Refining Lives and Defining Sugar in the Transnistrian Borderlands (1898-2003)
The project traces the interaction between the local infrastructure of sugar production with the various political and economic regimes throughout the long twentieth century at the Rybnitsa Sugar Factory in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova. This carefully chosen location offers a different kind of transnational history. From its founding in 1898, the Rybnitsa Sugar Factory never moved, but found itself consecutively subject to the authority of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union’s Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the World War II Romanian occupation regime, the post-war Soviet Union’s Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, and today’s contested Transnistrian region in the independent Republic of Moldova. Consequently, the study will analyze the capacity of the local sugar infrastructure to adapt or resist against the pressures of the multiple state formations. The choice to focus on Rybnitsa allows the study to offer many of the benefits of transnational history while maintaining a clear focus on history from the ground up. In addition, the project fills a gap in the study of the European sugar beet industry, which had an important role in the industrial development of European countryside.