How the Queen of England saved Simon Reeve from the KGB
Times Online reports that Simon Reeve, the BBC’s travel guide, tells Lonely Planet magazine how he found himself under arrest for “spying” in 2004 in Transnistria, a separatist region in Moldova.
“I was filming a secret Russian base there. The police were real KGB. Luckily, I’d told my guide that my claim to fame is my vague relation to Sir Christopher Wren, who apparently everyone in the Soviet Union learnt about in school. So our guide turned up at the KGB offices, saying ‘What are you doing? He is a relative of the Queen of England! There will be huge trouble for our country!’ and I was quickly released. They even gave me a KGB cap as a souvenir,” Reeve reportedly said.
Simon Reeve is based in London, and writes on international terrorism, conflict resolution, and making travel documentaries in little-known areas of the world, such as Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, Ajaria, South Ossetia. He is the New York Times bestselling author of The New Jackals (1998), One Day in September (2000) and Tropic of Capricorn (2007).
Reeve authored the documentary "Places That Don't Exist -- Trans-Dniester" (video below - in four parts) Transnistria broke away from the Republic of Moldova, then a Soviet Republic, in protest over the 1989 laws regarding the return to the Latin script, the establishment of Romanian rather than Russian as the official language of the country, and the change of the republic's Soviet-style flag to a new one, tricolor. A series of small-scale clashes occurred in late 1991 and early 1992, culminating with a short but violent armed conflict in which Russia's 14th Army sided with the government proclaimed in Tiraspol, the capital of this small strip of land sandwiched between Ukraine and the west bank of the Dniester/Nistru River.