Igor Sharov: Nostalgia for USSR can be cured by information and acknowledgement of history

Nostalgia for the USSR, which yet persists in society in the Republic of Moldova, has a cure and this cure is called information and acknowledgement of history, doctor of history Igor Sharov, rector of the Moldova State University, stated un IPN’s public debate “Why and how did the USSR disappear? Why does it cause nostalgia yet?”.

“De-Sovietization, de-communization – the continuation of this process is essential and the Baltic States are an example in this regard. The steps taken after the proclaiming of Independence should be continued. It is evident what and how should be done. The role of intellectuality is crucial. The population should be educated by different methods. The exposure of the crimes that cannot be challenged and the dissemination of these messages through articles, programs and public events involving intellectuals are extremely important,” stated Igor Sharov.

As to the causes that led to the dismemberment of the USSR, the doctor of history said this was inevitable and the August putsch, when the Republic of Moldova proclaimed its Independence, was the final point.

“The intellectuals played a separate role in awakening national conscience. Not accidentally, in the first Parliament we have writers, historians, jurists who contributed to this national awakening process by broad national assemblies that showed no return to the past was possible. The people’s support was massive. We cannot make a comparison with the demonstrations staged after the Independence and the used methods - cheap salami, money or bread – and the events we witnessed ourselves, including me,” stated Igor Sharov.

He noted the USSR cannot be restored, as the Russian President Vladimir Putin wants.

“The program for the reconceptualization of the USSR during the time of Vladimir Putin failed fortunately. The Republic of Moldova, since it obtained Independence, has passed a number of stages, including when the history of Romanians was introduced in schools and universities, streets in Chisinau and other localities were renamed massively, monuments were removed. This disintegration and distancing from the past started during the first years and continued later.”

The rector said the big problems could not be solved in the Bessarabian space without the involvement of the great powers and history repeats itself.

“If we recollect things, we see that the situation repeats. In 1991-1994, we had a chance and considered that a return to the past wasn’t possible. Later, a period of the new Moldovenism came and the same principles as those of the previous period were intensely cultivated. In 1918, the union with Bessarabia was possible due to the external factor. The forced separation of the Bessarabian space and the wish to unite with Romania in the interwar period were also tied to international factors.”

The historian concluded that the horrors of the communist regime should be highlighted so as to prevent their repeat, while the war in Ukraine showed that the imperial spirits can return. “The freedom of Ukraine is our freedom.”

The public debate entitled “Why and how did the USSR disappear? Why does it cause nostalgia yet?” was the eleventh installment of IPN’s project “100 years of USSR and 31 years without USSR: Nostalgia for Chimeras”, which is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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