Z0ZZ – Year of centenary and of efforts to restore USSR... Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“After all the developments witnessed in 2022, the Republic of Moldova should leave the CIS, especially because the legislative body of Russia back in 1996 established that the CIS is an illegal body, while the pro-Russian political forces in the Republic of Moldova consider that the day of constitution of the CIS is a day of betrayal. The Republic of Moldova should not belong to a community that associates itself with illegality and treason ...”

Efforts made by nostalgic Communists

Towards December 30, 2022, on the occasion of the centenary of the USSR, the efforts to reanimate the USSR or a new phase of the century-old Russian empire were to culminate. These efforts were announced beforehand both by the nostalgic Communists and by representatives of the imperial current, the latter considering themselves heirs of a state entity of the Golden Horde; the dynasty of Ivan III; the Romanov dynasty; the Soviet empire. Currently, the heirs of the imperial tradition consider themselves builders of the eternal state of Putin.

The nostalgic Communists showed to be less indoctrinated and less modest as the Putinist imperial restorers. Within the so-called Union of Communist Parties of the former Soviet republics (UCP-CPSU), the nostalgic Communists set the basic objective: “On the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on the Creation Of the USSR... we make the historic choice – renaissance of a new Soviet federation of really independent republics, on voluntary basis...”. To achieve their goals, the nostalgic Communists mobilized, insisting that “the restoration of the renewed USSR is impossible without a powerful communist movement” that would embrace the former Soviet republics. The role of leader in this restorative movement was assumed by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), which declared itself the first among the brotherly parties of the UCP-CPSU. The Russian communists’ pretention is not groundless. These exhibited their successes achieved about 25 years ago by challenging the legality of the dissolution of the USSR. Namely the group of the CPRF was the one that designed two exceptional resolutions by which the dissolution of the USSR was challenged, with Russia’s pretentions to restore the USSR being announced. These resolutions were adopted by the State Duma of the Russian Federation on March 15, 1996:

The given resolutions of the supreme legislative body of the Russian Federation clearly set out the attitudes and actions that were to be taken to restore the Soviet empire:

  • Signing and ratification of the documents on the dissolution of the USSR violated the wish of the people of Russia concerning the conservation of the USSR that was expressed in the referendum of March 17, 1991;
  • the agreement on the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), signed on December 8, 1991, hadn’t been ratified by the Congress of People’s Deputies of the RSFSR, which was the supreme government body of the RSFSR, and the agreement does not have legal power therefore;
  • the interstate and intergovernmental treaties on political, economic, defense and other types of issues signed based on the agreement on the creation of the CIS remain valid for the states that signed them before their free and voluntary decision to recreate one state;
  • the government of the Russian Federation will take the necessary measures to keep the common economic, political and information space,  to develop and strengthen the integration ties of the states created inside the USSR etc.

The former Soviet republics fully felt again the efforts made by the Russian elites to restore the USSR or a body designed to substitute the Soviet empire when actions were taken to: a) inspire the separatist movements in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine; b) invade Georgia, in 2008; c) annex Crimea in 2014 and inspire separatism in Donbas; d) impose the commercial ban on the Republic of Moldova, in 2006 and 2013; e) undertake energy blackmail against Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova; threaten Kazakhstan with territorial pretensions etc.

In fact, the given actions had opposite effects and further distanced the former Soviet republics that were subject to pressure by Russia’s integrationist efforts. In such circumstances, the nostalgic Communists had to contain their efforts to restore the USSR, surrendering to the powerful ideas of Putin, which envision the union of the rings of the imperial history, including of the USSR, so as to include them in the eternal state of Putin.

Respectively, the Communists’ restorative initiatives on the occasion of the centenary of the USSR amounted only to nostalgic manifestations, such as the holding of a conference in Chisinau and of automobile races in several towns and villages of Russia – Novosibirsk, Kostroma, Petrozavodsk, Cherepovets, Rossoș, Kîzîl, Stavropol, Karpinsk, Serpuhov, Noghinsk, Berdsk, Kineșma, Berezovka etc. The participants in the automobile racing dedicated to the centenary of the USSR drove such cars as Range Rover, Nissan, Hyundai, Volvo, Toyota, Renault, Chevrolet and other capitalist brands. Vehicles of Soviet and Russian car makes were practically absent. Why so? They were probably afraid that they will not reach the destination with such cars. To be correct, we need to note yet that at the rally in Ecaterinovsk village, there were seen several Lada cars. This was a pathetic scenery against the pretentions to restore the USSR!

