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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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Parliament asks prosecutors to indict Moldova’s ex-PM, central bank governor, and 2 ex-ministers for negligence over 2014 frauds

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The Parliamentary committee on the investigation of the circumstances around the devaluation of the baking system requested the Moldovan prosecutors to initiate penal cases against the former PM Iurie Leancă, central bank ex-governor Dorin Drăguțanu, former Parliament speaker and economy minister Andrian Candu, as well as the ex-minister of finances, Anatol Arapu.

The committee found that the above-mentioned officials can be charged with negligence at work (329th article of the Penal Code).

Acording to committee head Alexandru Slusari, the three banks involved in the 2014 frauds did not have any special state management and siffoned millions out of Moldova’s banking system, even after the Government covered the 9,5 billion lei of emergency loans given by the National Bank to these banks.

“Thus, the leadership of the Government and the National Bank acted during that period with negligence, to say the least, without imposing state control over BEM, Unibank and Banca Sociala immediately after the issuance of the state warranties. We would like to remind that the warranties were eventually transformed into state debt with a 5% interest rate on the shoulder of citizens”, Slusari declared.

Concidence or not, former PM Iurie Leancă was stopped on 1 August by the border police from crossing Moldova’s borders after attempting to physically transfer 50 thousand euros to Romania. Leancă claims that the money is mentioned in his property declaration.

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Maia Sandu urges Tiraspol to lift the travel ban for officials of the Republic of Moldova

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Prime Minister Maia Sandu had a meeting with representatives of the mediators and observers in the “3+2” negotiation format. The discussions focused on the evaluation of the current stage of the Transnistrian settlement process.

Maia Sandu requested assistance from the “3+2” representatives in determining the Transnistrian party to eliminate in the near future the ban on traveling to the left bank for all citizens of the Republic of Moldova.

According to a government communiqué, the prime minister stressed that the “5+2” negotiation format for the Transnistrian settlement should become a platform to help fight corruption and smuggling.

“We have also discussed this in Kiev and I am glad that we have the same position in relation to this issue. The fight against corruption and smuggling in the Transnistrian region must be a priority. We will ensure that both state institutions and government officials will no longer be involved in corruption and smuggling schemes with Tiraspol, as it had happened in the past. As long as the Transnistrian region will be a major source of illegal enrichment for some people, there will be no real progress in identifying a political solution.”

In this context, Maia Sandu mentioned the need to prolong the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM).

The head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Claus Neukirch, reiterated that securing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, with a special status for the Transnistrian region, is the key factor in the mission’s work, but also the main goal of the “5+2” format.

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Financial support provided by USAID will be increased by $29 Million

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Yesterday, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, and the Deputy of the USAID for Europe and Eurasia Bureau, Brock Bierman, signed two letters confirming the intention to increase the contribution to the development assistance agreement with the value of 29 million US dollars.

According to Maia Sandu, the money offered by the American people will be used for good governance, tourism, information technology, and media projects.

“Support from the US over the years has been important for strengthening democratic institutions and processes in Moldova. US support has been and is important for building the rule of law for reforming justice, building a state to represent and defend Moldovan citizens. This financial support will be used as efficiently, transparently and correctly as possible, especially in the interests of all citizens,” said Maia Sandu.

The expected funding for democratic governance will facilitate the creation of functional institutions and involve citizens in decision-making, promote the efficiency and transparency of local governments, improve access to municipal services, and promote decentralization and judicial reforms. Other key areas are creating favorable conditions for civil society organizations and the media.

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