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70 years ago today: 13-14 June 1941, 300,000 were deported from Bessarabia

Under Soviet rule, several waves of deportations of Moldovas native population were carried out: the first one just months before the outbreak of World War II; the second in the war’s immediate aftermath; and a third one in the mid-1950s.

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Deportations of people from historic Moldova were first put in practice under czarist rule. Under Soviet rule, several waves of deportations of Moldova’s native population were carried out: the first one just months before the outbreak of World War II; the second in the war’s immediate aftermath; and a third one in the mid-1950s. The first wave of mass deportations, linked with atrocities, was executed by the NKVD over a period of 12 months, between June 1940 and June 1941. In the first months of 1941, 3,470 families, with a total of 22,648 persons labelled as "anti-Soviet elements"—mostly landowners, merchants, priests, and members of the urban bourgeoisie—were deported to Kuzbas, Karaganda, Kazakhstan, and other faraway parts of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), amid reports of atrocities and exterminations. In Chişinău alone, evidence indicates that over 400 people slated for deportation were summarily executed in July 1940 and buried in the grounds of the Metropolitan Palace, the Chişinău Theological Institute and the backyard of the Italian Consulate, where the NKVD had established its headquarters.

Historians estimate that just on 13-14 June 1941, some 300,000 persons (about 12 percent of the entire population of the annexed territories) were deported to other regions of the USSR. In Bălţi alone, according to eyewitnesses, almost half of the city’s population of about 55,000 was deported to the interior of the USSR between 14 and 22 June 1941.

A second wave of deportations was carried out beginning with the Soviet reoccupation of Bessarabia of August 1944. It was executed in short and brutal installments over a period of several years by the NKVD and its successor agency, the MVD. The 1949 deportations from the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (MSSR) were carried out under the code name "Iug" (Operation South), which enforced the confidential Executive Decision No. 390-138 issued by the Soviet Union’s Council of Ministers on 29 January 1949. Moscow’s decision was aimed, among other things, at expediting the forced collectivization of Moldova’s agriculture by getting rid of all members of the rural population suspected of resistance to the suppression of private property. On 17 February 1949, an action memo signed by Soviet General I. L. Mordovetz, who headed the Chişinău Ministry of Security, indicated that 40,854 persons, most them kulaks, or small landowners, had been earmarked for deportation from the MSSR. Enforcing the secret Decree No. 509 of 28 June 1949 issued by the Soviet authorities in Chişinău, on the night of 5-6 July 1949, 35,796 persons—9,864 men, 14,033 women and 11,889 children—were deported under military escort to several faraway regions of the USSR. On the night of 5 July that same year, some 25,000 Moldovans were deported from Bolgrad, Ismail, and Akkerman and sent to Siberia or Kazakhstan.

The immediate effects of these deportations in terms of eradicating resistance to surrendering private property to the Soviet state can be gauged by the fact that in only two months—July and August 1949—the number of Moldovan properties turned into Soviet kolkhozes more than doubled, growing from 32.2 percent at the end of June 1949 to 72.3 percent at the end of August 1949. By deportations as well as other means, the dramatic process leading to the eradication of private property in Moldova’s countryside was completed by the end of 1950, when 97 percent of the Soviet republic’s private farmlands had been wiped out and merged into state-controlled collective farms.

The last stroke of that second wave of deportations enforced secret Decree No. 00193 of the Soviet Union’s State Security Ministry, issued in Moscow on 5 March 1951. It was carried out between 4:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. on 1 April 1951, when, under the code name "Sever" (Operation North), 2,617 persons—808 men, 967 women, and 842 children—making up 723 families of Jehovah’s Witnesses—were deported under military escort to Siberia.
Under the less brutal policies of "planned transfer of labor," a third wave of deportations began in 1955, with emphasis on the transfer of thousands of Moldova peasants to the trans-Ural regions of the USSR’s Russian Federation, where they were lured to move by offers of lesser taxation and other forms of material assistance. Moldovan settlements bearing such names as Teiul, Zâmbreni, Bălcineşti, Logăneşti, Basarabia Nouă, are to be found, for instance, north of Vladivostok in the Ussury valley. Other Moldovan settlements can be found in the region of Tomsk, in the vicinity of Irkutsk, and in the Arkhangelsk region.

Definitive figures are hard to assess, but the number of Moldovan deportees throughout the years of Soviet rule is considered to be around half a million. According to the 1958 edition of the British Encyclopedia (volume 15, p. 662), it was estimated that by mid-1955, the Soviet authorities had deported about 500,000 people from the MSSR. A corroborating indication is the fact that in 1979, according to Soviet statistics, there were 415,371 Moldovans living in Ukraine, over 100,000 in various parts of the USSR’s Russian Federation, including Siberia and the Russia’s Far East, over 33,000 in Soviet Central Asia and other distant places of the USSR.

