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Category: History

The Russian-Moldavian communications from antiquity up to now

vsevolod MERKULOV


Speaking at a conference, I would like to track the history of the Russian-Moldavian communications and to define those characteristic features which were inherent in them throughout many centuries. The question of tradition of neighborliness and cooperation is, perhaps, one of key interstate relations between Russia and Moldova in the general subject. Positive partnership and interaction between our countries has to be caused not only mutual steps towards at the government level, but also, mainly, by revival of friendship between the Russian and Moldavian people. And here the historical tradition which could develop only on the basis of the valid community is important. That tradition which Russians and Moldavians it is firm stored several centuries and which thanks to our common efforts will become Russia defining for the relations and Moldova in the future.

After fall of the Roman Empire the territory Podnestrovya appeared in circulation of "great resettlement of the people". On it passed both Gotha, and Huns, exterminating each other in bloody wars. Through Dniester also the groups of russ (rug) which are also involved in resettlement moved, probably. Soon through Karpato-Dnestrovsky lands to Europe numerous waves of nomads rushed, Avars were first of which. Avars for a long time separated these lands from the European world, their khaganate was destroyed by francs and Slavs only at the end of the 8th century.

Chronicles inform us of certificates on the earliest contacts of Ancient Russia with Podnestrovsky lands on which there lived tribes catch also tiverets. Their cities remained until the early chronicler. In the middle of the 10th century catch and tiverets were a part of the Old Russian state. By the way, tiverets participated in campaigns of Russia to Constantinople in 907 and 944 years. At the end of XI - the beginning of the 12th century under the pressure of nomads they departed to the North.

Since the 11th century the Slavic population Podnestrovya begins to contact to ancestors of present Moldavians who borrowed a lot of things from Slavic culture, apprehended Slavic writing. Actually Moldavian letter appeared only in the 16th century, and it was based on the Cyrillic graphics.

The Moldavian state was formed on lands which were a part of domongolsky Russia. It adopted many lines of Old Russian statehood and culture, besides, in the middle of the 14th century the Russian population made about 40% of the population Moldavian knyazhestva1.

The Russian-Moldavian communications got stronger right after Russia returned some lost territories. Formation of the military-political union of Russia and the Moldavian principality was caused by community of the interests directed, on the one hand, against Catholic Poland and Lithuania, and with another - against the Tatar khans and the Ottoman Empire. Also the fact that Moldavians always understood themselves a part of the orthodox world was important, and a considerable part of the Moldavian aristocracy was terribly connected with Russia. So, voivodes of an initial stage of the Moldavian history were Russians by origin, and the Russian (Slavic) language was official language of the Moldavian and Valashsky principalities prior to the beginning of XVIII veka2. Moldova initially was the bilingual state, and this tradition put in the past remains and until now.

The Russian state always sympathized with Moldova in its fight against the Turkish aggression. However, waging continuous wars on all the borders, it could not give till certain time to the Moldavian people effective support. The international situation began to change with the end of the 14th century when the Russian troops gained a victory on Kulikovo Field. By then at both states the common political interests accurately were defined. It was promoted by weakening of the Golden Horde and reduction of danger of the Tatar attacks not only for the Moscow state, but also for the Moldavian principality. By this time the first mentions of trips from Moscow to Moldova and back belong. For example, in 1386 Moldova was visited by Dmitry Donskoy's son Vasile escaping from the Tatar prisoner-of-war camp through Moldova to Moscow.

Dynastic communications became manifestation of friendship between two states. Eudoxia, the daughter of the Kiev prince Semyon Olelkovich whose family was closely connected with the Moscow governors was the second wife Moldavian gospodarya Stephen III. In 1483 the marriage of the prince Ivan Ivanovich Molody and daughter Moldavian gospodarya Elena Stefanovna nicknamed in Moscow Waugh-loshankoy took place. Soon exchange of embassies between the Russian state and Moldova began.

From the middle of the 16th century, since board gospodarya Petra Rare-scha, relations of the Moldavian principality with Moscow were especially strengthened. Moldova was finally approved in aspiration with the help rus-

sky weapon to stop the dannichesky relations with Turkey, and Raresh became related with Ryurik dynasty. But so far both Russia, and Moldova were weak to resist to the Ottoman Empire. In the history of Moldova the difficult period of the Turkish yoke began. And Russia should have the Time of Troubles which became severe test for the Russian statehood.

With ascent on the Moscow throne of a new dynasty of Romanov the friendly Russian-Moldavian relations were restored. Soon Russia entered the open armed opposition with Turkey because of Azov, having found true (but still secret) the ally acting through Moldova. It is known that Moldavian gospodar Vasile Lupu reported to the Russian tsar about situation in the Ottoman Empire that had huge value for Moscow. Moldova was visited by the Russian diplomat A.L. Ordin-Nashchokin whose purpose was not only to prepare embassy to Turkey, but also to check a possibility of joint actions of Moldova and Russia against the general enemy.

Requests for admission of Moldova under protection of Moscow followed throughout all the 17th century. Historians note that at this time in Moldova there was no gospodarya which would not ask for the help and support Russia. The Moldavian governors Antiochus Kantemir, Konstantin Duca and Mikhail Rakovitsa repeatedly petitioned for that the Russian tsar accepted them "under the favor".

At Peter I the Russian-Moldavian relations gained special value for both states. Peter perfectly understood that the peace relations with the Ottoman Empire are temporary, and sought to strengthen military-political relations with Moldova. In 1701 in Yassakh, secret negotiations between the Russian ambassador prince Dmitry Golitsyn and gospodary Konstantin Duca during which the Moldavian governor asked to accept his country in the Russian citizenship again took place. But then Russia could not grant this request, though was ready to render to the Moldavian principality "any mercy spomozheniye".

