Moldova drops ‘Moldovan’ language; Russia irked

The parliament of Moldova 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.”Ā But pro-RussianĀ Moldovan lawmakers assailed the moveā€”as did the Russian Foreign Ministry, which issued a statement snarkily suggestingĀ that Aurescu is an “artificial construct.”Ā Moscow claimed that Moldovan is a distinct and older form of Romanian, which is now “officially preserved only in Transnistria,” the breakaway region of Moldova hosting Russian troops. (Image:Ā Nicolas Raymond via Flcikr)


Ukraine denies plot to kill Transnistria leader

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)Ā 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 SecurityĀ said it thwarted an SBU-orchestrated terrorist attack targeting multiple Transnistrian government officials. The SBU characterized the accusation as an instrument of Russian provocation amid Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Transnistria controls around 4,000 square kilometers of internationally-recognized Moldovan territory, but is not recognized by any UN member state. However, Russia has maintained a military presence in the breakaway state, which borders Ukraine, since the 1990-2 Transnistria War. (Photo via Ukraine Defense Ministry)


Germany recognizes Holodomor as genocide

The German BundestagĀ voted to formally recognize the Holodomor, a politically induced famine that decimated Ukraine in 1932-3, 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. The Bundestag characterizedĀ the Holodomor as a project of Joseph Stalin to suppress the Ukrainian “way of life, language and culture,” and one of the most “unimaginable crimes against humanity” in Europe’s history. The motion also recognized Germany’s own history of genocide and the Bundestag’s “special responsibility” to acknowledge and condemn crimes against humanity.Ā Ukraine declared the Holodomor a genocide in 2006. (Photo: 2019Ā Holodomor remembranceĀ in Kyiv. Credit: EuroMaidan Press)


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 Russian-backed separatist enclave of Transnistria. Officials said the building was fired on by unknown assailants with grenade launchers. Ominously, the attack came one day after a Russian military commander openly broached extending Moscow’s war in Ukraine to neighboring Moldova, to “give the Russian army access to Transnistria.” The blasts also came on the same day as large explosions in Bryansk, a Russian town near the Ukrainian border which is serving as a key staging area for the invasion. Bryansk is a hub on the Druzhba oil pipeline, and the flames engulfed a petroleum depot. Russian officials are speculating that Kyiv’s forces were behind the blasts, while Ukrainian officials speculate they were Russian “false flag” operations. (Photo of Druzhba blasts: Anonymous Operations)


Russia: hundreds arrested in anti-war protests

Moscow police arrested hundreds protesting against military intervention in Ukraine, after President Putin won approval from senators to send troops into the neighboring country.