Transnistrian conflict in the context of post-Soviet nation-building


  • Anastasia V. Mitrofanova Russian Orthodox University; Financial University



Moldova, transnistira, national identity, nation-building, Pridnestrovie


This paper aims at comparing national identity situations in Moldova and the self-proclaimed Transnistrian state (Pridnestrovie). Moldovan identity is torn and takes at least five forms: (1) Moldovan ethnonational identity as a regional variation of the Romanian one; (2) specifically Moldovan ethnonational identity; (3) post-Soviet amorphous ‘non-identity’; (4) specific identities of ethnic minorities (identification of the Ukrainians with Ukraine, Russians with Russia, etc.); (5) marginal identities of the titular ethnic group. None of these identity projects is directed towards consolidating the Moldovan civil nation, including ethnic minorities (roughly making 22 % of the population). Moreover, there is an identity split within the titular ethnic group, more complex than a dilemma of Romanianism / Moldovanism. Moldovanism has at least two versions (ethicized and integrative), not mentioning marginalized identities (such as Romanian-speaking Orthodox fundamentalists objecting eurointegration). Transnistrian identity, to the contrary, is firm and consolidated, although it consists of seemingly incompatible parts (pre-Soviet, Soviet and post-Soviet). It is a civil identity based on ideology, not on ethnicity. This ideology is also mosaic and cannot be reduced to ‘neo-Communism’ or Russian nationalism. Thus, Transnistrian national project is open for all post-Soviet ethnic groups. Rapid reunification of the two banks seems impossible because their national projects have not just different contents, but different structures. Moldova should first decide on its vision of the national project and then build its policy towards Pridnestrovie and the EU on this ground. Without it, the conflict cannot be resolved in the foreseeable future.

Author Biography

Anastasia V. Mitrofanova, Russian Orthodox University; Financial University

Anastasia V. Mitrofanova is a Chair of Political Science at the Russian Orthodox University of St John the Divine and Professor at the Financial University under the Government of Russia. She received her M.A. (1994) and Cand. Sc. (1998) in Political Science from the Moscow State University; her Doctor. Sc (2005) from the Diplomatic Academy. In 1998–2012 she was Director of the Center for Euroatlantic Studies at the Diplomatic Academy. Her research interests include religion and politics, ethnicity, political extremism. Main publications: Politizatsiya ‘pravoslavnogo mira’ (Moskva: Nauka, 2004); The Politicization of Russian Orthodoxy: Actors and Ideas (Stuttgart: Ibidem-Verlag, 2005).



How to Cite

Mitrofanova, A. V. (2015). Transnistrian conflict in the context of post-Soviet nation-building. Sociolinguistic Studies, 9(2-3), 191–216.