Demonstrations and conferences mark 200 years since Russia’s annexation of Bessarabia
Romanians from the Republic of Moldova will mark tomorrow 200 years since the Russians annexed Bessarabia. The Romanian Senate from Bucharest will organize a debate entitled “200 years from the first abduction of Bessarabia by Russia and its impact on the Romanian history.”
Several important personalities, such as scholars, historians, political experts, students and members of the civil society will participate in the debate.
Some other related conferences will be organized throughout Romania and the Republic of Moldova during March 16.
Last Sunday more than seven thousand people marched on the streets in Moldova’s capital of Chisinau chanting unionist slogans and asking for reunification with Romania. They also demanded the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Transnistria, the separatist region of Moldova. The next day, members of the young wing of the Liberal Party of Moldova demonstrated in front of the Russian Embassy. The teenagers drafted a letter addressed to the Russian President which was sent in today.
“Making 200 years since the annexation of Bessarabia was commemorated as a mourning and general sadness event. Looking back at those faraway events, we, the teenagers of the Republic of Moldova, are supposed to learn that the grand harm, which has left a tragic stamp on the lives of Moldovans, began in 1812 and did not end until today,” the Liberal teenagers wrote in the letter.
They also condemned the crimes of the Communist regime after 1940s when thousands of Moldovans were massively deported to the cold regions of Russia, while others experienced a harsh famine.
The Russian Empire expressed for the first time its intention to annex Moldova during the Russo-Turkish War of 1806-1812, when Czar Alexander I, whose armies already occupied the Danubian Principalities, conferred with France's Napoleon I at Tilsit, in July 1807. However, the May 1812 Bucharest Peace Treaty which, shortly before Napoleon's armies invaded Russia, put an end to that war, stipulated the annexation of only the eastern half of Moldova, thereafter dubbed Bessarabia.
In 1918, in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution, Bessarabia joined Romania and was part of Romania until 1940, when the latter surrendered it to the Soviet Union under the secret provisions of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
Bessarabia has resurfaced in use as a synonym for Moldova, after the country's proclamation of independence in 1991. Bessarabian is sometimes used as a synonym for Moldovan.