Tuesday, May 22, 2007




The country of nobody

Geographically Transnistria (Pridnestrovie) is bounded by the 800 km bank of Nistru (Dniester), the 600 km bank of Bug and the 150 km of the Black Sea seacoast [1]. By Transnistrian Romanians we understand all people over Nistru, including Podolia, Dnieper and even Don; as well as from Crimea, Caucasus and Siberia.

The origins of the Romanian population on the East of Nistru are to be found in the symbiosis between tirageti (Getae from Tyras and Nistru), that is among the subjects of Burebista that ruled Olbia at the Bug’s mouths and the Romans, whose tracks can be found at every turning.

Since very old times, an obvious process of ethnographic and demographic interpenetration between Romanians and Ruthenians (Ukrainians) started. It continued along the centuries through the colonization and emigration of these two races. The Bolohoveni Knezes ruled the population on the course of Sluchi River and the Upper Bug River. They were also the ones that preceded the Cossacks [2]. The Ukrainian historian V. B. Antonovichi wrote in 1885 that neither the right, nor the left of Nistru “belonged to the Halicien or other Russian princes” [3]. The body to body fight with the Slavic and Turanian tribes did not impede the establishment of the Moldovan state in the 14th century, the Baia principality joining other older Romanian localities, some of them spread as far as Poland and Volhinia [4]. Among the Bolohoveni voievodes, Alexander from Belti and Gleb of Ieremia were some of the most well-known. [5]. Yet, with debut of the 2nd millennium, this Romanianity was quite powerful, a fact proven by Scandinavian sources from the 9th century, pointing out the presence of “Blakumens” over Nistru, and by a Russian old chronicle mentioning the same “volohove” in the region [6]. The Romanian element experienced an excess of vitality and the phenomenon of Diaspora, starting with a Crachiun in 1287 in Crimea, followed by a “Hungarian Marioara” from Caffa in 1280, and in the 15th century - by the “Hungarians” Radu, Stanciu, Stoica in the same colony [7].

In May 25, 1455 the inhabitants of the White Fortress (Cetatea Alba), dissatisfied with the piratical actions of the Genoese from the Lerici castle on the Dnieper river mouths, took possession of the fortress and sent as captives the rulers of the White Fortress (who were Genovezi) to the hospodar Petru Aron [8].

Podolia of the Stefan the Great was viewed by N. Iorga as belonging to “actually nobody”, although it successively nominally belonged to the Tatar Knezes, the Big Principality of Lithuania and Poland. Imperceptibly a “new” Moldova of over Nistru with an increasing number of villages appeared. The Lerici fortress was occupied by Moldova during 1455-1475.

Romanian Cossacks

Stefan Bathory in a letter to the Sublime Porte shows that the territories between Bug and Dnieper were populated by a gathering of Polish Litvans, Moscals and Romanians. Cossacks originated from both Moscals and Romanians [8]. When saying Cossack, the Tartars meant vagabond. Their hetman Dumitru Vishnovietcki was descending from a sister of P. Rares. He claimed the chair of Moldova as well [9]. Following Ioan Voda the Terrible, the Cossacks attacked Moldova several times bringing with them the “Domnisori (young hospodars)” – true or fake sons over Nistru of the former hospodars of Moldova.

Ioan Nicoara Potcoava was the first hetman chosen by the entire Zaporojie Seche. He managed to occupy the throne of Moldova for a short time and the same luck was tried by other Romanians leading Cossacks: Alexandru and Constantin Potcoava [10], Petre Lungu, Petre Cazacu. The supreme rang of Cossacks hetman was hold by Transnistrian Romanians as well, some of which were Ion Grigore Loboda, Tihon Baibuza, Samoila Chisca, Ion Sircu, Opara, Trofim Volosanin (the Romanian), Ion Sarpila, Timotei Sgura, Dumitru Hunu and the legendary hero of Cossacks in the fight for independence of Ukraine - Danila Apostol. During the XVI – XVIII centuries, high ranks among Cossacks were held by the colonel Toader Lobada, (in Pereiaslav), Martin Puscariu (in Poltava), Burla (in Gdansk), Pavel Apostol (in Mirgorod), Eremie Ginju si Dimitrie Bancescu (in Uman), Dumitrascu Raicea (in Pereiaslav), commander Varlam Buhatel, Grigore Gamalie (in Lubensc), Grigore Cristofor, Ion Ursu (in Rascov), Petru Apostol (in Lubensc). Other big commanders of Cossack units out of “Transnistrian Dacians” were:

Topa, Scapa, Taranul, Moldovan, Munteanu, Procopie, Desalaga, Dragan, Gologan, Polubotoc, Cociubei, Turculet, Chigheci, Grigoras, Bogdan, Radul, Focsa, Basarab, Grigorcea, Borcea, etc. Many of them signed the documents of Ukraine’s union with Russia, as of January 18, 1654 [11], while others like the general Ciorba and the colonels Mindra, Ghinea si Brinca entered the service of Russia [12].

The hospodars of Moldova dominated Transnistria

Following 1574, when Ion Voda Armeanul had mentioned about “our country of Moldova over Nistru”, following 1602, when the boyars [13] had referred to their relatives over Nistru, in 1681 Gh. Duca became “the despot of Moldova and Ukraine”, the same period during which documents started to be written in Romanian [16]. If till that year it was only the ethnical border that passed over Nistru, Duca brought the political border in the Transnistrian region, which had under its administration all the territories between the Carpathians and the Dnieper. After him Ukraine was ruled by Stefan Movila, Dimitrie Cantacuzino and Ene Draghici, Simeon Palis and Sandu Coltea also holding high positions [17].

