Failure of attempts to resuscitate nostalgic feelings. Op-Ed by Victor Pelin that those who are nostalgic for the USSR do not have any chance to witness the revival of the USSR, if only the return to the prison of the nations...

Testing of nostalgic feelings ...

Last week, on October 15-16, 2022, the citizens’ nostalgic feelings for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) were tested. There is no doubt that the test was timed to coincide with the upcoming 100th anniversary of the constitution of the Soviet empire and, in this regard, the activists of the branch in the Republic of Moldova of the so-called National Liberation Movement (NLM) started to collect signatures for a petition for the restoration of the USSR. The test failed as only several tens of signatures were collected during two days. This means that the Gagauz region is no longer a ground for testing the nostalgic feelings.

The given experiment could have been overlooked if it hadn’t been held simultaneously with the trip made by the leaders of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) to Moscow for having discussions with the administration of Vladimir Putin’s ruling party – United Russia. The point is the NLM was founded and is led by Yevgeny Fyodorov, who tried to collect signatures in favor of the restoration of the USSR and is a member of the central political council of United Russia. In this connection, it is presumed that the visit by the leaders of the PSRM to Moscow and the meeting with members of the administration of United Russia are connected with the withdrawal of the Russian TV channels retransmitted in the Republic of Moldova, which were transferred from the management of the PSRM under the management of the Shor Party. As a strong argument, the PSRM invoked the fact that the withdrawal of the Russian TV channels from the management of the PSRM negatively affects the people who are nostalgic for the USSR and, in general, the cohesion of the pro-Russian forces in the Republic of Moldova, with the recent failed test of the nostalgic feelings in Gagauzia being a proof of this.

Indeed, the relations between the PSRM and the Shor Party that is supported by the Communists started to worsen visibly several months ago, after the first were stripped of the Russian TV channels in favor of the Shor Party. The money from obscure sources and the TV channels controlled by the Shor Party enabled this to organize a cavalcade of protests that the PSRM didn’t support as it felt abandoned by the protectors from Moscow. Consequently, the Shor Party tries yet to engage the Socialists, alongside the Communists, in its protests but meets with extremely subtle refuses and allusions about the loss of control over the TV channels in favor of the Shor Party: “Don’t be duplicitous, the citizens don’t deserve to be managed by leaders through the TV set. The Socialists’ support for the Shor Party’s protests probably depends on the result of the PSRM leaders’ visit to Moscow, which is the returning of at least one Russian TV channel under the management of the Socialists. 

Socialist caught in the Russian imperial toils

The PSRM reaps the harvest of the own cynicism. The truth is the party pleads for the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova in words but seriously got stuck in the Russian imperial toils. The pro-imperial course of the PSRM was tailored by the ex-president of the party, Igor Dodon, who is now investigated for illegal financing of the party from GAZPROM’s sources. Consequently, Dodon had to publicly eulogize the annexation of Crimea by Russia, in 2014. Two years later, Dodon contributed to the founding in the Republic of Moldova of the branch of the Russian Imperial Movement, with the branch being led by the so-called ideologist of the PSRM Bogdan Țîrdea. The latter is now suspected of unjust enrichment. The involvement of the PSRM in the Russian imperial projects does so that the party becomes susceptible to the new tendencies. Recently, Alexandr Prohanov, the leader of the Russian Imperial Movement that includes the PSRM, acclaimed Vladimir Putin on the occasion of the anniversary of this, noting that the war started in Ukraine is nothing else but the fifth building phase of the Russian empire. This position clearly explains why the branch of the PSRM front avoids condemning the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

The PSRM also avoids openly supporting the Russian aggression and was allegedly punished for this, being stripped of the propaganda instruments. To restore its credibility in front of the eyes of the Russian partners, the leaders of the PSRM decided to meet in Moscow with one of the leaders of United Russia, Petr Tolstoy, who openly pleads for the full destruction of Ukraine. The party mate of the latter, Yevgeny Fyodorov, NLM leader, shares this viewpoint but is much more explicit, openly saying that he wants the USSR to be restored. Namely because of this, the branch of Fyodorov’s organization staged the nostalgic experiment in Gagauzia, which is yet the electoral fiefdom of the PSRM.  In fact, Fyodorov became famous not when he founded his revanchist organization but when he presented territorial claims to Kazakhstan. This act didn’t pass without consequences. After the formulated imperial claims, the leaders of Central Asian countries repeatedly reacted, publicly humiliating President Vladimir Putin.

Sad news for those who are nostalgic for the USSR

In the mentioned circumstances, those who are nostalgic for the USSR have to only try and learn a very simple and evident thing – the political elite of the Russian Federation do not intend to restore the USSR. Putin’s regime is a direct consequence of the dissolution of the USSR and has only imperial ambitions – the fifth rebuilding phase of the empire. The nostalgia of the millions of ex-Soviet people is simply exploited in this regard. A proof of this is the fact that in August 2022, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation introduced the organization named “Citizens of the USSR” in the list of extremist organizations and banned it.

So, we witness very interesting things – in Russia the organization “Citizens of the USSR” is banned as extremist, while in the Republic of Moldova the organization managed by one of the leaders of the ruling party – United Russia – collects signatures in favor of the restoration of the USSR. This is a sample of hypocrisy and of the use of hybrid warfare technics that is hard to be challenged. Moreover, practically all the organizations that have the acronym USSR in their name are banned in Russia. That’s why the idols of Vladimir Putin include not the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin but Tsar Alexandru III, who founded okhranka (the guard). Vladimir Putin comes from the intelligence services and cares a lot about the friends of his youth whom he helped to acquire wealth worth billions. It is inconceivable that he can abandon his friends and betray their interests. It is yet possible that this is craziness. So, those who are nostalgic for the USSR do not have any chance to witness the revival of the USSR, if only the return to the prison of the nations...”

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