World Leaders in Their Underpants #107

Yevgeny Shevchuk - President of TransnistriaYevgeny Shevchuk – President of Transnistria

The world is riddled with scarcely recognised states, curious breakaway republics that definitely exist, and are often home to thousands of people who are certainly there. Nevertheless, for one reason or another, most of the world refuses to acknowledge them.

More often than not, these regions litter the borderlands of the former Soviet Union and represent tensions stirred up by the nationalistic tendencies of other freshly minted republics. World Leaders in Their Underpants has always welcomed the heads of these limbo states, from Nagorno-Karabakh to Abkhazia.

Today we visit a ribbon of land along the border between Ukraine and Moldova. Technically, the Transnistrian region is part of Moldova, but the mainly Russian speaking Transnistrians baulked at the declaration of Moldovan as the official language of the new republic. A short messy war ensued, and despite a ceasefire in 1992, the region has remained frozen in it’s barely recognised state until the present day.

Yevgeny Shevchuk, seen here in his underpants, is the breakaway republic’s president, tasked with improving relations with Moldova without unsettling their largest benefactors, the Russians. The growing number of such presidents now mingling with the undressed heads of state makes them increasingly difficult to ignore. Welcome, Yevgeny!

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