Thirty years ago, following the failure of the anti-Gorbachev coup in Moscow Moldova proclaimed its independence. It happened on August 27, 1991. Before being voted in Parliament, the Declaration of Independence was first voted in the Grand National Assembly, with the participation of over 700,000 people from all over the country. On the eve of Independence Day, we sought to recap Moldova’s 30 years of history, through memories and experiences.
I remember August 27th, 1991, well. We drove from Sireţi to Chișinău to participate in the Great National Assembly. We took with us some of the older neighbors because the youngest walked the 15 km to Chișinău. Everyone came as they could… People from all over went on the road all night to Chișinău, many of them – on foot. If the situation were to be repeated, I would probably do the same, even if, many times, those who came to power disappointed us. The proclamation of Independence was a great event, for those who voted for Independence – unforgettable. The expectations were high, but we have heard more words and promises…
Gheorghe Țurcanu, farmer, Cojușna
30 years is a long time. There were many hopes for Independence. All that remains are emotions – they are positive emotions, but, unfortunately, unrealized to the end. In the 90’s we went to the Great National Assemblies with the whole family, took with us both the children and the parents. The desire for freedom was very great… Over the years, I have regretted that it is so difficult to get closer to the Union with Romania. Many did not understand that the Union is our only salvation. I also went through several disappointments, such as the betrayal of Roșca. But hope remains. With the new government, it seems that some hopes are rekindled, that the former ones thought a little about the people, more about them. Priority was their own pockets.
Anatol Croitoru, war veteran, Coșnița
Our independence at the age of 30 is a bit sad… I remember the Great National Assembly Square was full of people, I don’t even seem to believe that such a thing existed. Our feelings and hopes were different from what we came to. We wanted to be free, to take back the motherland, to live according to the law, to live a different life. I remember how I brought to Cosnița, after the first Great National Assembly, the first Tricolor in Transnistria and hoisted it on the City Hall. People were eager for a radical change. But in 1992, Russia came to war with us, put a border on the Nistru, broke us in two, and reinstated the pro-Soviet mafia clans in office in Tiraspol and Chișinău. Moldova has fallen into the hands of bandits. Bandits in the Parliament, in prosecutor’s offices, in the judiciary, everywhere. Our only hope that things can change for the better remains to see how the Action and Solidarity Party will govern. A new disappointment would be catastrophic for Moldova.
Anatol Petrencu, historian, Chișinău
Then, in August 1991, we enjoyed the failure of the anti-Gorbachev coup, and on August 27, the Parliament declared the Independence of Moldova from the Soviet Empire. We hoped that the next step would be the reunification of the Nation, but the post-communist leaders of Romania and Moldova, too strongly linked to the Kremlin, did not have enough courage, at least, to address the issue, unresolved until today. What did we achieve? Moldova has all the specific features of an independent state but does not have sufficient political potential and economic resources for independent development.
Maria Zagoreanu, teacher, Strășeni
I attended all the rallies and the Great National Assemblies, I came with hundreds of people on foot, tens of kilometers… I picketed the Russian Embassy several times, asking to take their army home. I also voted for Independence. Since then, my sacred dream is Union with Romania. And I wasn’t alone. Dozens of colleagues and friends thought and did the same. Now, however, those of the past are more and more lonely, more isolated. Some of them left and settled in Romania, thus seeing their dream of the Union fulfilled, others, with regret, left completely. The 30 years of Independence – more successful and less successful – have convinced us that the course of history cannot be changed.