MOLDOVA'S BREAKAWAY DNIESTER region (Pridnestrovye, better known in the West as Transdniestria) is saturated with ultraconservative politics and culture. That atmosphere permeates the media in a region that a senior Council of Europe official has graphically described as "a museum of communism."1 Transdniestria, which had been declared part of the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic (MSSR) in 1940 and again in 1944, proclaimed itself a separate Soviet republic on 2 September 1990. After the demise of the USSR, the self-styled republic changed its name to "Pridnestrovskaya Moldavskaya Respublika" (Dniester Moldovan Republic, often referred to in the local media as "PMR"), but it completely failed to gain international recognition.

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