As a consequence of Duca Voda’s governance (that established princely courts in Ticanova on Nistru and Nimirov on Bug) Moldova continued till 1765 to administer as well the left bank of Nistru [18].

Transnistria ’s important centers were Movilaul, Dubasari, Silibria, Iampol, Jaruga, Rascov, Vasilcau. In the new region formed by Russians at Ocheakov (at whose construction Petru Schiopu participated with 15000 day laborers and 3000 carts) the following boyars benefited of lands: Cantacuzino, Rosetti, Catargiu, Badiul, Sturza, Manuil, Macaresu, Cucu, Boian, Iliescu, Sabau, Cananau, Craciun, Pascal, Hagila, Sacara, Nicorita, Ghenadie, Dodon, Zurucila etc. The fortress was stirred by Mihai Viteazul in 1600 and appeared starting back then as one of the cities of Moldova). In a census from 1793, between Nistru and Bug there were 67 villages, 49 out of which were Romanian [19].

The Transnistrian church subordinated since the old times to the Romanian Church

The region was gravitating to Moldova from the church viewpoint as well, so that in 1657 the metropolitan bishop of Suceava ordained Layar Branovici as bishop in Cernigov [20]. In an act from Tighina as of 1769 the following specification was made with regards to the church subordination: “the mitropolit of Proilavei (Brailei), of Tamarovei (Reniului), of Hotin, of all the edges of Dunarii and Nistru and the entire Ukraine of the khan” [21]. Several times the region between Nistru and Bug was under the administration of Hushi bishopric. After 1792 (date at which Russians reached Nistru) from the church viewpoint, Transnistria belonged to Ecaterinoslav, in front of which was the Romanian Gavriil Banulescu-Bodoni, who after the annexation of Bassarabia joined under the same metropolitan seat Chisinau, Hotin and Oceacov “because the region of Oceacov, same as Bassarabia, was inhabited by Moldovans, Vlahs, Greek, Bulgarians and colonists of different nationalities, and very few Russians”. In 1837 the diocese of Cherson and Tauridia was established, the residence being in Odessa [22]. On the left bank of Nistru and in some places of Cherson steppe till Bug, there were locations with about 100 Moldovan Churches, while the whole South of Russia till about Kiev was in the stage of colonization only with two decades before Bessarabia’s capture.

In 1717 Mihai Racovita, the hospodar of Moldova, certified through an act an offering of estate made over Nistru to Apostol Leca [24].



In 1772 the Russians arrived at Bug, in 1792 at Nistru (Dniester) and in 1812 at Prut. At each of these stages Russia managed to obtain clauses regarding the right of Christian subjects left under Turkish suzerainty to move within its borders in order to colonize them. The Tzars did not want the South of Ukraine to remain unpopulated. So in 1739 Constantin and Dumitrascu Cantemir (sons of the one that governed in 1711 and left Moldova with 4000 Moldovans) led the Moldovan voluntaries in the fights with Turks and signed in September 5 a convention with Russia, obtaining that way the recognition of the country’s independence [25]. When the Russians withdrew, they took with them over 100.000 souls to be colonized.

Ecaterina the second would have moved us all to the East of Nistru

In 1769-1774 at Ecaterina the second court, projects “to transplant the population of both Principalities” were designed, while in 1792 it was reported that “two thirds of Moldova’s inhabitants” were placed between Nistru and Bug, with the intention to give autonomy, as well as A. I. Mavrocordat as a hospodar, to this “New Moldova” [26]. Offering exemption from military service and taxes, covering the travel expenses, ensuring autonomy, Romanian Churches, Romanian magistrates, schools in native language, book printing in Romanian and even seals with the head of ure ox, Ecaterina the second attracted Romanians from principalities and Transilvania and in 1783 managed to settle even over the river Bug 2000 families with 15 Romanian Churches [27].

Colonization was conducted even around Kiev, but also in the South of Russia, 25-40 families being brought in for colonization. The shepherds from Ardeal settled in Crimea, at Azov Sea till Caucas or in Dombas. The employees from the direction of the studies office, under the supervision of A. Galopentia, during the ethnographic and folkloric researches made over Bug during 1942-1944, found in the town of Melitopol from the Azov Sea, a unique restaurant from the locality bearing the name Bucharest [28].

Having a preference for ancient names, Ecaterina the second built strong fortresses on the left bank of Nistru: Tiraspol in front of Tighina and Ovidipol in front of the White Fortress [29]. The biggest majority of Transdniestrians being Romanian, e.g. Erhani, Soltani, Busila, Codreanu, Munteanu, Brasoveanu, Ardeleanu, Esanu were the working hand at rising Odessa, but also local leaders. Banulescu was the one who sanctified the foundation of Odessa city and contributed with the plan of organizing the city, while Manole was an architect at the governor’s office. Among the firms of Odessa there appeared the shoemaker Stirbei, the sewer Sturza, the restaurant Catargi, while the suburb “Moldovanca” populated with Romanians became an entire city with a population of over 40.000 [30].

Romanians put the basis of the Russian culture

In 1796 in Dubasari or Movilau the first volume of poetry in Romanian was printed (original poetry and translations by I. Cantacuzino) [31]. In 1799 the Russian Pavel Sumacov noted that in Ovidiopol, Tiraspol, Grigoriopol, Dubasari, Malaiesti the majority of inhabitants were Moldovan [32].

The Romanian culture influenced both the culture of Ukrainians and Russians through the Romanians that found their meaning in Russia. Petru Movila became the metropolitan bishop of Kiev and the founder of the Russian Academy. The Romanian monk Paul Berinda is the founder of Russian lexicography. Milescu Spataru, besides the diplomatic and scientific activity, was the teacher of Petru the Great. Dimitrie Cantemir conducted a fruitful scientific activity, being as well the personal counselor of the king. Herascu (Hirastov) was a literary man and the first curator of the university from Moscow [33].

