Trans-Dniester alone for 15 years
By Helen Fawkes
BBC News, Tiraspol
Friday, 2 September 2005, 07:24 GMT 08:24 UK
A sign hanging to celebrate independence in Tiraspol
Tiraspol has been decked out for the 'independence' parade
The breakaway Trans-Dniester region is to mark the 15th anniversary of its self-proclaimed independence from the former Soviet Republic of Moldavia.
Officially Trans-Dniester remains part of what is now Moldova, but Russian peacekeepers have guarded the borders since a civil war in the early 1990s.
Soldiers and tanks are expected to sweep through the capital, Tiraspol, in a Soviet-style military parade.
But 15 years on, the breakaway republic is not recognised internationally.
Sandwiched between Ukraine and Moldova, there is growing concern in the West about this separatist state.
It is home to one of the largest stockpiles of weapons in Europe, left behind by the Red Army.
Map of Moldova
Largely Russian and Ukrainian-speaking
Declared independence in 1990
Not recognised internationally
Separatist capital is Tiraspol
Population under a million
1,400 ...>> full