erkin Nurzhanovich Auel’bekov, in many ways agreed with the strikers' assessment of the situation. In the commission's published conclusions, the members stated that the "insufficient response on the part of the republican authorities" and the final version of the language legislation "failed to satisfy" the strikers' demands. They also, however, recommended keeping the version as passed. See: "On the Social and Political Situation in Moldova: Conclusions of the Commission of the USSR Supreme Soviet," quoted in Volkova, "Goriachee leto", 196-199.] the OSTK (temporarily embodied in the United Republican Strike Committee) decided to end the strike on 15 September 1989. While the strike had failed in its immediate goal—to prevent the passage of the language legislation—it had demonstrated the power and the popularity of the OSTK, particularly in Transnistria. [In a post-mortem published in the Strike Committee's main organ, "Bastuiushchii Tiraspol", the chairman of the Tiraspol City Strike Committee wrote that, "We proved that the working class, all working people, have not lost the ability for organized battle to obtain their political and civil rights.” Quoted in Volkova, "Goriachee leto", 193.]
A tale of city soviets
Together with the work collectives, the other locus of oppositional activity in Transnistria was local government. This was especially true after the elections of 1990 when the OSTK essentially took control of the city soviets of Tiraspol, Bendery, and Rybnitsa, the Rybnitsa "raion" soviet. However, even in 1989 these city and "
raion" soviets expressed ever less timid dissent with respect to the government in Chişinău. In many ways this dynamic mirrored that between Chişinău and the Soviet central government in Moscow; with the communist party fading into irrelevance and facing strong pressure from social organizations and private citizens, local government institutions of Transnistria were increasingly willing to defy superiors in the name of satisfying local constituents. Even so the chairmen of Transnistrian city and "raion" soviets and city and "raion" executive committees (ispolkoms) in Tiraspol, Bendery and Rybnitsa were demoted or voted out of office completely with the elections of 1990. [Most of the chairmen of Transnistrian (together with Bendery) soviets after 1990 were replaced with pro-OSTK deputies. The new leaders were OSTK activists, mostly members of Communist party of the Soviet Union, and coming from a technical background (factory directors, engineers, skilled workers, etc.) See: Nikolai Babilunga and Boris Bomeshko, "Pridnestrovskyi konflikt: istoricheskie, demograficheskie, politicheskie aspekty" (Tiraspol’: RIO PGU, 1998), 25.] In these, OSTK activists, often with technical backgrounds and mostly members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, took control of the city and raion soviets. [In one example, Anna Volkova relates that candidacy the future PMR president, Igor Smirnov, for the 32nd district seat for the city soviet and the 125th district for the Moldovan Supreme Soviet was opposed by the local Communist leaders. While the OSTK controlled most of the seats in the city soviet after February 1990, the Communist Party City Committee advanced its chairman, Leonid Tsurkan, to be the city soviet chairman. In the March 23rd session that decided the issue, Smirnov and Tsurkan squared off with a secret-ballot election. Smirnov took the chairmanship with 86 of the 134 votes (64%). Anna Volkova, "Lider" (Tiraspol’: [s.n.] , 2001), 37.]
