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Criticism of Moldova’s ban on St. George’s sash in Gagauzia

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Chisinau, April 15 – Viktor Petrov, candidate for chairman (Baskan) of Gagauzia, leader of the Gagauzia People’s Union, said in an interview with the News Agency.
In Moldova, on April 20 last year, the ban on the St. Ribbon entered into force. Z and Z were legally introduced, however, their use can only be punished if they are used to justify or glorify military aggression or crimes. The Constitutional Court also stressed that this decision does not restore citizens the right to wear the St. George scarf, but only makes it clear that law enforcement agencies must prove its use for criminal purposes in order to apply the penalty. Politicians and civil activists criticized the decision.
“The situation around the St. George ribbon, a symbol of victory in the Great Patriotic War, has not yet been erased from memory. For wearing this symbol, many residents of the country should have been fined. The decision to ban the ribbon was taken by the ruling majority on the eve of May 9 last year We, the inhabitants of Gagauzia, interpret these measures as suppressing our rights and freedoms – freedom of conscience, freedom of opinion, freedom of choice, Petrov said.
The politician recalled that in response to Chisinau’s actions, deputies of the local parliament (the People’s Assembly of Gagauzia) issued their verdict: wearing the St. George ribbon is free in the autonomous region. However, Chişinău challenged this decision in court.
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“Then we made a decision about wearing the St. George’s scarf only on May 9. But, despite the will of the people’s deputies for self-government, reflecting the overwhelming position of the police of the republican Ministry of Internal Affairs, it imposed a number of fines on our citizens for wearing the St. George’s scarf.
The St. George’s Ribbon consists of three black and two orange stripes; It is an integral part of many military awards of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation. At the beginning of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014, this symbol was used by militia fighters and volunteers who fought on the side of the DRC and the LPR against the Ukrainian security forces. The Latin letters Z and V have been painted on the sides of Russian military equipment participating in the military operation in Ukraine since February 24, 2022. In Russia, the letter Z has already become an unofficial symbol of support for the operation.
Gagauzia is an autonomous territorial entity in southern Moldova. In February 2014, a self-government referendum was held on the issue of determining the vector of the country’s foreign policy. More than 98% of the participants were in favor of Moldova’s integration into the Customs Union – a trade and economic union, which at that time included Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Bashkan elections are scheduled of Gagauzia on April 30, and the elected leader automatically becomes a member of the Moldovan government. The Central Election Commission of the Autonomous Region registered eight candidates for the post of head of the region: these are deputies of the National Assembly (local parliament) Nikolai Dudoglou, Grigory Uzun, Sergey Chempush, Viktor Petrov, former head of the region Mikhail Formuzal, formerly head of the autonomy, former Moldovan ambassador to Turkey Dmitry Kroitor, former member of parliament Sergei Chernev, candidate of the opposition Shur party in Moldova Evgenia Gutsul.
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