Igor Dodon, the President of Europe’s poorest nation, went to the military parade organized by Russia, one of the most repressive states in the world. On the day Dodon attended the parade organized by the oppressive Russian President, Moldova was celebrating its Sovereignty Day.
Moldova celebrated its 29th anniversary of Sovereignty Day, yet the country always had a foreign army on its territory.
The Russian army has been stationed in the breakaway Transnistrian region since the Soviet period. And although Russia has signed several international treaties to withdraw its army, it has never done so. All it did was lure Dodon, the president of a non-sovereign state, to Moscow.
In Moscow, Dodon stood by leaders of other poor and oppressive countries, including the leaders of two separatist regions, Abkhazia and Ossetia, where Russian armies have been stationed for decades.
There were other presidents at the parade. On June 24, Dodon wrote in a Facebook post that “ Together with the President of Russia, the President of Belarus, the President of Kazakhstan, the President of Serbia, the President of Tadjikistan and the President of Uzbekistan, we greeted soldiers from various countries who took part in the parade, marching on the Red Square, marking the common victory of former Soviet and European countries over fascism.”
Uzbekistan is the state that holds and tortures political prisoners. Tajikistan harasses its dissidents even abroad. In Kazakhstan, the members of the opposition are arrested. And in Belarus, no one could run for president for 30 years, because they were immediately arrested, ill-treated, and threatened with death. At the same time, Belarus is the only state in Europe to maintain the death penalty.
At the top of this group was Vladimir Putin the President of Russia, the country that holds its citizens in poverty, spending more on armies than for the welfare of children.
The parade was big and expensive for a very poor audience. The exorbitant parade was held for a few presidents representing poor nations, and a few veterans or elderly who are also poor.
On June 24, Dodon stated in a Facebook post from Moscow that he felt a special sense of pride because among the troops marching through the Red Square were also the 75 soldiers from the Honor Guard of Moldova’s National Army.
For me, Dodon’s words were a mockery. Moldova has the smallest and least equipped army among the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and European states, and yet Dodon spoke in these terms about Moldova’s army.
How can you be proud of the smallest and poorest army? How can you be proud when on the Sovereignty Day of your state you have a foreign army on Moldova’s territory that you cannot drive out?
The studies show that in the 21st century, very poor states, especially the poorest, are also the most corrupt. However, many former poor states have become very prosperous. And here the situation becomes clear.
The end of World War II, which was celebrated by Putin with Dodon on the Red Square, left almost all states in comparable poverty: ruins, ruined lives, lack of infrastructure, budget poverty. In the 1940s, the two systems were building their futures from scratches.
The European states, founders of the European Union, didn’t take part in the parade in Moscow. However, these states have a higher life expectancy, modern healthcare systems, modernized infrastructure, and a welfare social structure.
The post-Soviet states are doing badly. Seventy-five years after the end of World War II, the former Soviet states cannot escape poverty and corruption.
The Baltic states are doing their best, breaking away from Russian control and reuniting with Europe, breaking away from corruption, and indulging in technology, transparency, and welfare.