Already Friday morning in Moldova, this report is in time for Thursday afternoon news reports in America.
As the protests began to die down, the wider picture, both of the destruction, and the reasons for the uprising have become clearer. Much of population in Chisinau, the capital of Republic of Moldova have no faith the results of the elections which were won by the Communist party. Especially on the streets it is obvious that the young people of Moldova believe the elections were rigged.
On Tuesday people began gathering at the National Square mainly with the same cheers as Monday, but this crowd had grown to around 50,000 people. At some point, the crowd split and while many remained in the National Square in front of the Government offices, the other part went to the Presidential Palace and the Parliament buildings.
Before Noon the government had closed all radio stations except for “Vocea Basarabiei” which was transmitted government news about the events.
Demonstrators began to hurl rocks at the police and the Moldovan Army special forces “Scut” formed a human line from the Parliament to the Presidency (both of the buildings are situated on the Stefan cel Mare boulevard and were facing one another) and began to attack protesters with bats and water canon.
Water canon has long been the staple of governments controlling street demonstrations. Yesterday (Thursday) however, the police ran out of water. Fortunately the protestors seemed to have run out of steam also. One has to wonder if Moldovans are just tired…or will they be back tomorrow because today’s reprieve was a result of everybody running out of water.
At first the events were peaceful but when police began to block journalists and then began to turn protestors away from the National Square that tempers began to flare.
By Wednesday afternoon most Internet and cellular communications had been cut off and only the government TV and radio stations were broadcasting.
Moldova has imposed a visa regime on Romania, expelled its ambassador and denied entry to more than 19 Romanian journalists. It says the measures are needed because Romania is threatening its sovereignty, a charge that Bucharest dismisses.
Among those detained in Chisinau was Natalya Morar, a Moldovan citizen and reporter for Moscow-based New Times magazine who was expelled from Russia last year after writing about alleged Kremlin corruption. Officials said that Morar had been charged with “calls for organizing and staging mass disturbances.”
The suspected mastermind of the violent protests, Moldovan businessman Gabriel Stati, has been detained in Ukraine, and Moldovan prosecutors have asked for his extradition. Stati’s father is the owner of the ASCOM company, which produces gas and oil in Kazakhstan and a number of African countries. Moldova is ethnically two-thirds Romanian and only one-eighth Russian.