Echo of April 7 events… Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“The Moldovan Communists, at a distance of approximately ¾ of century, showed that they were truly worthy of the Stalinist inheritance when they declared a real hunt for the protesting young people on April 7, 2009. The highpoint is that the current administration of the PCRM continues to insist on the return to the old Stalinist practices...

Coincidence of start and end

On April 7, it turned 14 years of the tragic events of 2009. A series of TV and radio stations produced features on the issue, reminding of those events. The subject was also debated in Parliament and President Maia Sandu referred to those events, invoking the current context: “The day of April 7, 2009 marks the maturity of our people who will never accept again to be swallowed by dictatorship,... our citizens took to the streets to protest peacefully against a corrupt regime... Our duty is to take revenge for the deaths and torture of young people by an authentic justice sector reform”. From the aforementioned, we draw the conclusion that justice is to blame for the fact that we, after so many years, do not yet know how the peaceful protests degenerated into violence and resulted in human victims.

Special attention to the events of April 7, 2009 is devoted by the Party of Communist of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM), which ruled in that period. Based on their approach, the propagandists of the PCRM resorted to the exploitation of elements of the myth about the lost paradise. They remind that namely on April 7, in 2001, the leader of the PCRM, Vladimir Voronin, was installed as President, becoming the symbol of European building and modernization of the Republic of Moldova. On the other hand, the propagandists deplore the fact that in exactly eight years, also on April 7, the PCRM government received a blow from the so-called Twitter revolution that brought the Communist paradise to an end.

Who was behind April 7, 2009 events? 

Currently, according to the Communist propagandists: “no one wants to discover the truth - who was behind the events of April 7? This is already known.  These are those who were the main beneficiaries of the change of power in the country First of all, we speak about criminal and political groups that at the start of the “2000s”lost the power and, together with it, the capacity to rob the country”. It is a very vague statement even if it is partially true. The point is, at the beginning of the 2000s, the power was lost by no one else that ex-President Petru Luchinski, who was elected President with the support of the leader of the PCRM, Vladimir Voronin. April 5, 2000 is the exact date when Luchinski lost the power. Then, the group of the PCRM, led by Voronin, voted in favor of the Republic of Moldova switching over to a parliamentary regime.

About those who caused the dissatisfaction of the young people and, respectively, their protests of April 7, 2009, we also know enough. Everything started together with the simulation, at the start of the campaign prior to the parliamentary election of 2009, of the attempt on the life of the leader of the Christian-Democratic People’s Party (PPCD), Iurie Roșca, who became the trustworthy ally of the PCRM. That story served as a prelude to a furious attack by the government on the opposition and surely generated adverse reactions. Respectively, the assertion that the main beneficiaries of the change of power were behind the April 7 events is not exactly accurate. However, it could be true that the peaceful protests were turned into violence by the effort of persons who became beneficiaries later. But who are those beneficiaries? For example, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office, Vlad Plahotniuc and Ilan Shor are the beneficiaries of the bank theft: “We possess incontestable evidence showing that namely citizen Plahotniuc is the beneficiary of the money that was obtained in the form of a loan from BEM, through the agency of the Shor group, and this loan was consequently covered with financial resources of the National Bank...”

About Ilan Shor, we know that he was very close to the leader of the PCRM, Vladimir Voronin, with the latter even attending the wedding party of the first as a guest. About the special relationship between the Voronin clan and Vlad Plahotniuc, we know from the press that elucidated in detail the relations between the two. These relations evolved dramatically as, at a certain moment, it turned out that not Plahotniuc was dependent on Voronin, but vice versa. The point is, owing to the friendly relations between Vladimir Voronin and Vlad Plahotniuc, the son of the first, Oleg, became extremely rich and dared to spend millions of lei without declaring the origin of the money. Respectively, when Voronin left and Plahotniuc came to power, it turned out that: “The Anticorruption Center investigates what sources Oleg Voronin used to replenish his personal card with which in 2008-2009 he paid for goods and services to the value of 67 million lei outside the borders of the Republic of Moldova, given that he declared earnings of 4 million lei to the Tax Service. The CCCEC turned its attention to this case following investigative material published by the paper TIMPUL in December 2009”. Consequently, a criminal case was started against the son of the leader of the PCRM and this remained suspended up to now, its faith being unknown. What we know is the methods that Plahotniuc allegedly used to make the leader of the PCRM keep silent. Indeed, after that episode, Voronin didn’t say anything about Plahotniuc’s involvement in the capture of state institutions, the theft of the billion, etc. Instead, whenever he had the occasion, he justified the noninvolvement of Plahotniuc in the April 7, 2009 events. 