The Russo-Turkish wars of the XVIII century opened a new stage in the political fate of Moldova. Dmitri Kantemir who had a real opportunity to exempt Moldova from the Turkish dominion came to the Moldavian gospodarsky throne. It directed the envoys to Peter I who submitted to the tsar the proposal on the conclusion of the Russian-Moldavian contract, and later and the text of the document. At the same time, Kantemir assured Russia that "if the tsar Moscow with the troops against Turks will be let, also he will be at one with him". Negotiations took place quickly enough, and already on April 13, 1711

years Pyotr I confirmed all clauses of the contract sent Moldavian gospodary through the representatives.

With release from the Turkish dominion the Moldavian principality got rid of payment of a tribute and other requisitions in favor of the Ottoman Empire and restored the former borders. Further Moldova in which the board of a dynasty Kantemirov was established had to be under the auspices of Russia. The historical fate of the Moldavian state was defined by that choice which was made by the Moldavian people.

After the conclusion of the Bucharest world with the Ottoman Empire in 1812 the lands between the Prut and Dniester and between the foothills of the Carpathians and the Black Sea were attached to Russia. This territory with the population in 250 thousand people made the Bessarabia region with a uniform management system included in structure of the Russian Empire in 1813.

By the end of the 19th century Russian (velikorusa) were made by nearly 10% of the population of the Bessarabia province, and in the cities their percent was even more considerable (26.6% in Chisinau, according to data of a census of 1897). However, "native language" was criterion of a census of that time that gives to us the grounds to speak about percentage representation not only velikorus. Two thirds of Russians recognized as the native language "low-Russian". And mistakenly ranked Russinians as this category, including their language a version Little Russian narechiya3. Thus, the main part of the Russian population of the province was made by Russinians - indigenous people of Moldova.

In Soviet period the situation almost did not change, and Russians continued to make about 10% of the population of Moldova, and by 1989 their number was even 13%. Almost same percent was made by "Ukrainians" to whom in Soviet period attributed not only maloross, but also Russinians without them voleizjyavleniya4. And only in the early nineties the last century, after disintegration of the uniform state and mass migrations of the Russian and Russian-speaking population and restriction which followed it for Russians of access to the higher and secondary vocational education, Russia and Moldova rose before new realities of the interstate and international relations.

Owing to historical features in Moldova there was an ethnic and language division between a right bank of Dniester which population speaks mainly the Moldavian language, and mainly Russian-speaking left bank. These distinctions, probably, played a role in emergence of the Dnestr Moldavian Republic with the capital in Tiraspol. After the known konf-

the likt of 1992 in which Russia acted as the country peacekeeper the Dnestr Moldavian Republic achieved the semi-official recognition which was expressed in granting certain guarantees to the Russian-speaking population and in preservation in its territory of the official status of Russian.

Other situation developed in right-bank Moldova. By results of poll of 1996, 79% of the Russians living here considered that at occupation of prestigious and highly paid positions Moldavians and the Romanians have clear advantages. The vast majority of the interviewed Russian residents of Chisinau noted that Moldavians and Romanians have the same advantages before Russians at entering higher education institutions.

In eleven years of the Post-Soviet period (from 1991 to 2001), according to Statcommittee of the CIS, Moldova lost in migration exchange with other states about 100 thousand chelovek5. And the orientation of migration flows towards Russia was characteristic feature of a situation in Moldova. According to sociological polls of 2003, only a third of the Russian population of the capital of Moldova stated strong determination to remain to live in Chisinau whereas other two thirds or expressed readiness to leave (20%), or had no at the time of the poll of a certain decision (43%) 6. And among Russians motivation to leave Chisinau for the sake of improvement of the financial position was almost twice higher, than at moldavan7.

Also fears of Russians and Moldavians in modern Moldova are various. If respondents and that, and other nationality are uniform that the greatest threat for them is posed by possible wars, then Russians are more anxious with the possible "national conflicts" and "lawlessness", and Moldavians - "environmental disasters and epidemics" and also "crime". At the same time historical traditions of the Russian-Moldavian relations open opportunities for future partnership and cooperation.

On November 19, 2001 between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Moldova the Treaty of friendship and cooperation was signed. Already then there was a real historical opportunity to revive those relations which for long time would define friendship between our states. Out of doubt, the main criterion of such rapprochement the mutual respect between the Russian and Moldavian people and studying the general past is represented. Obviously, Russia and Moldova, by an example of a number of the Western European states, should seek for development of mutually compatible national courses of teaching history.

It is confident that today's conference dated for the 350 anniversary of the first the address of Moldova with a request for accession to Russia will promote strengthening of traditional friendly ties between the people of Russia and Moldova.


1. S.G. Sulyak. Splinters of Sacred Russia. Essays of ethnic history of rusnak of Moldova. Chisinau, 2004. Page 70.
2. S.G. Sulyak. Russinians: pages of history//Russinian. N ° 1 (1). Chisinau, 2005. Page 54.
3. The first general population census of the Russian Empire 1897. T. III. Bessarabia province. SPb., 1905. Page 70
4. For more details see: OstapenkoL. Century, SubbotinaI.A. Russian diaspora of the Republic of Moldova: social and demographic processes and new ethnosocial policy / Moldova. Current trends of development. M, 2004. Page 271-316. Data on: Statistical year-book of the Republic of Moldova. 1995. Chisinau, 1996. Page 57.
5. A.V. Topilin. Labor market of Russia and CIS countries: realities and prospects of development. M, 2004. Page 91.
6. I.A. Subbotina. Moldova: ethnic models of adaptation to conditions of the transformed society. M, 2004. Page 7.
7. In the same place. Page 13.
Eggen Edvin
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