Oleg Kozlovsky’s English Weblog

Politics, Democracy and Human Rights in Russia

West Must Speak Up for Moldova

with 6 comments

From The Huffington Post.
April 10, 2009.

Some countries are just more lucky than others. Moldova wasn’t lucky enough to be known in America or Western Europe. Indeed, it’s a small East-European ex-Soviet country, poorest on the continent, and there’s little of interest about it. Except maybe for the fact that Moldova is the only place in the world where Communists keep winning West-approved elections. So they did, or claim to have done, at general elections last Sunday.

What followed the voting was completely unexpected both by the government and the opposition. About 10,000 protesters, mostly students, held a protest in Chisinau on Monday again what they called fraudulent elections. The young people, who organized themselves via Facebook, Twitter and SMS, demanded freedom of press, creation of a broad opposition coalition and new elections. The protest was peaceful and ended same evening.

Protest in Chisinau (from Natalia Morar's blog)

Protest in Chisinau (from Natalia Morar's blog)

The other day more young people came to protest and the situation went out of control. Police were taken by surprise as 30,000-strong crowd stormed the Parliament and President’s Residence. Organizers, both civil groups and opposition parties, couldn’t control their supporters and the demonstration turned into a riot. Hooligans, who were reportedly a minority of the protesters, vandalized and looted official buildings and even put the Parliament building on fire. Riot police arrived at the site in the night and arrested every young person they found. It looks like the police allowed the protests become violent intentionally or even infiltrated them with provocateurs in order to have an excuse for harsh action.

The governement is now in control of Chisinau and accuses the opposition of attempting a coup. Communist President Vladimir Voronin may now use the protests to crack down on the civil and political activists and the arrests are already said to have begun. Organizers of the Monday action, like youth leader Natalia Morar, deny the accusations and explain that they tried to prevent violence. However, the government doesn’t seem to be listening. If the crackdown continues, the whole democratic opposition in Moldova may be beheaded and the already threatened democracy effectively destroyed.

Western leaders are largely ignoring the dramatic events in Chisinau. Will they allow the pro-European democratic forces in Moldova to be crushed by the Communist regime? Will they be just as short-sighted as they were when Lukashenko destroyed the opposition in Belarus or when Putin established his “sovereign democracy” rule in Russia?

American and European leaders should speak up in support of peaceful solution in Moldova and call both sides to refrain from violence. They should offer their mediation between the government and the opposition. Voronin has already agreed to such negotiations, the opposition will surely do as well. Otherwise, another “last dictatorship in Europe” is going to appear in this unlucky country.

Written by Oleg Kozlovsky

April 8, 2009 at 22:10

6 Responses

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  1. […] Russian youth opposition leader Oleg Kozlovsky urges “American and European leaders” to “speak up in support of peaceful solution in Moldova and call both sides to refrain from […]

  2. Weak reaction of the international community towards severe sideslips of regime of Chisinău can be a clear sign that in times of crisis popular protests give chills to all of the consolidated democracies. Why ? Because it reminds them that on the fund decreased standard of living could also faced with such events. So is it that young people protest in the Republic of Moldova intends to be resolved as quickly and in silence before they give ideas to others.

    G.I.

    April 12, 2009 at 02:48

  3. What’s happened in Chisinău isn’t lost on informed Americans. We see it for what it is – young people rightfully disgusted with three term Communist stagnation. They want a better life.

    The real problem is that we have now in the White House another Jimmy Carter or worse. Obama has already showed his hand when Hillary Clinton on her State Department visit to China related that human rights wouldn’t be an issue with the US.

    The spineless Europeans will throw Eastern Europe and any Russians desiring a civil society under the bus. Those that wished for a socialist America and the empty suit Obama will now live the consequences.

    But, there are things happening in America that are not being addressed by the global lefty media. Protest rallies here – google “Tea Parties” – are getting serious.

    A weakened socialist America benefits no one but the thugs that ruin human lives.

    I’ll take a Reagan any day over a naive fool like Obama. He’s not your friend.

    penny

    April 16, 2009 at 04:50

  4. […] Russian youth opposition leader Oleg Kozlovsky urges “American and European leaders” to “speak up in support of peaceful solution in Moldova and call both sides to refrain from […]

  5. hi dear .
    your post was useful for me . I hope the best for U. I wish pease and happines for your people.

    Bahram Karimi

    May 30, 2009 at 20:04

  6. I have a short story in russian-english- Gilaki-persian language in my weblog . please come and submit comment.
    Thanks

    Bahram Karimi

    May 30, 2009 at 20:09


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