Stage 7: Monument Chișinău, Republic of Moldova

The presence of the Soviet past in Moldova even today is proven by the Complexul Memorial Eternitate in Chișinău, a monumental memorial erected by the Soviet Union in 1975. It is dedicated to the Soviet soldiers who fought against the German-Romanian troops during the Second World War.

To me, the monument somehow looks like a gigantic foreign body in the city. In the surrounding park, children play soccer and families walk. Between the columns of the monument, symbolizing five rifles, an Eternal Fire burns, and a large Soviet star can be seen at the top. On the stelae are military scenes from 1941 to the liberation from fascism in 1945.

Also on the grounds, we discover a monument commemorating the Transnistrian War, in the aftermath of which the separatist region seceded from Moldova in 1992 with the support of Russian troops. Even today, some 1500 Russian soldiers are stationed there, between Moldova and Ukraine. More than half of the people in Transnistria identify themselves as Russians, the others as Romanians and Ukrainians. The fear that the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine will spread to Moldova is very present here.

We leave Chișinău again and travel on toward Gagauzia, an autonomous region in the south of the Republic of Moldova.

Text: Tobias Schwessinger

Photos: Christian Faludi