None of the previous governing of the Republic of Moldova has had a chance of winning Russia’s support in settling the Transdnistrian crisis, even though some of them enjoyed good relations with Russian political elite. One of the parties enjoying a real support in Moldova, the Communist Party, has had a standout approach towards the settlement of the Transdnistrian conflict. It may be reduced to the pledge to contribute to rebuilding Soviet Union and within its framework settle Transdnistrian conflict. To this end the Communist Party of the Republic of Moldova adhered to and is still a member of the Union of Communist Parties — Communist Party of the Soviet Union (UCP-CPSS). In short the expectations of the Moldovan Communists were as follows: Communist and internationalist ideas of the former URSS would prevail over revanchist and nationalist ideas of the new elite.
In this respect, as Transdnistrian leaders’ intentions to be “the last bastion of the soviet type Communism” were in line with statutory goals of the Communist Party of Moldova, the latter sought to justify the breakaway regime and engaged in criticizing previous governments’ efforts to settle the conflict.
The way political landscape evolved in 10 years since the breakup of the URSS had slightly changed the Communist Party ideology. If we are to consider the quality of the party press, then from a theoretical and ideological point of view, the Communist Party hasn’t evolved too far from the pro-Communist electronic publication “Bumbarash”. From a practical point of view, the Communist Party didn’t find anything better than to reiterate in its political program adopted at the April 2001 Congress (immediately after their victory in parliamentary elections) the same pledge to build the communist society in line with the Marxist-Leninist ideology and to rebuild URSS via the UCP-CPSS. It should be mentioned also that at that time the “destruction of the socialist motherland” was much deplored.
On the other hand, pragmatic leaders from Transdnistria changed the justification for their separatism a couple of times, i.e. from the “bastion of the soviet communism”, to “promoter of Russia’s interests in the Balkans”, and finally to the more pragmatic reasons — their own economic interests. Privatization of the public patrimony has become a major tool in safeguarding those interests.
Having said that, it comes as no surprise that the impetuous collaboration between the Communist governing and breakaway regime lasted just a couple of months after the communist victory in February elections. It was followed by a tough and precarious confrontation lasting to this day. Consequently, Communist authorities had to revise their priorities. In his speech made on the 10th anniversary of Republic of Moldova, August 27, 2001, President Voronin stated that consolidating the independence of the Moldovan state was a top priority, forgetting, thus, about the program of his own party. One year later, Republic of Moldova integration into another Union than the soviet one, namely European Union, has become a priority. One could only wonder about such an impressive metamorphosis. Nonetheless, credibility has become an issue.
Indeed, Transdnistria has undergone some spectacular transformations. One is for sure, it remained “Russia’s trustworthy partner” and promoter of Russia’s interests, thus justifying its sole existence. No wonder the ideological babble vanished once the real interests of the new Moldovan Communist authorities and old Transdnistrian administration clashed.
And here comes the innovative methods employed by the Transdnistrian leaders. Currently they are exerting an influence over Moldovan authorities by pulling the strings in Moscow, i.e. UCP-CPSS. Recently the official Transdnistrian press has published the appeal of the Plenary Council of the UCP-CPSS entitled “Let’s Join Our Efforts to Revive Our Motherland”. Authors of the document call the governments, Communist parties and movements in the former URSS republics to recognize Transdnistria’ independence that is “a trustworthy ally of Russia and an active promoter of rebuilding URSS”, but which currently undergoes genocide. At least formally, the appeal is addressed among others to the governing party of the Republic of Moldova. According to the UCP-CPSS, USA poses a great threat to Transdnistria as it intends to settle the conflict by force.
Of course the appeal as well as the UCP-CPSS itself may be ignored. After all, what can we expect from an organization headed by one of the ideologists of the August 1991 putsch, namely Oleg Shenin, Chair of the Council Steering Committee. This Shenin is a rather dubious character. An illustration of this are his numerous comments on Russia’s enemies such as: “we do understand what fascism, religious fundamentalism, and Islamic fundamentalism is, but what we fail to understand is what Zionism is?!”
No wonder that characters like this support Transdnistria. Liberal Jirinovski and others of the like, is another sample. At any rate, it is rather annoying that such an organization made up of “principled Communists” prefers to support a breakaway and illegal regime as Transdnistria is, which on top of everything pleads for the land privatization (!), rather than a democratically elected Moldovan communist regime, which publicly opposes land privatization. There is only one reasonable explanation — ideology is nothing but a “trap for stupids” for Russian Communists, what really matters for them, as well as for other elite circles, is “the reunification of Russian territories”.
The only issue here is whether it should come as a surprise that after all Moldovan governing party is still a member of the UCP-CPSS! And this especially after the Moldovan communist leaders named EU integration as a top priority, or after they condemned anti-Semitism.
One may only wonder how the representatives of the Moldovan Communist Party would feel at the UCP-CPSS reunions, especially as they are inaugurated by the anthem of the URSS whose lyrics was written by the “leading intellectual” — Serghei Mihalkov. The thing is that recently the declaration of the Russian writers headed by Serghei Mihalkov was published in Transdnistria, condemning Voronin’s regime and acclaiming the regime of Igor Smirnov “laureate of Sholohov award”. This is another evidence to the effect that for Russian intelligentsia, which may serve any regime in order to contribute to the greatness of their Motherland, what happened in Transdnistria, Chechnya, Abhazia, and the like, and most importantly why it happened is of little or no relevance at all. What really matters for them is that in the said regions Russia might show off its greatness, regardless of the methods employed. If the intelligentsia was to inquire on the details of the 1992 provocation at the Bender Police Station, then Dostoevski’s “Demons” would seem mere dilettantes when compared to those who contrived “complicity through the bloodshed” in order to justify later on the existence of the breakaway regime. The celebrations of the 13th anniversary of the Transdnistrian regime on September 2, would be another occasion for them to invoke the bloodshed.
For the sake of comparison, it is worth mentioning that although nothing provoked the operation “of reinforcing constitutional order” in Chechnya back in 1995, on the contrary it succeeded in taking the breakaway regime by surprise, Russian elite refrained from condemning it. Needless to say it happened after the Bender tragedy and after Moldovan authorities had been condemned for “reinforcing constitutional order”. This is another example of Russian elite’s principledness. It would be unfair to allege that Russian elite is made up only of the said characters, it also includes Serghei Kovaliov, Elena Bonner, and the like. Unfortunately, though, Moldovan communist authorities share a different ideology from them.