The surprising outbreak of student protests, destruction, and violence in the streets of Chisinau against the recent election victory of the ruling Communists under Vladimir Voronin is not anything close to resembling anything like the other “color revolutions,” but that doesn’t mean that the Kremlin isn’t getting pretty nervous. Here’s another reminder of the enormous sensitivities of Moscow to any type of mass mobilization in its backyard…
For Moscow’s ruling class, the protests revived bad memories of street rallies in ex-Soviet republics Ukraine and Georgia that toppled pro-Moscow regimes, and raised fears that young Russian crowds might one day slip out of the Kremlin’s control.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described the young protesters who ransacked Moldova’s parliament as “pogrom-makers” set on destroying the country. Official newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta blamed the West and warned of civil war in Moldova.
“The Moscow authorities are afraid of spontaneous mass protests in the regions…and for this reason Russian television is showing what is happening in an exclusively negative light,” said Dmitry Oreshkin, a Moscow-based political analyst.
“It is beneficial for the Kremlin to show the consequences of peoples’ protests to justify why it needs to be tough,” Oreshkin said.