Throughout 1990, OSTK-controlled soviets in Transnistria battled with republican authorities in Chişinău, many of the latter also elected in 1990 and that on a platform of national awakening. On 27 April 1990, the Supreme Soviet of Moldova took the symbolic step of adopting a new republican flag based on the yellow, red and blue Romanian flag. This highly visible sign of defiance against the Soviet government served as the pretext for the first big showdown between the republican government in Chişinău and the OSTK-controlled soviets in Transnistria. Within three days, the Tiraspol city soviet announced that it did not accept the new flag. In the territory under its jurisdiction, the flag of the Soviet Union was to be used until that time when the city soviet deputies could decide on permanent symbols. Although the Moldovan Supreme Soviet annulled this decision on May 4, the city soviets of Bendery and Rybnitsa soon followed suit on the 5th and 8th respectively. The continued defiance prompted the Moldovan government to pass a law on May 10 making the acceptance of the new flag legally binding. However, although the police and the court system were largely still loyal to the government in Chişinău, Supreme Soviet deputies were not willing to provoke the sort of outcry that would certainly have arisen if Moldovan officials had gone as far as arresting leading Transnistrian politicians. In the event, the Supreme Soviet continued to fume as events continued to progress in Transnistria. However, it was at a loss as to how to stop them. In mid May, the Bendery city soviet declared its intention to hold a referendum on the creation of the Dniester Republic. The Supreme Soviet again annulled this decision and forbade the holding of such a referendum. The republican government was, however, increasingly seeing the limits of its power to control lawmakers in Transnistria. Over the objections of the authorities in Chişinău, the Bendery city soviet held the election in July and then used the results as a further justification for separatist action. [“Vybory, referendumy, oprosy,” in "Nepriznannaia respublika: ocherki, dokumenty, khronika: dokumenty gosudarstvennykh organov Pridnestrovia," Vol. II, Gryzlov, V.F., ed. (Moscow: Rossiiskaia akademiia nauk, TIMO, 1997), 177.] This pattern continued throughout the year.
The PMSSR is declared
Quickly moving down the unprecedented path of secession from a union republic, left-bank city and raion soviets needed a popular mandate to justify their extreme actions. They laid claim to this mandate through a referendum campaign that swept through the Dniester area in 1990. In this campaign citizens were asked to vote on a variety of issues—whether or not to create a Dniester state, which alphabet to use for the Moldovan language, whether or not to accept the new Moldovan flag and others. Indeed, referendums constituted an act of defiance in and of themselves as the Moldovan government routinely declared the organization of such referendums illegal and routinely nullified the results. [The first referendums were organized in Rybnitsa and Tiraspol in December 1989 and January 1990 respectively. This was followed by Bendery several months later in the spring. During the course of July, August and September, many Transnistrian city, raion, town (poselkovye) and rural (sel’skie) soviets conducted referendums of their own. By October, some were holding referendums again. While many of the referendums included questions on other important debates relevant to the various cities, one question was on every ballot in every referendum: “On entry into the [Dniester state] in the event of its creation.” See: “Vybory, referendumy, oprosy,” in "Nepriznannaia respublika," Gryzlov, ed., Vol. II, 175-179.]
September 2, 1990, in the face of the Moldovan declaration of sovereignty from the Soviet Union and with a growing mandate from the referendum campaign sweeping the Dniester region, delegates to the Second Congress of Transnistrian Deputies announced the creation of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic.
With the declaration of the PMSSR, city and raion soviets throughout Transnistria convened plenums and discussed the possibility of integrating themselves into the new republic. While many of the soviet deputies were those same delegates that participated in the Second Congress, these votes were not always uncontested affairs; in the case of the Dubossary "raion", the soviet refused to place itself under the jurisdiction of the Dniester state. In the Dubossary city soviet, an organ with OSTK preponderance but not dominance, the majority prevailed with the support of only 49 of the 86 deputies (57%). [Viktor Vasilevich Diukarev. Pridnestrov’e—proshloe, nastoiashchee, budushchee, za kulisami politiki. Dubossary 1989-1992 gg (Tiraspol’: Uprpoligrafizdat PMR, 2000), 203-205.] While results were more one sided elsewhere, everywhere confusion abounded. Many governmental institutions—the police, public prosecutors, judges—remained loyal to the government in Chişinău; some enterprises or villages defected from one local soviet to another to end up on the right side; [One early example of this is the case of the village of Parkany, whose soviet decided to leave the
Slobozia"raion" and place itself under the jurisdiction of Tiraspol city in September 1989. While it took this step at a time when it was unclear how much the Slobozia "raion" soviet would support the strike movement, the OSTK was able to take over the Slobozia soviet the following year. Volkova, "Goriachee leto", 154.] paramilitary men competed with police to provide law and order, and during 1991 began attempting to evict them from their former stations. Even in Tiraspol, consolidation was to take upwards of a year.
