‘Down with Revisionism and Irredentism’: Soviet Moldavia and the Prague Spring, 1968–72
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Present-day Moldovan historiography asserts that the main impact of the Prague Spring on Soviet Moldavia was the rise of ethno-national tensions fuelled by Romanian leader Nicolae Ceaușescu’s hard-line stance against Moscow. In this chapter, Caşu refines the conventional view. Based on archival documents, he shows that rural ethnic Romanians overwhelmingly endorsed the reforms in Czechoslovakia and Romania’s anti-invasion position in August 1968. By contrast, Russian or heavily Russified urban inhabitants were more critical of the Czechoslovak reforms and of Romania’s more or less open claim on historical Bessarabia. After 1968 the authorities in Soviet Moldavia felt obliged to embark on a renewed struggle against perceived or real manifestations of Romanian local nationalism, a struggle disguised in the campaign to strengthen Soviet patriotism and ‘socialist internationalism’.