[Info-Prim Neo article from the series “20 years of the start of the war. When should we expect peace?”] Repeat from February 17 The Transnistrian dispute started as a political one, being prepared by Moscow, but then turned into a real armed conflict. The issue was discussed in public debates themed “Memory obliges. State of division between the participants in the armed conflict on the Nistru: causes and solutions 20 years of the start”, which were organized by Info-Prim Neo News Agency. “The Cossacks did not go there by themselves. They were brought in battalions,” said Sergiu Caracai, the head of the National Council of Volunteers Union. General Nicolae Petrica, chairman of the League of Armed Forces Veterans, said the conflict was also civilian in character. “Russia has not yet withdrawn its troops and our children will see that the Russians did not leave the eastern districts. Russia pursues certain goals there. The then administration of Moldova is responsible for that war,” he stated. Nicolae Petrica said that in 1992 the Nistru River became red as it carried the blood of the victims of the war. “A civil war usually does not produce good results,” he added. Anatol Rusu, a member of the Administrative Council of the National Union of the Independence War Veterans, said that we obtained nothing from that war. “Transnistria continues to exist. But the mothers lost their children, the children lost their fathers and the women lost their husbands. The Parliament elected in 1990 made a serious mistake. The then and current political leaders did not go to the people in Transnistria to provide explanations and to convince them that we must be an integral state,” he said. Analyst Andrei Iovu, an expert of the Public Policy Institute specialized in armed conflicts, considers the Nistru war was not a purely political conflict. “It was a battle for power and resources. Afterward, this conflict acquired elements of social identity and specific principles and values. The role of the ethnic factor cannot be ignored too. There are no evident traits, but the actions that followed show that this factor was important,” said Andrei Iovu. Igor Botan, executive director of the Association for Participatory Democracy (ADEPT), referred to a study that shows that the Transnistrian region is controlled by Russia though de jure it belongs to Moldova. The Moldovan authorities did not make effort to prevent this conflict. “Oazu Nantoi (political analyst and program director at the Public Policy Institute – e.n.) often said that we, the Moldovans, fight for the country’s integrity, while the Transnistrians fought against the union with Romania,” he stated. The public debates form part of the project “Development of political culture through public debates” that includes a series of debates on political culture. It is supported by the German foundation Hanns Seidel.