Opposition to PMSSR
While the PMSSR was popular in Transnistria's cities, there was considerable opposition in rural communities. While OSTK supporters took control of city soviets in 1990, this was not the case in most of the raion soviets with their agricultural constituencies. The new leadership of the Grigoriopol raion "soviet" did not support the separatist movement [Igor Smirnov said of the chairman of the Grigoriopol "raion" soviet, P. Poian, that “although he did not come out against us openly, he secretly insulted us.” Igor Smirnov, "Zhit' na nashei zemlei" (Moscow: Sov. pisatel’, 2001), 44.] and the new Dubossary and Slobozia "raion" soviets actively supported the government in Chişinău.
Occasionally rural loyalists expressed their opposition with appeals and rallies. This was the case on 16 September 1990 when a meeting against the PMSSR was held in the village Lunga, near Dubăsari, with participants from all over Transnistria. [ro icon Mihail Gh. Ciubotaru - "Nu răscoliţi apele negre!" in "Moldova" nr. 12/1990.]
The loyalist raion soviets expressed their opposition by flying the Moldovan flag, [In Dubossary “the buildings of the city and the raion soviets were situated right next to each other...above the building of the raisovet flew the tricolor, and above the gorsovet—the flag of the USSR.” See: Diukarev, "Pridnestrov'e," 131.] and refusing to accept the jurisdiction of Tiraspol. On 17 September the Moldovan government held a working session in Dubăsari in the building of the raion soviet which was loyal to the central authorities in Chişinău. [TASS, September 18, 1990, trans. in FBIS, September 19, 1990, 79.]
Moreover, many Transnistrian civil servants, including the police, employees of the public prosecutor's, and employees of the court system remained loyal to the government in Chişinău. These were often the targets of violence and intimidation as Transnistrian authorities attempted to take control of loyalist governmental institutions. [Historians Anatolie Muntean and Nicolae Ciubotaru write, "all of the organs of the Republic of Moldova on the left side of the Dnester were declared illegal and were liquidated." One of many examples cited by Mentean and Ciubotaru is the case of the loyalist chief prosecutor of the city of Bendery. He was arrested and released a total of three times in the course of two months as the separatist state consolidated its power. See: Anatolie Muntean and Nicolae Ciubotaru, "Românii de la Est--Razboiul de pe Nistru--(1990-1992)" (Bucureşti: Ager-Economistul, 2004), 77, 299, 326-7.] Seizing these state institutions took more than a year, and it was finished only after the
War of Transnistria.
The key participants in the creation of the PMSSR were almost entirely from the ranks of Soviet industrial workers and factory administration.
*Igor Nikolaevich Smirnov: Born in
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia; director of the “Electromash” factory, 1987-1989; elected Peoples' Deputy to the Tiraspol city soviet, 1990; chairman of the Tiraspol city soviet; elected chair of PMSSR Provisional Supreme Soviet in September 1990; elected Chairman of the Republic of the PMSSR, 1990; elected President of PMR in December 1991.
*Anatolii Ivanovich Bol’shakov: (b. 1930) general director of the Tiraspol ‘Tochlitmash’ Factory; Hero of Socialist Labor; deputy to the MSSR Supreme Soviet (recurrently); organizer of "Interdvizhenie"; deputy to the OSTK from the 'Tochlitmash' factory STK from August 1989.
*Viktor V. Diukarev: among the organizers of Dubossary "Interdvizheniie" initiative group in 1989; elected Peoples' Deputy to the MSSR Supreme Soviet in 1990; elected Peoples' Deputy to the 1st and 2nd PMSSR Supreme Soviets.
*V. Emel’ianov: elected chairman of the OSTK on
May 19, 1990at the Third Conference of the OSTK; elected Peoples' Deputy to the PMSSR Supreme Soviet in 1990; chairman of PMSSR VS Commission on the Protection of Law and Order, 1990.
*Alexandru Achimovici Caraman: Ideologue of Slobozia raional committee of Moldovan Communist Party, delegate at the 17th Congress of Moldovan Communist Party. [Interview with Caraman in "Moldova" nr. 12/1990] First Assistant to the Chief Doctor of the Slobodzeiskii "raion"; elected to Slobodzeiskii "raisovet" in February 1990; elected one of three assistant chairmen of PMSSR Provisionsal Supreme Soviet in September 1990; elected Peoples' Deputy to the PMSSR Supreme Soviet in November 1990; chairman of the House of Nationalities; elected vice-president of the PMR in December 1991; served as vice-president until 2001.
