The Land of Nowhere: 1 Rublei (Transnistria, 2007)-Founder's Article

Updated: Nov 14, 2021

Transnistria, formally known as the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. Is amongst the most unusual nations in the world. As it's a nation which technically does not exist. Transnistria is a breakaway republic located on a narrow strip of land, between the Dniester River and the Ukrainian border. Strangely Transnistria is also one of the few breakaway nations, that possesses it's own currency.


Currently (2020) Transnistria is only recognized by 3 other non-internationally recognized states: Abkhazia, Artsakh, and South Ossetia. All of which are within a state of “frozen conflict” and within the former Soviet Union. In general, explaining the note symbolism is a feat in itself. Almost as complex and convoluted, as the nation it originates from.


Observe

The observe features a portrait of Count Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov (1729-1800), the last generalissimo of the Russian Empire. Count Suvorov was near mythical figure, who was undefeated in over 60 battles. Even in modern times, Suvorov is considered to be the greatest military commander in Russian history.


The Tale of Count Suvorov

In a strange turn of history, Suvorov almost never began his military career. As his father considered him to be unfit for military service. By coincidence Suvorov's family lived in the same neighborhood as General Abram Petrovitch Gannibal. Known simply Hannibal or Ganibal, Abram Petrovich was another one of history's great anomalies. He started his life in Russia as a Central African slave. Given as a gift by Sultan Ahmed III, to Tzar Peter the Great. So intellectually gifted was Ganibal, that he was adopted by Tzar Peter as his godson.


Becoming one of the greatest generals in Russian history. Skilled in multiple languages and advance mathematics, at a young age. Tzar Peter funded Ganibal's education in French military academies, where he received enhanced training in military engineering and siege artillery. As a mentor, Ganibal vouched on Suvorov's behalf to his father. Recognizing the great potential he to possessed, at age 12.


Over his 54 years military career Suvorov participated in 6 major conflicts, fought throughout Eurasia. Representing both the Russian and Holy Roman Empire, on the behalf of Tzarina Catherine the Great. Significantly expanding the Russian Empire's borders westward and into the Ottoman-controlled Caucus. Count Suvorov commanded in the Dniester region, during the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792). Establishing the Dniester, as the Russian frontier in Europe and founding Traspol (future capital of Transnistria), in 1792.


Suvorov and the Soviets

In one of history's paradoxes, on 29 July 1942 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet established the Order of Suvorov. Despite some obvious contradictions, such as Suvorov being an Imperial figure. Who served both German and Russian interests, for a German born Tzarina. Yet he was commemorated with a medal, established in a war against German. By same government which overthrew the Russian Imperial family, he'd served.


In general, this decision led to the Soviet Union beginning to acknowledging pre-October Revolution (1917) figures. Although within the ideological narrative, with the end goal of further promoting the Soviet narrative. Some post-Soviet successor states, such Transnistria and Belerus continued this policy. To the extent the capital of Transnistria (Traspol) has a city square in his honor.


Reverse

The reverse features an illustration of the Obelisk of Glory, in Chiţcani village. Which commemorates the members of the Soviet 37th Army. Who established and held the Chiţcani bridgehead, in support of the 3rd Ukrainian Front. To the right is a depiction of the monument's placard.


The Chiţcani Bridgehead

On 14 April 1944 advance elements of the 37th Army commanded by Lt General M.N. Sharokhin, crossed the Dniester River. They established a bridgehead covering a 150 km² (93 mi²) area, along a 18 km (11.2 mi) wide front. Despite constant attacks by axis forces, the Soviets succeeded in holding the bridgehead for more than 4 months. A feat, that cost 1,000s of Soviet soldiers their lives. An estimated 1480 Soviet soldiers are buried in Chiţcani village. With an additional 1700 soldiers buried in a mass grave, in neighboring Copanca village.


The Obelisk of Glory

On 9 May 1972, Obelisk of Glory was opened to the public. Designed by S.M. Shoikhet, the obelisk stands 35m (115 ft). At its base is a cast iron plaque, it reads:

"At August 20, 1944 here, at Chiţcani bridgehead, began offensive compounds of the 3rd Ukrainian Front together with the troops of the 2nd Ukrainian Front. Black Sea Fleet and the Danube Flotilla during the Iasi-Kishinev operation. They encircled and defeated the powerful group of enemy armies and completed liberation of the Moldavian SSR from the Nazis."
"Glory to the heroic Soviet Army!"

Watermark and Additional Security Elements

The watermark features Count Suvoro (observe duplicate), with stylized Cyrillic letters printed beneath. They are П, Р, and Б, transliterated PRB, for Transnistrian Republican Bank. The note features a windowed security strip, which displays 4 sequences of ПРБ, when back lit.


Ultraviolet light analysis shows a number of luminous fibers. Under regular white light the fibers appear red, the fibers are made from recycled cotton. Noted the luminous nature of said fibers, may be incidental. As other banknotes printed on recycled medium then to have this same effect.


In regards to intentional ultraviolet security measures. The note's right observe (watermark area) features a sequence of 3 punctuated number “1”s. The Reverse is significantly more elaborate, the portrait of “Obelisk of Glory” is luminescent. Under UV light the portrait creates the appearance of a cloudy day. The floral engravings partitioning the portrait from the watermark area, are also luminous. As is the serial number and additional floral pattern accenting the number “1”, on the upper left.

Ultraviolet Gallery

Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 129 × 55 mm, these dimensions are standard for 2007 Series Transnistrian ruble from denominations 1-25.

  • Strangely denominations 50 and 100 utilize an insignificantly wider 56mm format.

  • The Transnistrian Ruble 2007 Series was last issued in 2012.

  • While often not considered legal tender outside Transnistria. Some Moldovan bus companies and local shops along the Transnistria-Moldovan border accept payments in this currency.

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