Special Report

The National Borders On the Brink of War

Source: Anton Polyakov / Getty Images

Dniester Valley Security Zone
> Location: Border between the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine
> Effective since: July 21, 1992
> Parties involved: Moldova, Russia, and unrecognized state of Transnistria (the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic)
> Also referred to as: Joint Control Commission

The border between the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine has been a hot spot for more than three decades. In 1990, residents of the easternmost area of the landlocked nation sought international recognition as the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, known as Transnistria. Transnistria is a strip of land between Moldova and Ukraine with only about 500,000 residents. Territorial claims were disputed after the demise of the Soviet Union and war broke out in 1992 between the new Republic of Moldova and Transnistria in cities along the Dniester River. Russia, in support of Transnistria, intervened militarily and halted the violence. The Russian presence has allowed Transnistria a degree of autonomy.

Source: Phototreat / iStock via Getty Images

Sudan-South Sudan Demilitarized Zone
> Location: Border between Sudan and South Sudan
> Effective since: March 12, 2013
> Parties involved: Sudan, South Sudan

In 2013, Sudan and South Sudan agreed to withdraw their troops from a 14-mile-wide demilitarized zone in an accord brokered by former South African President Thabo Mbeki. South Sudan came into being in 2011 following the results of a referendum and the end of a ruinous war that killed nearly 2 million people. Even so, the two countries have disputed their borders and terms of oil exports.

> Location: Between Armenia and Azerbaijan
> Effective since: Nov. 10, 2020 most recent ceasefire
> Parties involved: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia

The landlocked mountainous region in the South Caucasus known as Nagorno-Karabakh has been a bone of contention between former Soviet Union republics Armenia and Azerbaijan. Fighting over the region became so intense that Russia had to step in and stop six weeks of bloody fighting in 2020. Nagorno-Karabakh is within the borders of Azerbaijan, but the population is mostly Armenian. The sides have been in conflict since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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