Nostalgia for government of enemies of the people. Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“The Moldovan citizens should yet realize that the attempts to imitate the return to the Soviet values mean return to the totalitarian state that in any circumstance is preoccupied with the identification of the  enemies of the people for exterminating them. The USSR proved this by somehow developing only as long as it practiced terror...”

Waiting for Shor revolution 

On the occasion of the 105th anniversary of the mounting of the Bolshevik putsch of November 7, 1917,  those who are nostalgic for the Soviet empire from the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) published a series of articles by which they glorify the Bolsheviks’ coup: “The revolution about which the Bolsheviks talked in 1917 was not only staged and didn’t only spread the Communist practice in the world, but also showed to the whole world that communism is not utopia, by historical inevitability and that Lenin’s ideas about the constitution of a new society based on social justice are not phantasies but an objective reality”.

In the context of the current protests mounted by the Shor Party, the nostalgic Communists venture to reanimate their hopes, invoking the lessons of history:  “In 1918, the revolutionary transformations were destroyed by the Romanian bayonets. Until 1940, despite the Romanian occupation, the Moldovan people continued their revolutionary struggle... If the members and supporters of the PAS had studied well at school, they would have known the lessons of history, namely that the protests in Moldova always ended with the people’s victory”. Respectively, several thousand protesters paid by the fugitive Shor represent all the people of Moldova. This is what’s left of the revolutionary expectations of the Moldovan Communists, whose future prospects are based exclusively on gerontocratic selection.    

Nostalgic Communists’ phantasies are really touching. We are told that Shor’s protests can precede revolutionary storms – a kind of remake of the Bolshevik putsch. One needs to have rich imagination to compare the current actions of the Shor Party with the actions taken by the Bolshevik leaders over 100 years ago. It is curious but we must admit that the nostalgic Communists are right in parts. This way, one of the Bolshevik leaders, Joseph Stalin, specialized in armed robberies, including of banks, for financing revolutionary activities. Similarly, Ilan Shor, the leader of the party that bears his name and the organizer of the current protests, became a notorious specialist in the bank theft committed in the Republic of Moldova. From this viewpoint, the capacities of Shor, who took part in the stealing of about US$1 million, probably exceed a lot the capacities of Stalin. So, the nostalgic Communists are somehow entitled to anticipate a Shor revolution following the thefts, as the bandit activities of the Bolsheviks anticipated the red revolution. Moreover, parallels can be drawn not only between Ilan Shor and Joseph Stalin, but also between Shor and Lenin. Indeed, Lenin was preparing the revolution while being in Switzerland. Shor does the same while being in Israel. This is a logical and very comforting conclusion for nostalgic people’s concerns.

As to the lessons of history, we should remind the nostalgic Communists that their hatred of Romania and propaganda indoctrination play a trick on them. The point is the union of Bessarabia with Romania on March 27, 1918 was based on the Union Action that was adopted by the People’s Council. The union took place after the Soviets signed the Brest Agreement by which large territories of the Russian Empire were conceded to the Bolsheviks, according to the agreements that Lenin reached with the military administration of Germany. Respectively, the independence of Ukraine was recognized de facto. So, the People’s Council and its decisions were absolutely legitimate in the given circumstances, while the legitimacy of the decisions was even superior to that of the Bolshevized Soviets in Russia, which organized the putsch of November 7. After shamefully losing the elections held under the control of the Bolsheviks, these dissolved the Constituent Assembly with the force of arms, fully discrediting themselves. So, the real occupants were the Soviets who, in accordance with the Soviet-Nazi Pact Ribbentrop-Molotov, in 1939-1940 occupied Poland, a part of Finland and Bessarabia. And surely, the Bessarabians occupied by the Romanians in the interwar period weren’t lucky to live in the period of Holodomor. Regrettably, they had to experience the famine organized by the Soviets in 1946-1947.