Dosoftei became the bishop of Azov, while Antonie (he crossed the Nistru with those over 100.000 Moldovans in 1739) - the metropolitan bishop of Chernigov and Bielgorod. Mihai Strilbitki from Moldova moved his typography to Dubasari, then to Movilau. Ioan Silviu Nistor in the history of “Romanians from Transdniestria” reminds of a Romanian Turcu, as the author of the Russian criminal code, of Mihail Voloshaninov as the organizer of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Grigore Voloseninov (the Romanian), also diplomat of Russia [34]. The Russian literature recognizes that the modern Russian poetry started with Antioh Cantemir. Through D. Cantemir, through Spataru Milescu (who in China at stopovers ordered the Cossacks to sing him “Danube, Danube”), through Leon Donici and others, Transdniestria obtained great cultural personalities [35].

In 1737 in Russia was born Nic Bantins Camenschi, follower of a Moldovan boyar, who became an honorary member of the Russian University and Academy [36]. Mihai Frunza, military genius of Russian Army, dead in 1925 at the age of 40, was the one whose name was given to the capital of Kirgizian SSR (Frunze) and to the military academy of USSR. He was born in Turkestan, as a result of colonization of Bessarabians and Transnistreans in 1878 in the region [37]. In 1854 was passing away Al. Strurza, philosopher of religions. N. Donici established in 1908 “The observer of physical astronomy” in Dubasarii Vechi [38]. The Russian Government refused the offer of Mihail Stroescu (the brother of the philanthropist V. Stroescu) to finance the inauguration of a cathedra of Romanian language at the University from Odessa.

The soviet academician L. S. Berg, stated: “The Moldovans that live in Moldova, Bessarabia and till the neighboring provinces, Podolia, Herson, and in a smaller number – in the Ecaterinoslav province, are Romanians”, while Take Ionescu with regards to Russia “is our natural enemy”” [39].

The toponymy confirms the Romanian character of Transdniestria

Here is a number of names of localities over Nistru: Singuri, Volosovca, Cioban, Beseni, Volosschie, Caracinti-Valahi, Cotiujani, Usita, Voloscovti, Birliadca (near Bug’s springs); Glodoasa, Troianca, Mamaica, Adabasi, Alexandria, Perepelitino, Santuia, Malai (near Kirovograd); Buric, Fundescleevca, Varsati, Curecni (between Cigirin and Novomirgorod); Babanca, Burta, Tecucica (near Novoarhanghelsk); Razmerita, Selari, Moldovca, Moldovscaia, Odaia, Moldovanca (near Olviopol); Arcasi, Cantacuzinca, Moldovca Brasoveanovca, Paduret, Urita, Serbani, Arnautovca (near Voznerensk); Baraboi, Gradinita, Dobrojeni, Grosulovo, Moldovanca (near Odessa); Cosuri, Gusa, Sura-Bondureni, Buda, Soroca, Chisleac, Bursuci, Odaeva, Sura (near Gaisin) etc.

Th. Burada remarked in Cherson province in 1893 the following Moldovan villages: Iasca, Gradinita, Sevartaica, Belcauca (in the direction of Ovideopol), Malaiesti, Floarea, Tei, Cosarca, Buturul, Perperita, Goiana, Siclia, Corotna, Cioburceni, Speia, Caragaciu, Taslic, Dorotcaia, Voznisevsca (on Bug), Moldovca si Cantacuzinovca. The same Macedo-Romanian Burada in 1906 found the following Romanian villages in Podolia: Lescovat, Ruda, Ivanet, Rogozna, Studenita, Usita, Lipciani, Serebia, Busa, Cosnita, Grusca, Ocnita, Camenca, Lapusna, Saratei, Ribnita, Botusani, Pietrosul, Slobozia, Domnita, Balta, Mosneagul, Senina, Bursucul [40].

Also back then, according to official data there were 532.416 Romanians in Cherson and Podolia, 11.813 - in Ecaterinoslav, and 4.015 in Tauridia (Crimea). The real data though were estimated up to 1.200.000. Starting with the middle of the 14th century, there were over 400 purely Romanian villages in Transdniestria [41].

Alexis Nour (who identified in Transdniestria a locality “Nouroaia”) named the last villages of the compact Romanian region: towards East – Golodosi – at about the same parallel with Chernauti and Sherbani – at a parallel with Iasi, but at a distance of 200-250 km from Nistru [42]. He found in Kiev a lyceum with the name of a person who was maintaining it with huge donations “Pavel Galagan”. The ones from the families Funduclea enjoyed the same fame (a street from Kiev had the same name): Cordunean, Frunzetti, Macarescu, Bontas, Gredescu etc. [43]

Out of the names of waters from Transdniestria, we recall the following ones: Tiligul, Ingul, Inguletul, Baraboi, Volosica, Balacliica, Berezan, Cuciurean, Tigheci, Putred, Soroca, Ocnita, Dirla, Udici, Sahaidac (old name for wallet), Moldovca, Busa, Tatrani, Humor, Merla, Usita etc. [44]



Between 1909 and 1913 the hieromonk Inochentie lead in Transnistria (Pridnestrovie) at Balta a “movement” to reintroduce the Romanian language in church. Tens of thousands Moldovans made pilgrimages to Balta where they were addressed in Romanian and were given newspapers in their language. Protected by peasants (60 were killed), Inochentie was caught by Cossacks and imprisoned. Still, the authorities permitted the usage of Romanian language in churches [45].

