Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Gagauzia Seen as ‘Detonator’ for Pro-Moscow ‘Color’ Revolution in Moldova

Paul Goble


            Staunton, December 3 – Following last Sunday’s the parliamentary elections in Moldova -- a vote which pro-Moscow activists are setting the stage to challenge -- Gagauzia “could become the detonator” of revolutionary change in Moldova in a manner much like the Donbas in southeastern Ukraine, according to Ivan Lizan.


            That is because the “Odnako” commentator says today, it is precisely in that Turkic region that “a critical mass of contradictions” has formed. Any attempt by Chisinau to suppress them “will trigger a civil war in the republic which will end with its disintegration and the reformation of the region” (


            So far, he continues, “the behavior of Gagauz elites has remained unclear,” but Chisinau will now undoubtedly “try to liquidate the Gagauz autonomy” and that should be enough to set them off. “Naturally,” the pro-Moscow and pro-Soviet commentator adds, “if the elites of Gagauzia find within themselves the strength for the struggle.”


            Lizan’s comments about the 200,000-strong Gagauz minority in Moldova are part of his larger argument that Moldova could be about to undergo a “color” revolution but in this case not in the direction of the West against Moscow but rather in the direction of Moscow against the West.


            Most analysts of color revolutions in Ukraine, Georgia and elsewhere have suggested that they are most likely to occur when there is a disputed election outcome, when the government is divided and weak, and when the population concludes that elites are both corrupt and are ignoring the interests of the people in favor of their own.


            In Lizan’s view, all these factors are present in Moldova, but they are coming together to push that country in an entirely different direction than many might expect.


            According to him, the election was fraudulent not only because of corruption and fraud within Moldova but because Chisinau supposedly suppressed voting by Moldovans living and working in the Russian Federation. There are nearly 700,000 of them. Most, he says, could be counted on to support a pro-Moscow position. But only about 5,000 voted.


            Moreover, the results – which gave pro-European parties a majority that he says they should not have received – will be used by Europe, the United States and oligarchs in Moldova to ensure that Chisinau remains on a pro-Western track and even comes down harder on those in the media and elsewhere who support a pro-Moscow orientation.


            The Socialist Party and its leader Igor Dodon received the most votes, but they will be frozen out of the government, and the communists led by Vladimir Voronin may even support the pro-Western government, yet another demonstration, Lizan says, of what a mistake it is for Moscow to count on post-Soviet elites who are all too willing to sell out to the West.


            The Moldovan communists, he argues, “are a conformist oligarchic force and for long years have pursued a course in Moldova of fusion with Romania.” Their oppositionist pose is just that. It is “all for show.”   Instead, and just like the other oligarchs, they see their future only in terms of opposition to Moscow.


            As a result, Lizan continues, “the population of Moldova already the poorest country in Europe will be completely lumpenized, and those most capable of working will leave the republic and join the more than one million-strong army of Moldovan gastarbeiters” abroad.


“The Russian language will be expelled from all spheres of public life,” he says, with it being dropped as a required subject in the schools. The regime will move to close opposition media and will intensify “Russophobic propaganda.” And it will also increase its blockade of Transdniestria.


All this sets the stage for a social and political explosion, Lizan argues, and he insists that it may begin with the Gagauz, a people few outside of Moldova have heard much about before but one that could play a major role in what the Odnako commentator suggests could be the first pro-Moscow “color” revolution.

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