Composition of first Soviet government – spies and enemies of the people

Returning to the hopes of the nostalgic Communists about an eventual Shor revolution, we should remind everyone that the first Soviet government, Lenin’s Sovnarkom, consisted of persons who turned out to be spies and enemies of the people. It was mentioned that the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin was considered a German spy. Respectively, the other over 70% of members of the first Soviet government were identified as enemies of the people and were shot dead:

Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko – the first people’s commissar for Military and Naval Affairs who directed the storming of the Winter Palace on November 7, 1917. Later, he was among the founders of the Red Army. During the Civil War in Spain, he served as consul general of the USSR in Barcelona. When he returned to the USSR, he was arrested, on February 8, 1938, and was sentenced to death “for affiliation to a Trotsky terrorist and espionage organization”. He was shot dead on February 10, 1938;

Nikolai Avilov – the first people’s commissar for Posts and Telegraphs. Later, since 1928, he managed large enterprises and in 1929 became the first director of the Rostov agricultural equipment plant Rostselmash. On September 19, 1936, he was arrested on charges of terrorism. On March 12, 1937, the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR sentenced him to death for participation in a counterrevolutionary terrorist organization. He was shot dead on March 13, 1937;

Pavel Dybenko – a member of the first Sovnarkom, of the Commissariat for Military and Naval Affairs (alongside Antonov-Ovseenko and Krylenko). He held a series of other high-ranking posts. At the plenary meeting of 1938 of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Communist Party, he was criticized by Stalin for moral depravity (amorous relationship with Soviet diplomat Alexandra Kollontai) and for drinking. He was arrested on February 26, 1938 and accused of involvement in fascist military conspiracy in the Red Army, of espionage in favor of the U.S. and ties with the executioner of peasants, Tukhachevsky. He was tortured and had to plead guilty on all counts, except for espionage. On July 29, 1938, Dybenko was sentenced to death and was shot dead immediately;

Nicolai Krylenko –a member of the first Sovnarkom, of the Commissariat for Military and Naval Affairs. Since March 1918, he had been a member of the Administration Board of the People’s Commissariat for Justice, while since May 1918 – he had headed the (Supreme) Revolutionary Tribunal. He organized the mass repression and founded the Soviet judiciary and prosecution system. He was arrested on January 31, 1938 and was accused of ties with the anti-Soviet organization of the right led by Bukharin and of creating a subversive organization in the judicial bodies. On July 29, 1938, he was shot dead after being accused of forming part of the “fascist-terrorist counterrevolutionary organization of alpinists and tourists”;

Vladimir Mulyutin – the first people’s commissar of Agriculture. He also held other government posts. Since 1928 until 1934, he had served as deputy chairman of the USSR State Planning Committee. On July 26, 1937, he was arrested and on October 29, 1937 was sentenced to death for affiliation to the counterrevolutionary organization of “the right”. On October 30, 1937, he was shot dead;

Gheorghi Oppokov – the first people’s commissar of Justice. He also held executive posts in the USSR State Planning Committee and was a member of the Bureau of the Soviet Control Commission of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR. In June 1937, he was arrested and was shot dead on December 30, 1938 by the conviction of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR;

Alexei Rykov – the first people’s commissar of Internal Affairs who signed the historic decree  on the creation of the Soviet militia. After Lenin died, he officially managed the Soviet government, Sovnarkom, since February 1924. In 1937, he was excluded from the Bolshevik party and was arrested on February 27, 1937. During questioning, he admitted to having been part of the anti-Soviet Trotsky bloc. On March 13, 1938, he was sentenced to death and was shot dead on March 15;

Alexander Shlyapnikov – the first people’s commissar for Labor. In 1936, he was accused of managing the counterrevolutionary organization “Workers’ Opposition” that prepared a terrorist attack on Stalin. He was short dead on September 2, 1937;

Ivan Teodorovich – the first people’s commissar for Food Problems. Later, he was a member of the Board of the People’s Commissariat for Agriculture. He was arrested on June 11, 1937 and was sentenced to death by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR on September 20, 1937, being found guilty of participation in an anti-Soviet terrorist organization. He was shot dead the same day;

Leon Trotsky – the first people’s commissar of Foreign Affairs. The “demon of the Bolshevik Revlon” who played a decisive role in the putsch of November 7, 1917. He had to leave the USSR in 1929 as a political emigrant. He was executed in August 1940 by order of the administration of the USSR by the NKVD agent Ramon Mercader, who was later conferred the highest award, Hero of the USSR, for killing Trotsky.  

