Russia for several times in history tried to follow a democratic development path, but failed to do it. The Russians got along well when there was openness to a democratic path and they had good relations with the West. “In current Russia, democracy stopped existing regrettably,” doctor habilitate of history Anatol Petrencu, president of the Association of Historians of the Republic of Moldova, stated in a public debates entitled “Collapse of the Constituent Assembly and of chance to democratize Soviet Russia. Effects on the country and the world”, which was staged by IPN.
“Russia often missed a democratic development path. When we say Russia, and I continue reading what is happening in Ukraine today, we say Putin’s Russia. But Russia should be regarded broader, from the perspective that it is very different and very extensive as a territory, where there are many nations and traditions,” stated Anatol Petrencu.
He noted that Russia’s attempts to follow a democratic path can be identified in history, as the arguments why those attempts failed can be. “During the first Russian Revolution, the so-called Soviets of workers, of soldiers, of sailors and so on appeared and these Soviets initially fulfilled duties, as we said, of trade unions, contemporary civil society. But these Soviets got stronger and a very powerful Soviet of workers, sailors and soldiers arose in the capital of the Empire. As a result, dual state power appeared. On the one hand, there was the Provisional Government mandated by the State Duma. On the other hand, there were those Soviets that represented the power of workers, soldiers, based on the force of arms,” said Anatol Petrencu.
He noted that Russia also made other democratic attempts, at the times of Kerensky, before the Bolsheviks came to power and established dictatorship. “Furthermore, they liquidated that Constituent Assembly or the legislative body. Afterward, the Russian nation and the other nations followed the non-democratic path,” said the president of the Association of Historians of the Republic of Moldova.
“I want to say that following the forced dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, the Baltic countries also detached themselves. Ukraine attempted and made effort to become an independent state, but failed. Bessarabia united with Romania. The democratic development path for the Russians ended then. Bolshevik dictatorship came together with Lenin, Stalin, the deportations, until the collapse of the Soviet Union”.
The public debate entitled “Collapse of the Constituent Assembly and of chance to democratize Soviet Russia. Effects on the country and the world” was held by IPN News Agency as part of the project “Impact of the Past on Confidence and Peace Building Processes” which is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.