The time during which we were offered Odessa

In 1914 Austria promised Romania “the entire Bessarabia with Odessa”, a promise which was later on renewed [46]. The presence of Transylvanian and Bucovinean volunteers in Ukraine had a benefic role in awaking the national consciousness of Romanians from the Tzarist Empire. The Romanian officers conducted lively cultural activities, attracting on their side students from Kiev. In Odessa there were 40.000 Romanian soldiers and officers from the Russian Army, which also had a big influence on the students in Odessa and together organized a congress in March 23, 1917. In April 18 in Odessa it took place a Romanian soldiers’ manifestation, where 12.000 Bessarabian and Transnistrian soldiers and students participated. In April 9 the newspaper “Moldovan word” published the program N.M P. (National Moldovan Party) which included, besides others, the national rights of Romanians over Nistru (Dniester), and in April 14 “the Association of Moldovan teachers from Bessarabia and over Nistru” was established [47]. The congress of Romanian teachers from Russia held in Odessa asked for the Transniestrians for divine service, schools, school inspectorate, bishopric at Dubasari, seminar at Odessa, all in the Romanian language.

,,Whom do you leave us to?…”

At the session of Ukrainian Rada, the deputy Ion Dumitrascu (Transnistrian) protested against the claims of Ukraine on Bessarabia [48]. He also, together with Ion Precul and Valeriu Cicate, lead “Desteptarea (Awakening) – a national society of Romanians from Ukraine” established in Kiev in November 26, 1917.

The Moldovan military congress, which took place in Chisinau at the beginning of November 1917, had on the agenda the point 8 “Moldovans over Nistru” and decided that Romanians over Nistru should have 10 mandates in the Sfatul Tarii [49]. Ukraine was asked to provide the Romanians over Nistru, from Caucas, from Siberia with the same rights which Bessarabia provided the ethnical minorities with. Chisinau was also claiming from Transnistrian administrations for notification of the number of school-age Romanian children [50]. At this congress the Transdnestrian peasant, Toma Jalba, asked “And with us, the ones that live on the other bank of Nistru, what will it happen, whom do you live us to?” [51].

In December 17 in Tiraspol it was organized the congress of Romanian trandniestrians, preceded by the preparation meetings held in Tiraspol in November 14 and Griogoriopol in November 21. There it was decided that every village would send 2 delegates. Held under the sign of Tricolor, the congress voted for the creation of national Romanian-speaking schools and the Latin alphabet; the introduction of Romanian language in churches, the legal procedures in the language of natives, Romanian doctors in the villages, Moldovans to do the service in the national Armed Forces and the election of eight representatives in the Ukrainian Rada. It has also been decided that newspapers would be published, estates would be divided and everything possible would be made to join Transnistria to Bessarabia. And as they did not know if Bessarabia would fight for that joining, the Transnistrian second lieutenant Bulat warned that “if we let Ukraine to cut a branch today, another tomorrow, then our tree will transform into a tree-stump” [52]. The delegate of Ukrainian Rada wished in the end “Glory to the free Moldova”

The Romanian National Committee opened [52] Romanian schools, the Ukrainian Rada approved Romanian handbooks printed in Chisinau with Latin letters, the Council Zemstevei from Tiraspol started to introduce both in administration and legal system persons that knew Romanian. Timotei Plesca si Toma Jalba had organized the Romanian Battalion, the soldiers receiving equipment, armament, barracks. The Ukrainian teaching staff was not forced to attend summer courses in Ukrainian, and 30 out of them attended courses in Chisinau. In Lunca village it was even played the “Piatra din casa” (The stone from the house) by V. Alecsandri. As long as the Bolshevik terror was present everywhere, in some places, e.g schools, even in 1919 they sang “Wake up Romanian”.

In January 9, 1918 Ion Precul, a Moldovan from the left of Nistru, in the position of deputy in the Ukrainian Rada, asked for equal rights for his compatriots [53]. There it was planned a general congress of Romanians from Ukraine in June 1918, but only in December 1919 at a National Meeting they claimed for their organization within a national state. In March 21, 1919, being followed by Bolshevik bands, the Romanians crossed Nistru and occupied for a short time Tiraspol and Razdelnaia.

At the peace conference in Paris, Romania did not claim for Transnistria and it remained of the domain of history the reasons why the Romanian brothers had not been abolished of slavery back then, being forced that way to confront another epoch of sufferings, which according to Domninte Timonu (born in Mahala near Dubasari, later on member of the Literary Fund of the Writers’ Union in Romania) was a more “harder and terrible” period [54]. In a speech made in Warsaw in November 1920, Take Ionescu said that “600.000 of Romanians live over the Eastern frontier” [55]. In April 1920, big peasant revolutions began. The revolters led by Tutunica – occupied Balta, the revolt spreading over the counties of Codirna and Ananev (county of which the “Big Russian encyclopedia” said that Moldovans were native inhabitants of). In 1922 under the leadership of Chirsule the revolt had broke out again. After being stifled in blood, the revolters were deported in masses. [56]



The Ukrainian opposition at establishing of MASSR

Following the Declaration on August 3, 1923 of the Soviet Government on nationalities and the free usage of the native language and as a result of the decisive tendencies of Ukrainization, in September 3 the delegates of Romanian villages met in Balta. The Ukrainians opposed the idea of an autonomous republic [57].

Still, in October 12, 1924 the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic is created [58] inside Ukraine, Balta being the capital, and since 1928 - Tiraspol, with the western border fixed declaratively on Prut. In Birzula in April 1925, the Pan-Moldovan congress fixed the borders and the Constitution recognized by Ukrainians in May 10.

