The Moldovan-Ukrainian relations were mostly influenced by the Russian geopolitics and by Ukraine’s neighborhood with Moldova. These relations are specific as the state organization in that area that is now called Ukraine was late historically. There was no state organization there earlier, if only we exclude Kyivan Rus. A period of diffusions started and the Ukrainian state existed in different formulas that weren’t yet very perceptible. Therefore, the history of the Moldovan-Ukrainian relations starts in the period of Kyivan Rus, political commentator Anatol Țăranu, Doctor of Philosophy in History, stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency.
According to Anatol Țăranu, in the medieval epoch, the Moldovan-Ukrainian relations were very difficult, being marked by different events, including wars. “When we speak, for example, about the Zaporozhe hoard, the Cossacks from Zaporozhe not only once took part in the devastation of the Principality of Moldavia. From this viewpoint, they were sometimes even more brutal than the invasions of the Crimean Khanate. We had relations during the time of Vasile Lupu, for example, with the family of Khmelnitsky. One of the sons of Khmelnitsky killed himself in Suceava. He was the husband of the daughter of Vasile Lupu, one of the rulers of the Principality of Moldavia. But this matrimonial relationship wasn’t of common consent, being imposed by circumstances,” stated the historian.
He noted that Ukraine played a very important role about which not even the historians speak sufficiently. It goes to the year 1918, when the People’s Council voted for Bessarabia’s Union with Romania. That event was mostly determined by the position of Ukraine, of its Rada, which considered that the whole Bessarabia should form part of Ukraine. Those claims made the Moldovan political class take steps. Later, on October 12, 1924, the regime of Stalin decided to form the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic as part of Ukraine, when Transnistria intrinsically was tied to Ukraine, with all the particularities of that decision that was taken in Moscow. Later, in 1940, when the Moldovan Soviet Socialists Republic was formed, Ukraine played an extremely important role in the destiny of this as, owing to the pressure exerted by Kyiv, the southern part of historical Bessarabia and the northern part of Moldova were attributed to Ukraine, creating a problem that continues to have an impact on collectible mentality. Ukraine also played its part in the war of 1992, which was regrettably mostly detrimental to the Republic of Moldova. By today’s war in Ukraine, the neighboring country pays for the blunders committed by the then political class of Ukraine with regard to the Transnistrian conflict that is now reproduced in Ukraine on a much larger scale.
“The current Moldovan-Ukrainian relationship is the best ever, to my mind. What is happening today between the two countries is an example of fruitful cooperation between the two states,” said Moldova’s former Ambassador to Russia.
According to Anatol Țăranu, Russia’s attempt to incorporate Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s trenchant message that the Soviet Union is nothing but historical Russia do not show that the leader from the Kremlin wants to restore the Soviet Union in the formula of historical Russia. He wants to rebuild the Russian Empire. “I consider the current war in Ukraine is nothing but a war within the falling Russian Empire. The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 was only a stage of the dissolution of the empire. Sustained efforts are now made not only to stop this process, but to also reverse it, but the historical process cannot be stopped.”
The public debate entitled “Moldovan-Ukrainian and Moldovan-Russian relations in time and before the war between the two states?” was the 245th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.