Victory Day/Europe Day

May 9th is a national holiday in Moldova, but it comes with a twist. While May 9th (or “Victory Day”) in CEE has traditionally marked the defeat of Nazi Germany to the USSR in the Second World War, in other European countries May 9th is celebrated as “Europe Day“. As part of its campaign to (eventually) join the EU, and as a push-back against Russia, this year a larger proportion of Moldovan citizens than usual forewent traditional Victory Day events in favor of celebrating Europe Day. However, because many in Moldova are still pro-Russia, this meant that there were pro-Russian and pro-EU events celebrated alongside each other.

 Pro-Russian Victory Day Celebration

Pro-EU Europe Day Celebration (circa 2012)

What with the current state of unrest Ukraine (and to a degree in Transnistria), some were concerned that this could lead to clashes. However, while Victory Day was marked with more conflict in Ukraine, fortunately, there was no violence or confrontation between the two groups in Moldova.

I am grateful that Moldova has remained peaceful throughout this Ukraine crisis, and I hope it continues to do so.

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