With an area of 8.434 km2 (in 1934) and a population of 615.500 inhabitants out of which 60% Romanians, the new republic covered the rayons: Balta, Birzula, Camenca, Crut, Dubasari, Grigoriopol, Ananiev, Ocna Rosie, Ribnita, Slobozia, and Tiraspol. It had been created to stir the interest of the discontented people from Bassarabia. Vintila Bratianu thought with lucidity that “the establishment of a Romanian state between Russia and us would allow the development in the USSR of a Romanian national life” [59].

The Tiraspol in Latin alphabet

The inheritance left by Tzarism was scaring: illiterate population, no native language schools, national consciousness extinguished, most of the people having forgotten their origins and who they were, language in the state of gobbledygook language [60]. It is worth mentioning that in the MASSR the native language had been given its real name, as it results out of the pages of the weekly “Plugarul rosu” (The Red plough-man) of August 21, 1924 (which appeared since July 1): “it has been decided that in schools, as well as in places of Romanian culture, the Romanian language will be used” [61].

There were open Romanian schools (145 of gymnasium type and 18 – lyceum type), institutes (an agronomic, a pedagogical and a polytechnic), with an overall Romanian school population of 24.200 out of which 800 students. In 1933 the Latin alphabet was introduced. There appeared publications like: : ,,Plugarul rosu”, ,,Moldova Socialista”, ,,Comsomolistul Moldovei”, ,,Moldova literara”, ,,Octombrie”, ,,Scinteia leninista”. There was also a radio station in Tiraspol, the state choir “Doina”, a state theatre and a Romanian department at the Theater School from Odessa, an institute of scientific researches. The young republic had a General Congress of Soviets, local Parliament, Government and even a president of the republic [62].

The return to the “Moldovan language” had been made with the gun

In 1937, though, the intellectuality of the MASS had been accused of making the class enemies’ game [63] and savagely exterminated – starting with the entire government of the republic and ending with the hearty Transnistrian writers, some of which were: Nicolae Smochina, Toader Malai, Nicolae Turcanu, Simion Dumitrescu, Petre Chioru, Mihai Andreescu, Mitrea Marcu, Alexandru Caftanachi, Iacob Doibani, Ion Corcin, Dumitru Batrincea, Nistor Cabac. The Stalinist atrocities had even arrived the killing of 167 men out the 168 from the village of Toma Jalba (Butor – Grigoriopol rayon) [64].

Because of forced collectivization and closing of churches (which ended in 1938) a real exodus over Nistru (Dniester) took place. It was so intense, that a camp for Transnistrian refuges was created. Also, the number of intellectuals originating from over Nistru was so big, that in Chisinau, Cluj and Iasi appeared their newspapers: “Tribuna romanilor” [65] lead by St. Bulat, “Transnistria” edited by Ilia Zaftur, and “Moldova Noua” edited by N. Smochina. The Russian frontier guards were shooting with no mercy the ones which they found crossing Nistru river. Such events were usual, but in February 23, 1932 a real massacre took place, as 40 men, women and children were killed. This massacre became a subject of discussion in Parliament and the internal and international media.

Before June 28, 1940 and the following days they talked about the reunion of the territories between Bug and Nistru with the MASSR. The RATAU agency was informing from Balta about the meeting dedicated to supporting “the meeting of the Bassarabian people with the Transnistrian people”. Echoes of the intention of the CC of CP from the USSR as of June 11, 1940 could be found on the pages of Socialist Moldova as of July 13, 1940: “with big joy we found out that the Soviet of People’s Commissars from CC of the Union CP have supported the demand of Moldova’s organizers and have proposed the Supreme Soviet of the USSR to support the request of Moldova’s organizers to bring together the inhabitants of Bassarabia with the inhabitants of MASSR and to organize the MSS Confederative Republic”.

Kremlin ordered the data gathering for making a decision as regards the territorial-administrative structure of MSSR. Such a report dated July 15, 1940 and signed by A. Scerbacov, considering the ethnical, historical, economic aspects, proposes the surrendering out of Bassarabian rayons - only the Hotin (which together with Cernauti were going to belong to Ukraine), and out of MASSR – to surrender to Ukraine only the rayons Balta and Pesceansc. The future Moldova was going to have 5 regions: Balti, Chisinau, Akkerman and Tiraspol with the rayons Ananiev, Valea Hotului, Grigoriopol, Dubasari, Camenca, Codima, Cotovsc, Ocna Rosie, Ribnita, Slobozia, Tiraspol and Cerneansc. The region of Tiraspol would have had 518.385 inhabitants [67].

The leadership of the former MASSR also proposes to surrender to Ukraine, besides Northern Bucovina, only Hotin, Cetatea Alba and Chilia, and from the east of Nistru – to surrender only the rayons Codilna, Balta and Pesciana [68].

The tearing of Transnistria

Kiev, through the president of the Supreme Soviet of Ukraine, M. Greciuha, required in July 22 that to Ukraine is annexed, besides Northern Bucovina, Hotin, Akkermann, Chilia and Ismail, Bolgrad, other eight rayons of the MASSR (Codima, Balta, Pesciana, Ananiev, Valea Hotului, Ocna Rosie, Cerneansc, Kotovsk)[69]. Although as a result of the analysis of the Ukraine’s and MASSR’s proposals, A. Gorkin, secretary of the presidium of the Supreme Soviet proposed to G. Malenkov, secretary of CC of CPSU to adopt the MSSR’s version [70] , in August 1940 the Supreme Soviet had adopted the law of establishing MSSR in the version proposed by Ukraine [71].

In May 10, 1941 it were rejected the demands to pass from within Ukraine’s borders to Moldova’s ones of the citizens from the following Transnistrian localities: Timcov (rayon Codima) Stanislavca (rayon Kotovsc), Culmea Veche (rayon Kotovsc), Grebenichi and Slaveano-Serbca (rayon Grosu) and accepted only demands from Dorotcaia Noua and Sadovo villages (rayon Ocna Rosie) [72].

