Background of the Conflict
The internationally recognized territory of present-day Moldova was formed in 1940 (confirmed in 1947) after the Romanian province of Bessarabia had been occupied and annexed by the USSR following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (1939) between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The Soviets stripped Bessarabia of some of her northern and southern districts (Izmail and partially, Akkerman and Khotin) and merged the remaining part of it with 8 of the 14 districts of “Moldavian ASSR” that had never been part of Romania thus forming a new administrative element of the USSR under the official name of “Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic”.
These territorial changes severely damaged geographical, cultural, economic and linguistic integrity of the area. In fact, the new “Republic” consisted of two parts (east and west of Dniester river) with quite different history, political culture and even ethnic makeup (click here to read more about the history of the area and to see historical maps).
The compatibility of the two parts of Moldavian SSR was put in question by the end of the 1980’s when the political landscape of the USSR started changing as a result of Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy of reform (“perestroyka”) and political liberalization. In Moldavian SSR just like in some other parts of the Soviet Union, various ethno-nationalist action groups formed Popular Front and started rapidly turning into the leading political force.
The Popular Front denounced Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and demanded sovereignty. In August-September 1989, the Moldavian Parliament (Supreme Soviet) passed language laws introducing Latin alphabet and recognizing Moldovan (variant of Romanian) as the state language instead of Russian. In April 1990, the Parliament adopted Romanian tricolor flag (red, yellow and blue) with historical Moldavian coat of arms as the state flag and changed the national anthem to the one
identical to Romanian. In June 1990 the Popular Front organized mass rallies calling for the re-union with Romania.
The above events were in a greater or less degree opposed by non-Romanian minorities thus marking the first Moldova’s steps towards independent statehood with intense ethnic conflict. The linguistic aspect happened to become crucial due to the fact that vast majoroty of non-Romanian population did not speak Moldovan (Romanian) language. Using the displeasure with the reform policies among minorities various anti-Romanian and anti-reform groups strongly backed up by Soviet secret service, denounced the new language law as “discriminatory” and launched the policy of confrontation.
One of the strongest groups opposing Moldova’s transition to democracy and sovereignty was “Edinstvo”. This group attracted many active Russian-speakers predominantly in the industrial cities on the left bank of Dniester where, unlike the rest of the MSSR, Romanian-speakers (ethnic Moldovans) were outnumbered by a Slavic majority.
This territory called Transnistria by Romanians and Podniestrovie by Slavs was merged with predominantly Romanian-Speaking Bessarabia only in 1940. It was not part of Romania in 1918-1940 and had never been associated with historical Moldova before that (See “Moldovan history” section for details). By the late summer of 1990,.Transnistria became the major bastion of anti-reform forces of Moldova.
At the same time, activists of Gagauz minority also aligned themselves with anti-reformists and formed their own anti-Romanian organization calling itself “Gagauz Halky” (Gagaus People) and aiming at secession of mainly Gagauz-inhabited southern districts of the republic from Moldova or to at the very least, the achievement of broad autonomy.
As we can see, the separatist sentiments in Moldova could be caused by the combination of factors including distinct history, fear of discrimination and destabilizing efforts of Moscow.
On June 24 of 1990, on the 50th anniversary of Bessarabia’s annexation by the USSR, thousands of Romanian citizens crossed the border into Moldova and rallied for re-unification of the two Romanian-speaking nations. The reaction of supported by Moscow anti-Romanian forces was quick. On August 20, 1990,leaders of “Gagauz Halky “ and a group of Gagauz deputies of Moldovan parliament proclaimed the Gagauz Republic (“Gagauz Yeri”) at a congress in Comrat
The new republic was claiming 5 southern districts of Moldova with a considerable proportion of Gagauz-speaking population. Next day the parliament of Moldova declared that decision unconstitutional and outlawed Gagauz separatist movement. 12 days later local authorities of Transnistria followed suit proclaiming Transnistrian Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic later renamed to Transnistiran Moldovan Republic with its capital in Tiraspol. Transnistrian leadership also declared that only USSR laws will function on the territory east of the Dniester despite any political development in the rest of Moldova.
The 16-month period between September 1990 and January 1992, was marked with sporadic skirmishes between Moldovan police and separatist forces backed by the Soviet troops including November 1990 clash in Dubosari . However it was not until the middle of 1992 when the open war broke out. In late November 1990 Transnistriaheld separate parliamentary elections and Igor Smirnov got chairmanship of the separatist parliament. In March 1991 Transnistria and Gagauzia hold the referendum on the preservation of the Soviet Union despite the boycott in the rest of Moldova.
On August 27, 1991 Moldovan government denounced the attempted hard-liner communist coup in Moscow and the parliament issued the Declaration of Independence. The declaration specifically denounced the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact as well as all its political and legal consequences. At the same time, leaders of separatist regions of Gagauzia and Transnistria declared their unequivocal support of the coup and commitment to the values of the Soviet Union. Tiraspol also interpreted the denunciation of the Nazi-Soviet Pact by Moldovan parliament as a legal basis for the secession of Transnistria keeping n mind the fact that before 1940 the area was part of Moldovan ASSR of the Soviet Union.
* * *
2017.TOP 15 MARCH
Они ничего не поняли и ничему не научились? Украина – 01.03.2017
Заговор Великих Князей – 03.03.2017
Как мы теряли Крым. Воспоминания Турчинова — 10.03.2017
Павел Милюков. Англофил на русском поле – 10.03.2017
Чем украинские РЕФОРМЫ отличаются от европейских ? – 10.03.2017
Что происходило В ФЕВРАЛЕ 1917 года? – 13.03.2017
Генерал разведки и МЗДА УКРАИНСКАЯ – 17.03.2017
Европа — зад Запада. Мюнхен – 31.03.2017
Как выжить В ЭПОХУ ТРАМПА? – 31.03.2017
Ле Пен в лицо Меркель: МАДАМ, Я ТЕБЯ НЕ ПРИЗНАЮ! – 31.03.2017
* * *
Тирасполь. Политика.Скачки троянских коней 25.07.2017
ТИРАСПОЛЬ. НАМ НУЖЕН ЛЕБЕДЬ ! 25.07.2017
1.TRASNISTRIEN. Was geschah im Juli? 25.07.2017
Naddniestrze: mołdawski węzeł gordyjski 25.07.2017
EU. Пролетая над гнездом кукушки, Посылаю… 25.07.2017
„Verfehlte westliche Interventionspolitik“ 25.07.2017
A glorified customs union 25.07.2017
Human Rights in the Context of Brexit 25.07.2017