Transnistrians want out
The week's news at a glance.
Residents of the breakaway Transnistria region of Moldova voted overwhelmingly this week to join Russia. The region, largely populated by ethnic Russians and Ukrainians, has been agitating to leave Moldova ever since the country gained independence through the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Moldova refused to recognize the referendum. A family clan is ruling in Transnistria, Moldovan Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev said. This is dangerous not only for Moldova and Ukraine but also for Europe and the whole world. Tarlev said a son of Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov is a major arms dealer who sells to shady groups. Transnistria, which makes up just one-eighth of Moldovas territory but has two-fifths of its industry, actually borders on Ukraine, not Russia.