Here are some of the localities of the former MASSR that were transferred to Ukraine: Lunga, Hirtop, Visterniceni, Bors, Dabija, Carlesti, Serpa, Culmea Veche and Noua (rayon Birzu); Valea Hotului, Tocila, Grecu, Perisori, Handrabura, Salpani (rayon Nani); Pasat, Holmu, Pirlita, Pasatel, Mironi, Banzari, Bursuci, Mosneanca, Raculova, Herbina (rayon Balta), Budai, Buza, Strimba, Brosteni, Slobozia, Buchet, Timcau, Ploti, Serbi (rayon Crutii); Ocna Rosie, Claveni, Tiscolung, Tiscol, Odaie, Ideia, Cosari, Dihori, Mironi, Slobozia, Dubau, Tibuleanca, Sahaidac, Topala, Ciorna, Perlicani, Basarabia, Bahta, Malaiesti, Ilie, Brinza, Untilovca, Gavanosu (rayon Ocna Rosie). Many Romanian names had been changed: Birzu into Kotovsk, Marculeni in Dimovka, Volosca into Pisariovka, Intunecata into Svetloe, Nani into Ananiev, Vrabie into Vradievka, Valea Hotului into Dolinskoie, Malai into Karataevka, Urita into Elenovka etc [73].

The names of Moldovans have been “Ukrainezed” as well: Sandu, Rusu, Buzatu, Cherdevara have become over night: Sandulenko, Rusulenko, Buzatenko, Kerdevarenko [74].



Under Romanian administration

Between August 19, 1941 and January 29, 1944, Romania temporary administered “Transnistria”, which was stretching between Nistru (Dniester) and Bug till the Dnieper bank, and in the North till the Niomjii and Rov’s waters. The territory with an area of 44.000 km2 and a population of 1,2 mln inhabitants was divided into 13 counties: Ananiev, Balta, Berzovca, Dubasari, Golta, Jugastru, Movilau, Oceacov, Odessa, Ovidiopol, Ribnita, Tiraspol, Tulcin. In connection with the opening of schools in 1941, the mayors had to immediately consult the local communities concerning the language of teaching (Russian or Moldovan) [75].

Keeping the old division in 64 rayons, out of those 1.623 public servants, only 398 originated from Romania. From those over 1.000 churches destroyed by communists, in 1943 only 76 were not yet repaired. Besides the 219 local priests, there were 250 country priests that were officiating holy services. There had been organized courses for 800 Romanian teachers from Transnistria. Publications like “Transnistria”, “Glasul Nistrului”, “Bugul”, “Gazeta Odessei”, “Tara Bugului”, “Molva” appeared. In Tiraspol the Romanian lyceum “Duca Voda” was established, and cinemas in Tiraspol, Ananev and Odessa. Film representations took place in the villages of Transnistria [76]. In Hirjau village there were repatriated Romanians from Kuban (504 families of over Bug have been repatriated between Prut and Bug at the beginning of the action) [77]. According to the gypsy baron Coca from Sintesti – Ilfov, on the bank of Bug it was established a kind of camp which amount 2.600 gypsies [78].

In 1944, at the same time with the advancement of the front, the biggest part of Transnistria was incorporated in the Ukrainian SSR, while the counties Camenca, Ribnita, Dubasari, Grigoriopol, Tiraspol, Slobozia – within Moldovan RSS, a situation which did not change till today.

An extreme-eastern Romania

In 1966 R. Udlear specified that 240 localities researched within the Moldovan Linguistic Atlas were situated in Ukraine (Transcarpatia, Cernauti, Odessa, Nicolaev, Kirovograd, Dniepropetrovsk, Zaporojie, Donetk, Lugansk), in the ASSR of Abhazia, in Khirghizia. Also, there were non-cartographic materials for Omsk and Primorsk. V. Buescu brings new data about the Romanian Diaspora over Ural. In the region of Orenburg and Turgai there exist purely Romanian villages. The village Berdianski is inhabited by Bessarabians that were first colonized in Simferopol. In the village Abiarski he met families with the name Septechita (a name specifically of Moldovan origins). In the region Samarkand there is an exclusively Moldovan village. The village Orheievka from Semipalatinsk was inhabited by colonies from Orhei (a Moldovan rayon that exist today in Republic of Moldova). Romanian villages can also be found around Omsk and Akmolinsk and in the Tansk region. Around the village Irkutsk there lived Romanians, one of their villages being Ceremskov. Near Vladivostok on the Usuri River there exist villages like: Teiul, Zimbreni, Bogatirca, Kisinovka, Balcinesti, Dunai, Basarabia Noua, Loganesti with about 30.000 Moldovans (in 1968). On Amur, near Habarovsk, exist villages like: Inul, Aur, Dunarea. In Manciuria before the war there were 20.000 Romanians. There have been spotted Romanian fishermen from Primorsk which asked for asylum in Japan [79].

Among the numerous waves of deportations, emigrations, colonization of Romanians to the east, an important role was played by the displacement in Siberia and Kazastan between 1906-1914 of 60.000 Bessarabians and the creation of a true extreme-eastern Romania [80].

How many would die for the tricolor? She did!

In Ukraine, at the census made in 1989, the east of Nistru was inhabited by Romanians from the region Odessa, which also covered the south of Bessarabia (149.534), Nikolaev (16.673), Kirovograd (10.694) and other regions (73.128) [81]. In 1992 in Odessa there existed a Romanian Cultural Society “Luceafarul”. It edited a weekly with the same name, lead by Vadim Bacinschi. Maria Margarit from Ananiev said that this weekly was a relief for her pain and that “the changes the names of our villages have been subject to hurt” and talked about “our ancestral existence on these territories” [82].