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Opposition bloc ‘ACUM’: “It is time to get ready for protest actions.”

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Yesterday, the bloc ‘ACUM’ invited the Moldovan Socialist Party to the special session of the Moldovan Parliament, aimed at electing the leadership of Parliament and vote on a base of anti-oligarchic legislative initiatives.

However, the meeting did not take place, after the Socialist Party deputies ignored the invitation.

“This populist initiative of the representatives of the bloc ‘ACUM’ can not surprise us, nor the majority of the citizens of Moldova”, shows a PSRM communiqué.

The Action and Solidarity leader Maia Sandu said that the bloc of the ‘ACUM’ is still open for talks on the anti-oligarchic concept, and if the socialists do not give a positive response, then they will have to take responsibility for triggering early elections.

“We believe that dismantling the corrupted system is possible,” Sandu claims.

In this context, Maia Sandu gave the example of Ukraine, after yesterday, when the new president demanded resignations. Moreover, she implied the example of Armenia, where substantial efforts are being made in the field of reforming justice.

At the same time, Dignity and Truth Platform leader, Andrei Nastase, said that there is currently an undeclared alliance, composed of the Socialist Party, the Democratic Party and the Shor Party.

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Snap election: is it a practical solution for the political crisis in the Republic of Moldova?

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Today, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova has an anniversary – 2 months since both the first and the last meeting of the newly elected Parliament was held, 2 months of discussions, negotiations (or their avoidance), declarations and attempts (which were more or less trustworthy) to solve the standstill the Parliament and the entire country has been brought to.

No significant advance was reported since March 21st. There is one more month to go until Moldova’s president would dissolve the Parliament and would call a snap election.

In a last-ditch effort to avoid a snap election, the political bloc ACUM invited the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) to the Parliament’s special session, on 21 May 2019 at 14:00, in order to elect the Parliament’s leadership and vote on the anti-oligarchic legislative initiatives.

In response, the socialists published a press release on their official page where they mentioned that the ACUM proposition is unfounded and does not deserve to be taken into consideration. “This populist initiative of the representatives of the bloc ACUM can not surprise neither the PSRM faction in the Moldovan Parliament nor the majority of Moldovan citizens.” At the same time, the socialists highlighted the fact that in order to overcome the political crisis, it is necessary to create a parliamentary majority or to agree, at least, on the first election of the parliamentary leadership.

In short, none of them is willing to reach a compromise. Therefore, it is very probable that a snap election will be conducted in Moldova soon.

Nonetheless, people are not prepared for it. They already seem disappointed and less motivated to vote again. Over the last few years, the voter turnout in the Moldovan elections became lower and lower. During the 2014 parliamentary election it represented 57.28%, whereas during the 2019 parliamentary election it lowered to 50.57%. It could drop even more in case of snap election.

Moreover, a snap election would not change too much the configuration of Parliament, according to a survey conducted by the Association of Sociologists and Demographers from Moldova. Only 15% of respondents believe that this political crisis could be overcome by snap elections. One third of respondents consider that if snap election were organised, no political party would gain the majority, and the results would be similar to those of February elections.

“We have noticed that the population is tired of elections. If there were snap elections, 48.7% of respondents said they would participate in the elections, whereas one third of the population is uncertain about what to do. This demonstrates once again that people have been disappointed with so many choices and political parties, which could not reach a consensus,” declared Eugen Ştirbu, the director of the International Institute for Monitoring the Development of Democracy, Parliamentarianism and Respect for the Rights of the Citizens of the Member States of AIP CIS.

Experts claim that political uncertainty also affects Moldova economically. Adrian Lupusor, the director of the Independent Analytical Center Expert-Grup claimed that the period of standstill leads to delay of financial support programs and early elections would hit the state budget, as the adjustments after the elections would be painful. The costs of organizing elections in Moldova are inversely proportional to the citizens’ trust in politicians. Therefore, whereas the parliamentary elections in 2014 had a budget of 52 million lei, in 2019 – this budget amounted to more than 110 million lei and it could raise even more in case of snap election.

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PM Pavel Filip wasn’t present at the investiture ceremony of the new Ukrainian President

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More senior state leaders and senior officials were invited to the investiture ceremony of the new President of Ukraine. Among them were Prime Minister Pavel Filip, who wasn’t there, writes ZdG.

According to a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the PM was missing from the Kiev ceremony for “health reasons”, so the Ministry of Foreign Affairs himself, Tudor Ulianovschi, was represented at the ceremony in Moldova.

Several Heads of State were present at Zelenski’s investiture, but Igor Dodon wasn’t among them. However, Dodon had a telephone conversation with Zelenski as a result of which he might have agreed to hold a bilateral meeting.

Photo source: Investing.com UK

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