Tuesday, May 12, 2015


My friend Lia, who comes to the same Russian Literature group as me, and helps us out by reading excerpts from Gogol or Dostoievski in their original Russian, once asked me if I had ever been to Russia, and I replied that I had, and that I had also written a book which was set in part in Kishinev. She looked at me as though I had suggested that Tolstoy was a Turk or Turgenev a Chinaman. Kishinev, she informed me, is in Moldova. She was right of course, but at the time that my book is set, Kishinev was most definitely part of Russia, or at least an integral part of the Soviet Bloc, which was tantamount to the same thing; and being integral to today’s Russian Federation, I took the risk of stating, it still is. She simply smiled, as any loyal Putin voter should (all Russians are Putin voters, or in jail, or dead, or living abroad; it is simply the way democracy operates in the Russian Federation).

Most of Moldova is not Moldova anyway, but Bessarabia, annexed by the USSR in 1940 when Stalin and von Ribbentrop agreed the division of what was no longer Romania. Of the remainder, the lands to the east of the Dniester river were originally part of Ukraine, but it too was gathered in as part of that 1940 Communist-Fascist pact. That area acquired the name Trans-Dniester, much as eastern Palestine became Trans-Jordan, and then declared itself independent and autonomous, failed to obtain international let alone Russian recognition, and collapsed into economic and political anarchy, a situation made more worrying by the huge stockpiles of Soviet military equipment which the Moldovan government refuses to give back. Mired in extreme poverty, and with Gazprom regularly cutting off its gas supplies as a way of bullying it into giving back those weapons (and to withdraw from deals with the EU), there is little but poor quality wine in Moldova, so poor that most of it gets exported (as do thousands of women every year, also in crates - human trafficking for forced prostitution is a principal source of wealth for Moldova's oligarchs), though one cannot imagine the French or Italians or the Californians purchasing any. The largest vineyard in Moldova is situated in the Valley of Plonk. On my list of countries that can expect to go the way of Chechnya and the Crimea very soon, Moldova is placed at number one.

Marks For: 0

Marks Against: 1917 or 1940, whichever you prefer.

Copyright © 2015 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

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