*A. P. Manoilov: truck driver; co-chair of the United Republican Strike Committee in 1989; elected Peoples' Deputy to the MSSR Supreme Soviet in 1990; elected Peoples' Deputy to the PMSSR Supreme Soviet in 1990; acting Chairman of the Republic of the PSSMR during the imprisonment of Igor Smirnov in 1991.
*Grigore Stepanovich Mărăcuţă: first secretary of the Kamenka "raion" Communist Party committee; elected deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the PMSSR in 1990; chairman of the PMR Supreme Soviet (1991-2005).
*V. M. Ryliakov: shop foreman in the “Elektromash” factory in Tiraspol; co-chair of United Republican Strike Committee, 1989; chairman of the OSTK, 1990; elected Peoples' Deputy to the Tiraspol city soviet, 1990; vice-chairman of the Tiraspol city soviet; elected Peoples' Deputy to the PMSSR Supreme Soviet in 1990.
*B. Shtefan: Chairman of the work collective at the “Elektromash” factory in Tiraspol; elected chair of the OSTK in August 1989; chairman of the United Republican Strike Committee.
*Anna Zakharovna Volkova: Born in Kamtchatka,
Russia; historian; member of the editorial board of "Bastuiushchii Tiraspol’," 1989; elected vice-chairmen of the Provisional PMSSR Supreme Soviet, 1990; vice-chairman of the OSTK, 1990-1991; elected Peoples' Deputy to the Tiraspol city soviet, 1990-95; elected Peoples' Deputy to the MSSR Supreme Soviet, 1990-1992; assistant to the chairman of the PMSSR Supreme Soviet; elected Peoples' Deputy to the PMSSR Supreme Soviet, 1990-95; advisor to the president of the PMR since 1996 and State Advisor to the President since 2002.
*P. A. Zalozhkov: pattern-maker ("rabochii-modelshchik") at the "Tochlitmash" factory in Tiraspol; vice-chairman of United Strike Committee, 1989; chairman of the Tiraspol City Strike Committee, 1989; elected Peoples' Deputy to the Tiraspol city soviet, 1990; member of the Tiraspol city soviet executive committee.
Consolidation and collapse
Once the PMSSR had been created, the incipient government in Tiraspol fought an increasingly violent struggle for sovereignty with the Moldovan government in Chişinău. [See: Vladimir Socor, "Creeping Putsch in Eastern Moldova," "RFE/RL Research Report" 1 no. 3 (17 January 1992): 8-13. Socor writes that targeted institutions would be picketed by separatists and besieged by Dniester Guardsmen and workers’ detachments [i.e. "Rabochie otriady sodeistviia militsii" — ROSM] demanding that the institution in question place itself under the jurisdiction of the PMSSR. “Some of the institutions and buildings were seized, mostly at night, and staffs were evicted at gunpoint and replaced by [PMSSR] loyalists." pg. 10.] Throughout late 1991 and into early 1992, workers’ battalions, increasingly the beneficiaries of weaponry from sympathetic
Red Armyofficers and defections from among the local military personnel, grew better prepared than the loyalist Moldovan police in Transnistria. Police stations were captured, policemen were evicted, and in extreme cases workers’ battalions and police traded fire. Skirmishes in November 1990, and September and December 1991 witnessed continued Moldovan inability to reassert sovereignty in the region. Throughout the first half of 1992 the violence continued to escalate and culminated in a short, but bloody, war in late June 1992. The war left the separatists in Tiraspol with "de facto" control over most of Transnistria and the west-bank city of Bendery.
However, even as the Dniester Republic grew more established as a state, the end of 1991 brought with it the collapse of the state within which the OSTK activists had originally been striving to remain: the Soviet Union.
* [http://www.vspmr.org/?Part=5&Lang=Eng History of creation and development of the Parliament of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR)]
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