Efforts made by Putinist imperialists

Unlike the nostalgic Communists, the Putinist imperialists prepared seriously for the launch of actions to restore the century-old empire. For the sake of truth, we should note that the imperialists informed beforehand about the plans to regain the territories of the former Soviet republics. The invoked reason was that Russia feels constricted in its current borders. Respectively, several days after the given announcement, on February 24, 2022, the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine. In such circumstances, the nostalgic Communists had to resign themselves, accepting the restoration of the empire even if not in its Soviet variant that Putin detests.

Surely, President Vladimir Putin argued his intention to restore the empire before launching the aggression, using arguments that were contrary to those of the Communists. Nevertheless, the Russian aggression was supported by the leader of the CPRF Gennady Zyuganov as a version to restore the union of brotherly nations. This is how there was exposed the support for the aggression of all the parties of the UCP-CPSU, including the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM), which during about a year (!) preferred to ignore the: a) aggression and terror denounced by the most important international institutions; b) barbarous bombardments of Ukrainian citied and civilian infrastructure; c) destruction of hundreds of cities and villages; d) killing of tens of thousands of peaceful citizens (seen only example of Mariupol town) etc.

It should be noted that against the atrocities highlighted on the occasion of the centenary of the  USSR, the nostalgic Communists continued to discuss the communist humanism, avoiding to mention the killing of tens of millions of people in the process of building the bright future. So, it is not surprising that the Communist humanists didn’t even try to condemn the public calls of the Russian deputies and propagandists over the: destruction of Ukraine and the Ukrainians;  drowning and burning of Ukrainian children ; invasion of Europe, not only of former Soviet republics, etc. On the contrary, the nostalgic Communists subscribed to the efforts of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), which blessed Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and is purportedly persecuted for this. Why does it happen so? Because the ROC is the main promoter of the concept of Russian World that is designed to serve as a substitute for the defunct USSR.

Impact of imperial restoration on political forces in Moldova

The efforts to restore the USSR or a version of the century-old empire had an appreciable impact on the pro-Russian political forces of the Republic of Moldova. Even if the PCRM forms part of the parliamentary group of the Bloc of Communists and Socialists, alongside the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), the Moldovan Communists in the course of 2022 clearly detached themselves from the PSRM whose leader they accused of corruption.

On the one hand, the effort made by the PCRM, as a part of the UCP-CPSU, was in favor of the restoration of the USSR. This effort amounted only to the holding of a conference and of a series of car races on the occasion of the centenary of the USSR. Surely, the memorable initiative For a new life, implemented with the contribution of the PCRM and the Shor Party, cannot be overlooked. On the other hand, the leader of the PSRM and the party’s chief propagandist are notable members of the so-called Izborsky Club that represents the Russian imperial movement and that supports, either actively or passively, in silence, Putin’s plan of aggression against  Ukraine as a prelude to the restoration of a new version of the century-old empire.

In the aforementioned circumstances, the mayor of Chisinau Ion Ceban, who was elected to this post with the support of the PSRM, decided to detach himself from the party and launched his own political project – the Party National Alternativa Movement (NAM), attracting a part of the members of the PSRM. The split of the pro-Russian left will have consequences as opinion polls show the leader of the NAM has electoral chances that should not be neglected. But the most important thing is that mayor Ion Ceban seems to be the only political figure with discernment on the political left, who had the courage to publicly condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. It is hard to predict the further evolution of the NAM, but it is evident that the political left of the Republic of Moldova is seriously confused owing to Russia’s imperial ambitions.


The main events of the political year 2022 occurred under the influence of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which caused a series of crises – energy, inflation, humanitarian and others. Even if the symbol of the war is letter “Z”, which was banned in the Republic of Moldova, the current year of crises caused by the Russian aggression can and should be identified as Z0ZZ.

After all the developments witnessed in 2022, the Republic of Moldova should leave the CIS, especially because the legislative body of Russia back in 1996 established that the CIS is an illegal body, while the pro-Russian political forces in the Republic of Moldova consider that the day of constitution of the CIS is a day of betrayal. The Republic of Moldova should not belong to a community that associates itself with illegality and treason.

At least a public discussion on the constitutionality of the PCRM and PSRM is needed. The first forms part of the UCP-CPSU, which pleads for the restoration of the USSR, while the second, through the leader and the chief propagandist, supports the activities of the Russian imperial movement that started the war against Ukraine as a prelude to the restoration of the Russian empire. These actions really endanger the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Moldova, whereas under Article 41 of the Constitutions, the parties that, by their goals or by their activity, act against the sovereignty and independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova are unconstitutional.

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