A Mini-Russia Gets Squeezed by War


TIRASPOL, TRANSNISTRIA — At the Back in the U.S.S.R. cafe, it is like the Soviet Union never collapsed.

Busts of Lenin greet visitors at the door. Red hammer and sickle flags hang on the wall. Huge plastic Soviet-era telephones sit on the tables, next to bowls of traditional borscht and lumps of Stolichnaya potato salad.

This cafe and the whole Transnistria region, a Russia-supported breakaway republic wedged between Moldova and Ukraine, feels like a Soviet-themed vintage shop. The cafe may…



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