The Ministry of Culture of Moldova called the liberation of the republic from the Nazis in 1944 “Soviet occupation”. This is stated in a statement published on the department’s Facebook page.
The Ministry of Culture of the Republic stated that in 1940 the USSR “annexed Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina”, which were by that time the territory of the Romanian state, and accused the Soviet authorities of establishing a “totalitarian communist regime there, alien to originality and Romanian identity.” At the same time, the department noted that the Russification of these regions was aimed at “persecution of the intelligentsia”, as well as the “liquidation of traditions and values” that define Moldovans as a nation.
The ministry also referred to historical data and clarified that “during the two periods of Soviet occupation, after 1940 and 1944,” the loss of life in Bessarabia amounted to more than one and a half million people.
Until December 1917, the Bessarabian province was part of the Russian Empire. Subsequently, against the background of the First World War and the revolution in Russia, the Moldavian Democratic Republic was proclaimed there, and later Romanian troops were introduced there.
In March 1918, Bessarabia became part of Romania, and in 1940, after receiving an ultimatum from the USSR, the Romanian authorities transferred this territory, along with Northern Bukovina, to the Soviet Union. Currently, the lands of historical Bessarabia are part of Moldova, as well as the Odessa and Chernivtsi regions of Ukraine.