The other three members of the first Sovnarkom - Victor Noghin, the first people’s commissar for Commerce and Industry; Ivan Skvortsov-Stepanov – the first people’s commissar for Finance; and Anatoly Lunacharsky – the first people’s commissar for Public Education – died before the start of the Great Terror and were lucky to avoid death by torture. There is no doubt that if they had lived until 1937, they would have been named enemies of the people, tortured and shot dead, as their mates were, primarily because two of the three were responsible for finance, commerce and industry. Lunacharsky was executed for promoting the abandonment of the Cyrillic script and the introduction of the Latin script for the Russian language. In 1929, Lunacharsky constituted a commission for the Latinisation of the Russian alphabet. It was decided that the global Latinisation process would start with the Romanization of the languages of national minorities. Joseph Stalin, who was the first people’s commissar for problems of nationalities and was considered an expert in national issues, would have definitely found reasons to execute Lunacharsky. The echoes of the Soviet national policy were felt in the Republic of Moldova during the dissolution of the USSR, when the separatist rebellion was inspired to transfer the language of the natives to the Latin script. What a terrible attack on the unity of the Soviet people whose basis were laid by Leninist commissar Lunacharsky.

So, the first Soviet government consisted of spies and enemies of the people. The one who started the Great Purge to execute the enemies of the people, Joseph Stalin, was an extremely dangerous criminal, as the official documents of the law enforcement agencies of the Russian Empire show. Before the start of the Great Terror, the editorial of Pravda newspaper of April 12, 1936, hailed Stalin as the father of the nations of the USSR who, as any parent, arrogated to himself the right to punish his inferiors. In only 20 years, in the 20th Congress of the CPSU, in his speech of February 25, 1956, the new leader of the USSR Nikita Khrushchev condemned the Cult of Personality and its consequences, assessing Stalin’s work.

The given details are important for those who are nostalgic for the USSR and the method of managing the Soviet empire to have their memory refreshed and to get rid of the chimeras of the past. Eventually, the nostalgic people should accept that they have exaggerated expirations if they believe that the Shor revolution can have effects similar to those of the Bolshevik revolution. The only resemblance between the Bolsheviks and the supporters of Shor is that both of the groupings committed bank robberies and planned the destabilization of the state while being abroad. Surely, the intention to constitute kolkhozzes is also common to the supporters of Shor and the Bolsheviks…

Leaders of Communist youth - enemies of the people

It is curious that those who are nostalgic for the USSR include about 15-20% of the young people who were born after the dissolution of the Soviet empire (see page 74). This is the result of the Communist propaganda. In this connection, it should be noted that the PCRM on October 29 celebrated the 104th anniversary of the founding of Leninist Komsomol, inviting young people to join their Komsomol organization. What the Moldovan Communists do not tell the nostalgic young people is that the first seven leaders of Leninist Komsomol of 1918 – 1938 were identified as enemies of the people too. Six of these were sentenced to death by the Soviet judiciary and were shot dead. Only one of them was simply sentenced to 16 years in jail and served his sentence in camps in Norilsk and Magadan.

The question is, why should the young people of the Republic of Moldova form part of the Komsomol organizations if these were established and led by enemies of the people? The young Moldovans in which the nostalgia for the USSR was imbedded artificially should know all the effects of the red revolution of November, 1917. Ultimately, the Komsomol, Soviet leaders were those who in the 22nd congress of the Komsomol of September 27-28, 1991, free and unforced by anyone, adopted a decision on the dissolution of the Komsomol organization. What’s the purpose of reanimating the Communist fossil?


Those who are nostalgic for the USSR now put their hope in a Shor revolution. The Shor adventurists, unlike the Bolshevik ones, do not have an ideology but have yet a lot of money, which is enough to destabilize the situation in the Republic of Moldova. As a result of eventual destabilization, life in the Republic of Moldova will become much more difficult.

The ties with and support for the Shor Party from political circles of the Russian Federation should be treated with seriousness as the supporters of President Putin aim to restore the Russian empire not yet in its Soviet version that proved to have incurable vices. However, the regime of Putin, which is humiliated by the Ukrainian army, will not have capacities to financially support the Shor revolution.

The Moldovan citizens should yet realize that the attempts to imitate the return to the Soviet values mean return to the totalitarian state that in any circumstance is preoccupied with the identification of the  enemies of the people for exterminating them. The USSR proved this by somehow developing only as long as it practiced terror. After the death of tyrant Stalin, together with the weakening of terror, the Soviet regime gradually entered the path of degradation: the rule of Nikita Khrushchev was arbitrary; the rule of Brezhnev and the sybarite elites was marked by stagnation; the reforms started by Andropov pushed Gorbachev to the forefront, with the intention of restructuring the Soviet regime, which turned out to be impossible.

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