The Russian interests in the region, whose expression is the conflict initiated in 1992 and the centrifugal tendencies present till today, impede the access to the national life, at least for the Trandniestrian Romanians from the rayons of Moldova. If in the beginning 26.000 pupils from Transnistria asked for Latin alphabet, as a result of Russophones pressures, there were left only the schools no. 20 from Tiraspol (about which T. Tabunshchic, deputy president of the society “Transnistria” [83] said that the number of pupils grew from 30 to 700), no. 4, 17, 18, 19 from Bender (Tighina) and no. 12 from Ribnita [84]. In the entire Transnistria, the Moldovans hold 40% of the population (Russians and Ukrainians hold only 22, and respectively 28%); in Tiraspol where in 1940 they had 65%, in 1989 they were hardly holding 12% [86].

In Cocieri (the Transnistrian village which gave us the prose writer and the stage-manager Iovita Vlad and the academician I. Capiton Lupol), the teacher Maria Cherasim Isaicul during the conflict was leaving the school having the tricolor with her. One night she had been killed and thrown into a well [85]. Lucky the children taught by her. Pity on us, who allow to some Romanian analysts, (not only Smirnov and the 14th Army), to state categorically that we do not have interests in Transnistria and it had never belonged to Romania.

C. Coposu would have probably said about these Romanians that “our territorial integrity till the Eastern frontiers of the nation is a sacred obligation, like the 11th commandment of the Romanian Decalogue”.

The authorities of the self-proclaimed Transnistrian Moldovan republic of today, besides the rayons from the east of Nistru, also hold control over Tighina city (which is in Bessarabia). In 1992, after the army of Moldova entered Tiraspol, they received an order from Snegur to withdraw. The soldiers were grieved. Chisinau is justified to reestablish the constitutional order in the region, but it had and still has some hesitations that are at least suspicious.


I hope, my dear reader, you understood that we have some interests over Nistru, although it is very probable you are the type of Romanian who revolts that the Americans do not know about our Myoritic space, but which allow with serenity to be held in obscurity by a school which had not offered the elementary knowledge about our brothers from Transnistria, Transcarpatia, Pocutia, Northern Bucovina, Northern Bessarabia, Herta, Southern Basarabia, Cadrilater, the Serbian and Bulgarian Timocul, the Western Banat, the Eastern Ungaria, about our Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian and Istro-Romanian brothers. Americans are some superficial bastards. As a good Romanian, look for making green Romanians out of some Hungarians and do not worry about those 12 million of Romanians outside Romania which do not have access to their native language. Don’t spoil your heart and better switch to the sports page.

Viorel Dolha *

Translated from Romanian by V. Ursu


[1]. A. Nour, Basarabia, 1/1992 p. 82.
[2]. G. Bratianu, ,,Traditia istorica despre intemeierea statelor romanesti” (The historical tradition about the establishment of Romanian states), Bucuresti 1980, p. 170.
[3]. A. Boldur, Teritoriul Moldovei fata de principatele…(The territory of Moldova in comparison to the principalities…), ,,Patrimoniu” , 4/1991, p. 14.
[4]. S. Mehedinti, Fruntaria Romaniei spre rasarit (The Romania’s borders to the East), ,Neamul Romanesc” (periodical “The Romanian Nation”), Chisinau , 1/1991, p. 6.
[5]. I.S. Nistor, ,,Istoria romanilor din Transnistria ” (The history of Romanians from Transnistria), Bucuresti 1995, p.13.
[6]. E. Lozovan, Romanii orientali de la Nistru la Vladivostok (The Eastern Romanians from Nistru to Vladivostok), ,,Neamul Romanesc, p. 31, 1/1991.
[7]. Ghe. Bratianu, ,,Traditia istorica despre ...”, p.170.
[8]. I. Nistor, ,,Basarabia”, 10/1990, p.159.
[9]. N. Iorga, ,,Istoria romanilor pentru poporul romanesc” (The history of Romanians for the Romanian people), Chisinau 1992, p.103
[10]. A. Boldur, ,,Istoria Basarabiei” (The history of Bessarabia), Bucuresti 1992, p. 177.
[11]. D. Pocitarencu, Cetatea Thighina (The fortress Tighina), ,,Patrimoniu” 2/1991, p.22, Chisinau.
[12]. I.S. Nistor op.cit., p. 16.
[13]. E.St. Holban, Figuri basarabene (Bessarabian figures), ,,Basarabia”, 3/1992, p.89.
[14]. A. Crihan, Bsarabia, 10/1991, p.69.
[15]. XXX ,,Istoria Romaniei in date” (The history of Romanians in data), Chisinau 1992, p. 138.
[16]. N. Iorga, Istoria romanilor prin calatori (The history of Romanians through travelers), Bucuresti 1981, p. 276.
[17]. I.S. Nistor, op.cit., p.19.
[18]. N. Iorga, Romanii de peste Nistru (Romanians over Nistru), ,,Basarabia”, 11/1992, p.87.
[19]. E. Lozovan, Romanii orientali…(Eastern Romanians…), ,,Neamul Romanesc”, 1/1991, p.32.
[20]. I.S. Nistor, op.cit., p.23.
[21]. E.St. Holban, Figuri basarabene (Bessarabian Figures), ,,Basarabia”, 1/1992.
[22]. I.S. Nistor, op.cit., p. 26.
[23]. St. Ciobanu, Cultura romaneasca in Basarabia (The Romanian Culture in Bessarabia), Chisinau 1992, p. 23.
[24]. E.St. Holban, Prin veacurile involburate…(Through the whirling centuries…), ,,Basarabia”, 1/1992.

