TOKYO-2016 People / Portrait_P

The Transnistrian Patriot

  • Prize
    Silver in Editorial/Political, Gold in People/Portrait
  • Photographer
    Justin Barton

The true nature of national identity and our elemental need to bond with patriotism is questioned in the face of portraits of nationalists of a country that doesn’t exist, but whose symbols have exerted a potent enough influence to maintain a frozen conflict for 25 years. During the split of the USSR this sliver of land at the edge of Moldova did not willingly secede but claimed independence as a Soviet Republic. Invisible on any maps outside of its borders, it remains unrecognized by any UN state. But in 1992 a bloody war was fought between Moldovans and Transnistrian separatists and now it remains caught between its Soviet history, current isolation and a dream of annexation by Russia. 1. Nina Shtanski - Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic 2. Nikolay Smolenskiy – Police Lieutenant Colonel Expert in Transnistrian Criminal Law 3. Igor Nebeygolova – KGB Colonel and Commander of the Cossack Regiment in Tiraspol 4. Nadezhda Bondarenko - Editor of Transnistrian Newspaper 'Pravda' 5. Andrey Smolenskiy – The only tour operator in Transnistria 6. Natalia Yefremova - Seller of Transnistrian patriotic items in Tiraspol 7. Tatyana Syarova - Editor in chief Transnistrian TV Channel 1 8. Irina Smirnova – Director of The Museum of The Transnistrian National Tragedy at Bendery