Versions change with the passing of time, truth remains undiscovered

What we know for sure is that to answer the question, who was behind the events of April 7, 2009?, the PCRM government, on April 24, 2009 constituted a state commission to elucidate the events of April 7–8. The declared goal of the state commission was to present a report on the results of investigations to Parliament by May 5, 2009. But no report was presented by that date and later. Instead, a propaganda film about the aforementioned events was made in a hurry and was to serve as an electoral weapon for the snap parliamentary elections of July 29, 2009. The PCRM’s calculations were mistaken as the film wasn’t at all credible and the Communists were no longer able to gain a parliamentary majority, being removed from power. Instead, the author of that notorious film sits now as an MP on behalf of the PCRM as he was among the top candidates on the Communist-Socialist ticket.

The mentioned propaganda film is worthless as not even the Communists believe in what the propagandistic author claims. Respectively, in time the PCRM’s versions about the events of April 7, 2009 changed for multiple times. This way, among the most spread versions was the one that launched on June 15, 2009, by Vladimir Voronin, who asserted that behind the April 7 events in Chisinau, during which the Parliament Building and the Presidential Palace were destroyed, there was an international mafia associated with... Russia. Among the leaders of the “mafia” was the ex-minister of defense of the Republic of Moldova Valeriu Pasat, who is associated with Anatoly Chubais, the head of the Russian state corporation Rosnanotechnologies.

Another plausible version refers to the direct involvement of the Russian intelligence services, not of the mafia, so as to take revenge on Voronin following the humiliation to which he subjected Putin by refusing to sign the Kozak Memorandum on the federalization of the Republic of Moldova. In this regard, it was invoked the arrest of Russian citizen, Eduard Baghirov, who allegedly was an agent of the intelligence services and who took an active part in the public disorder of April 7, 2009, becoming later the right-hand man of Vladimir Putin.

The last version launched by persons close to the PCRM comes to confirm that the investigation of the April 7, 2009 events was directed to a false path by Vlad Plahotniuc himself: “Why did “the coordinator of the whole Moldova” need this? For keeping the “leaders of the day of April 7” – Filat, Urechean, Ghimpu, Chirtoacă – on particular sides of the body. The result is known: Plahotniuc jailed Filat, removed Urechean from all the posts, sent Ghimpu and Chirtoacă into a political abyss and drove them out of the country”… So, the Communists admit that the events of April 7 had been very useful for Plahotniuc.

Symbols of day of April 7

As we showed, the day of April 7 is symbolical for the Moldovan Communists. The truth is that this day has yet a much more profound significance. The point is, namely on April 7, 1935, the Stalinist regime of the USSR adopted the famous law on the fight against the crimes of minors, according to which children from the age of 12 could be punished in accordance with criminal articles by using the death penalty. This law plainly reveals the alleged humanism of the Communist regime that during the civil war and the collectivization destroyed tens of millions of citizens, mainly peasants, turning millions of children of these into vagabonds. Later, for pedagogical purposes, these children who were deprived of parents and of a place of stay by the Communist yoke were also threatened with death for the crimes they committed to survive. There are data showing that at least eight delinquent minors were sentenced to death by the Soviet justice.   

The Moldovan Communists, at a distance of approximately ¾ of century, showed that they were truly worthy of the Stalinist inheritance when they declared a real hunt for the protesting young people on April 7, 2009. The highpoint is that the current administration of the PCRM continues to insist on the return to the old Stalinist practices.  


It is important to take into account the fact that events similar to those of April 7, 2009 can yet take place. Recently,  a very important player of those infamous events, who knew Eduard Baghirov and played a key role in the orientation of the protesters to the Parliament Building and the Presidential Palace, made herself noticed again. For symbolical reasons, she probably did this right before the day of April 7, urging the opposition to combine forces against the current government. It is a kind of deja-vu. And the end result can be similar. The point is the calls of the given person should be treated with caution. Not only this person, but also another person who recently became close to the first was involved in the events that preceded the events of April 7, 2009 by financing with millions of dollars a segment of the opposition of that time. The overflowing activism of the first and the millions earned by hard work by the second had devastating effects then, in 2009. It’s true that the activist already discredited herself by the lies she disseminates in the public sphere. For example, she said that she got acquainted with and interviewed the backer only in 2019, but anyone can see that she knew him and interviewed him back in 2012. This is not the first lie disseminated by her in the public sphere. Anyway, the representatives of the opposition should be very attentive if they allow to be somehow attracted into eventual relations with established adventurists.

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