Moldova drops 'Moldovan' language; Russia irked
The parliament of Moldova on March 17 voted to remove references to the "Moldovan" language from the country's constitution and enshrine Romanian as the official language for all legislation. Lawmakers asserted that "Moldovan" is actually indistinguishable from Romanian, and that the notion that it is a separate language is a product of Soviet propaganda. The vote was applauded by Romania, whose foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu stated that the Moldovan language is an "artificial construct."
Ukraine denies plot to kill Transnistria leader
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on March 9 denied plotting to assassinate the president of the Russian-backed breakaway de facto state of Transnistria in Moldova. The denial comes after the Transnistrian Ministry of State Security (MGB) said it thwarted an SBU-orchestrated terrorist attack targeting multiple Transnistrian government officials. The MGB claimed that a number of suspects in the planned attack have been detained and given confessions. In an address, Transnistrian President Vadim Krasnoselsky alleged that SBU operatives entered Transnistria under the pretense of being refugees and subsequently worked to detonate a car bomb in the capital city of Tiraspol. Krasnoselsky's address followed the release of a professionally-produced "video investigation" by the Investigative Committee of Transnistria detailing the alleged plot.
Germany recognizes Holodomor as genocide
The German Bundestag on Nov. 33 voted to formally recognize the Holodomor, a politically induced famine that decimated Ukraine in 1932 and 1933, as a genocide. The declaration found that Soviet authorities demanded inflated quantities of grain from Ukrainian farmers and punished those who fell short with additional demands. Affected regions were cut off from the rest of the Soviet Union so that Ukrainians could not receive aid. As a result, approximately 3.5 million Ukrainians starved to death. Ukraine declared the Holodomor a genocide in 2006.
Transnistria blasts signal spread of Ukraine war
A series of blasts tore through the building of the de facto "Ministry of State Security" in Tiraspol, capital of Moldova's separatist-controlled enclave of Transnistria, on April 25. Officials said the building was fired on by unknown assailants with grenade launchers. Video footage showed windows and doors blown out, although there were no reports of casualties. (Reuters) Ominously, the attack comes one day after a Russian military commander openly broached extending Moscow's war in Ukraine to neighboring Moldova.
Russia: hundreds arrested in anti-war protests
Moscow police on March 2 arrested hundreds protesting against military intervention in Ukraine, a rights group said, after President Vladimir Putin won approval from senators to send troops into the neighboring country. Ovdinfo, a rights group that tracks arrests at demonstrations, said 352 were detained at two anti-war protests in central Moscow. Police gave a much lower figure of 50 people detained for "attempts to violate public order," according to Interfax news agency. Anti-war protesters gathered near the defence ministry in central Moscow, and at Manezhnaya square near the Kremlin. Demonstrators held up peace signs and posters saying "No to war," while some also held Ukrainian flags and ribbons in the national colors of yellow and light blue.
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