Located on the Dniester river in the east of the country, Tiraspol is an industrial centre surrounded by agricultural land. In recent years it has seen the rise of a Russian separatist movement.
There was an ancient Romanian village called Sucleia on the site of the modern city. Russian forces constructed a fortress here in 1792 during the Russo–Turkish wars and the town was founded 3 years later, marking the extremity of the Russian empire.
It was the capital of the Moldovian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic from 1929–40, and then of the Moldovian Soviet Socialist Republic. Occupied by Nazi forces in 1941, it was re-taken by Soviet troops in 1944.
Around 40% of the population is Russian, with ethnic Moldovans making up around 20%. Tensions rose between the two communities and an organized Russian separatist movement appeared during the 1980s. In 1991 Moldova gained independence and the separatists responded by declaring the region of Transdniestr a republic and Tiraspol its capital.
Agriculture dominates the surrounding area but food processing, wine-making, textiles, furniture and electrical goods are important to the city.
International travellers are likely to fly into Chisinau. Tiraspol is well-served by road links and is on the main Odesa–Chisinau rail route.
Places of Interest
Tiraspol has few traditional tourists attractions but in many respects remains a model of a Soviet town.