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The armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine attracted the Moldovan mercenaries to join the war in the Donbas region. They have reached the trenches that mark the red line on the political map of the world, according to a RISE Moldova investigation.

They fought in a war that doesn’t belong to them. At home, they were greeted by the Moldovan authorities, not their family. In Moldova, mercenaries are a crime, something easier rather than being hunted and considered terrorists in Ukraine.

According to the Security and Information Service, around 100 Moldovans have reached separatist trenches, fighting in a war that does not belong to them. Half of them have already been identified, and less than a quarter have reached the defendants’ bench. In the Republic of Moldova, these people are condemned as mercenaries and risk up to 10 years in prison; in Ukraine – the offenses committed by them are considered terrorist activities and are punished by up to 15 years or life imprisonment.

Vitalie Cojocari, 35 years old:

A resident of Cimișlia. In early 2015, Vitalie was at war in Ukraine. For that, he was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, with conditional suspension for two years.

“It takes me five seconds to kill a man. I can kill him with my own fingers. I never look him in the eyes. You don’t look into your victim’s eyes. We are mercenaries and, for us, this is a service. We wear masks and never spare anyone. No matter who they are.”

Igor Gusikov, Chief of the Apparatus of the Director of the Security Service of Ukraine:

“They are criminals to us. They are terrorists to us. We investigate them on a basis of articles that provide for participation in terrorist organizations, murders.”

Radu Chirilov, Alias “Tiger”, 26 years old:

He was sentenced to three years in prison, for the mercenary activity. The documents obtained by RISE Moldova show that in Ukraine Radu allegedly killed over 50 people. For his involvement in the war, e was paid monthly, with 40,000 Russian rubles, which then meant about 750 euros.

THE FULL STORY CAN BE READ HERE.

Currently studying Interactive/Media/Design at the Royal Academy of Art. Based in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Politics

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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A group of people, detained for smuggling weapons, ammunition and drugs from the Transnistrian region and the Russian Federation // VIDEO

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The accused ones are people from Stefan Voda and Chisinau, uncovered by police and prosecutors.

The grouping has been documented by investigative officers for several months. During this time, an undercover agent purchased some F-1 explosive grenades, a handcrafted craft, and hemp. Furthermore, a criminal case has been initiated. Currently, three people aged between 19 and 35 are detained.

Suspects are being prosecuted for illegal handling, storage, procurement, manufacture, repair or sale of weapons and ammunition, their evasion and illegal drug trafficking.

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Society

Moldova Pride 2019: The LGBT community in Moldova organized the “I’m OK” march

Today, March 19, the LGBT Community of Moldova organizes the “I’m OK” March, in a new edition of the Pride festival.

On the other hand, the (traditional) Family Festival is organized under the patronage of Igor Dodon. The police formed a cordon along Bucuresti street thoroughfare, blocking the traffic of cars and pedestrians, as well as preventing any conflict between the two camps.

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Dumitru Alaiba is the first deputy to openly participate in such an event. On his Facebook profile, Alaiba explained why it is important to join the march:

“No one, under any pretext, can tell you how to dress, what language to speak, which god to pray for, whom to love. […] And think well – what’s the biggest problem in our country, really: the LGBT community, or those who stole the billion dollars?”

The representatives of older generations – parents of several participants, too, attended the march. When asked why they came to the march, they replied that they came to defend their children’s rights. After a while, the #OccupyGuguta community joined the rally.

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Eduard (c) și Mamicon (d) au venit tocmai din Armenia pentru a participa la marșul solidarității „Sunt Ok”

Unlike in the past years, when the march of sexual minorities was accompanied by fierce manifestations of religious groups, the current edition unfolded without altercations and violence.

However, according to PRO TV, several members of the religious community organized a demonstration “Stop the Propagation of Homosexuality” in front of the Stephen the Great Monument in the morning. They came with crosses and sang religious songs.

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