NARRATIVES: Moldovans must be grateful to the USSR for liberating them in 1945.
CONTEXT: On Thursday, April 14, the Chisinau Parliament voted in its final reading an amendment to the Contravention Code banning the symbols of the Russian aggression in Ukraine : the “Z”, “V” and the black-orange ribbons. The making, sale and public use of the attributes and symbols of military aggression and war crimes will be penalized. The bill was initiated and voted by the PAS deputies, who said that people in Ukraine were being killed under these symbols. The use of these symbols in the demonstrations in Chisinau would be a defiance of the tragedy in Ukraine, according to the PAS deputies. On the other hand, pro-Russian parliamentarians from the Bloc of Communists and Socialists criticized this amendment saying it would hit the symbols of victory in World War II. They blocked the Parliament rostrum in protest while the bill was being presented, after which they left the meeting room. Communist leader Vladimir Voronin downplayed the issue, saying that Stephen the Great himself used the ribbon. The black-and-orange ribbon is associated with Russian imperialism and is used especially on May 9, when Russia celebrates victory in the Great War for the Defense of the Fatherland. The Russian soldiers use the letters “Z” and “V” as insignia of the “military operation” in Ukraine. With the outbreak of war in Ukraine, this symbolism has spread into the Russian public space. The black-and-orange ribbon was banned in Ukraine in 2014, after the annexation of Crimea by Russia, as a symbol associated with the separatists. At that time, even Belarus and Kazakhstan gave up this symbol on May 9th. In the Republic of Moldova, the ribbon is worn by representatives of pro-Russian parties and their sympathizers, the population nostalgic for the USSR, but also by people who do not know the meaning of these symbols. Former Socialist leader Igor Dodon has announced that he will break the law and wear the ribbon on May 9, urging the population to do the same.
Igor Tiuleantev is a pro-Russian activist from Chisinau, a member of the anti-fascist organization Russian Youth League of the Republic of Moldova, known for its anti-Romanian or anti-Ukrainian actions and statements.
PURPOSE: The narrative aims to justify the imperialist actions of the Russian Federation and to defend the idea that Moldova belongs to the Russian World.
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: Victory in the Great War for the Defense of the Fatherland was mythologized by the USSR and was taken over by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who celebrates the 9th of May, every year with great pump and a military parade. The USSR, and now the Russian Federation, takes the biggest credit for to the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, the war in which the Soviet Union suffered the greatest loss of human lives, with more than 20 million casualties. It is true that both Romanians and Moldovans fought in that war as soldiers of the Red Army, after the territory between the Prut and the Dniester was occupied by the USSR, initially in 1940, following the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, signed in 1939 between Hitler's Germany and Stalin’s USSR, then reoccupied in 1944. In the MSSR, the war and the Red Army were presented as an action of “liberation of the Moldovan people from the fascist Romanians”. In reality, however, this Romanian territory was occupied by force by the USSR, and the population was subjected to acts of mass terror, political repression, organized famine, deportations, especially in the first years after the war. The Commission for the Study and Assessment of the Totalitarian Communist Regime in the Republic of Moldova found that it was a criminal and repressive regime, abusive and inhuman, devoid of legitimacy, one that committed acts of genocide and crimes against humanity. The murders were committed with the help of the army.Soviet Moldova was therefore the result of an aggression by the USSR, and the Republic of Moldova proclaimed its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Russian Federation has perpetuated the USSR's attitude towards Moldova, showing disrespect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Russian army participated in the war in Transnistria on the side of the separatists, and has remained illegally on the territory of Moldova, despite numerous requests to withdraw. The Russian forces practically guarantee, through their presence, the security of the separatist republic, which Moscow also supports financially, and at the same time threatens the security of the Republic of Moldova. Moscow also claims that Moldova should stay within its sphere of influence, even though it is an independent state.
The St. George ribbon is not banned from previously awarded medals and orders, and war veterans with such distinctions will still be able to wear them without being fined, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, Olesea Stamate, has explained.