[25]. M. Iacobescu, Din istoria Bucovinei (From the history of Bucovina), Bucuresti 1993, p.35.
[26]. N. Iorga, Romanii de peste Nistru (Romanians over Nistru), ,,Basarabia”, 11/1992, p.89.
[27]. I.S. Nistor, ,,Istoria romanilor din Transnistria”, p. 27.
[28]. A. Ratiu, Avertismentul, ,,Neamul Romanesc” (The warning “The Romanian Nation”), 1/1991, p.29.
[29]. D.A. Lazarescu, ,,Imaginea Romaniei prin calatori” (The image of Romania through travelers), Bucuresti 1986, vol. II, p. 102.
[30]. A. Nour, Basarabia, 1/1992, p.82.
[31]. XXX Istoria Romaniei in date (XXX The history of Romanians in data), p.156.
[32]. N. Iorga, ,,Istoria romanilor prin calatori” (The history of Romanians through travelers), Bucuresti 1981, p.445.
[33]. St. Ciobanu, Cultura romaneasca in Basarabia, p.250.
[34]. I.S. Nistor, ,,Istoria romanilor din Transnistria”, p32.
[35]. Al. Matcovski, ,,Basarabia”, 5/1990, p.143.
[36]. Ibid., 11/1991, p.157.
[37]. I.S. Nistor, ,,Istoria romanilor din Transnistria”, p.109.
[38]. St.Holban, Prin veacurile involburate…(Through whirling centuries…), in’Basarabia’, 5/1992
[39].F.Bichir, ,,Baricada”,178, p.6
[40].N.Iorga, Romanii de peste Nistru (Romanians over Nistru), in ,,Basarabia” 11/1992,p92[41].I.S.Nistor, ,,Istoria romanilor din Transnistria”, p.35
[42].A.Nour,in ,,Basarabia”, 1/1991, p. 82
[43].Ibid., p.85
[44].I.S.Nistor, ,,Istoria romanilor din Transnistria”, p.35

[45].Ibid., p.39
[46].A.Boldur, ,,Istoria Basarabiei”, p.512
[47].E.St.Holban, Figuri basarabene (Bessarabian figures), Basarabia, 3/1992, p.89
[48].Ibid., p.91
[49].C.Botoran, M.Retegan, 1918-Faurirea Romaniei Mari (Creating Big Romania), Buc.1993, p.48
[50].I.S.Nistor, ,,Istoria romanilor din Transnistria ”, p.49
[51].A.Chiriac, Mic dictionar al membrilor Sfatului Tarii (Small dictionary of Sfatul Tarii members), Patrimoniu, 4/1991, p.77
[52].St.Bulat, Sedintele Sfatului Tarii (The sessions of the Sfatul Tarii), Patrimoniu, 2/1991, p.140
[53].E.St.Holban, Figuri basarabene (Bessarabian Figures), Basarabia, 12/1991,p.97
[54].D.Timonu, in periodical Basarabia, 12/1992, p.198
[55].XXX 1918, vol.VI, Buc.1986, p.466
[56].I.S.Nistor, ,,Istoria romanilor din Transnistria ”, p.60

[57].Ibid., p.61
[58].M.Bruhis, Rusia,Romania,Basarabia, Chisinau ,1992, p.343
[59].I.S.Nistor, ,,Istoria romanilor din Transnistria” , p.68
[60].L.Lari, Labirintul basarabean, in Indemn la inaltare in istorie (The Bessarabian labyrinth, spur to in history) , Chisinau 1990, p.185
[61].V.Mindricanu, in periodical Nistru, 2/1990,p.69
[62].I.S.Nistor, ,,Istoria romanilor din Transnistria”, p.65
[63].L.Lari, Labirintul basarabean …, p.185
[64].N.Dabija, in periodical Literatura si Arta, Chisinau, 22/1996
[65].I.Datcu, Basarabia, 11-12, 1993, p.191
[66].E.St.Holban, Figuri basarabene (Bassarabian figures), Basarabia 1/1992
[67].A.Varatec, Dezintegrarea Basarabiei la 1940 (The disintegration of Bassarabia in 1940), Revista Istorica,1-2/1992, p.154
[68] XXX Pactul Molotov-Ribbentrop ,p.82,Chisinau 1992
[69]. XXX Ibid.,p.90
[70].XXX Ibid.,p.83
[71].XXX Ibid.,p.93
[72].XXX Ibid.,p.110
[73].N.Dabija, Literatura si Arta, Chisinau 1996

[75]. O.Verenca, Realitati economice in guvernamintul Transnistriei (Economic realities in Transnistria’s Government), Revista Istorica, 1-2/1992,p.137
[76]. I.S.Nistor, ,,Istoria romanilor din Transnistria”, p.97
[77]. Ibid.,p.95
[78]. R.Toma, Nordul poetic (The poetic north), Flacara, April 1997, p.6
[79]. E.Lozovan, Romanii orientali de la Nistru la Vladivostok, p.32
[80]. N.Negru, Indemn la inaltare in istorie (A motive to understand history), Chisinau 1990, p.165
[81]. V.Trebici, Ucraina si minoritatea etnica romaneasca (Ukraine and the Romanian ethnic minority), Romania Libera 29.03.1997
[82]. M.Margarit, “Luceafarul”-Odessa, 19/1992
[83]. *** Romanul (The Romanian) 28/1997
[84]. *** Moldova Suverana 119/1994
[85]. E.Nirca, Basarabia 10/1992, p.205
[86]. N.Dabija, Literatura si Arta, 22/1996
[87]. *** Istoria Romaniei in date (The history of Romania in data), p.91

No comments: