In the Russian-ruled Transdniester sector of Moldova, authorities are cracking down on use of Latin script:

Now, the Transdniester authorities are cracking down on the last remnant of unregimented social life there: the Latin script. Last month, in the climax of a campaign to compel the exclusive use of the Cyrillic alphabet, authorities decreed the closure of the six surviving Latin-script Moldovan schools. The Soviet-style police have seized several by force, and is besieging several others. The OSCE’s High Commissioner on National Minorities, Rolf Ekeus, coined an appropriate term in condemning this assault on schools: “linguistic cleansing”.
Unfortunately, the OSCE has relegated to the High Commissioner’s office a problem which is not one of national minorities at all. Indeed, Moldovans form the absolute majority of the native population, with Ukrainians the second largest group, and Russians the third largest element.

Thanks go to afrophile for the link.


  1. This seems to be an extremly one-sided piece of propaganda.
    Apparently the reason for the closing of the schools was not the fact that they used Latin script but their denial to get licensed by the Transdniester authorities. Two of the six schools which cared to be registered continue to use Latin script without any persecution.
    link 1
    link 2
    BTW, how do you suggest to understand your “Russian-ruled”? Did you want to say it is ruled by Russia? Do you know that Moldavian, Ukrainian, and Russian are 3 official languages of Transdniester?

  2. Sorry, “Russian-ruled” was sloppy, I grant you.

  3. “Russian-ruled” may be sloppy, but I wouldn’t call it wrong.
    If you want to be more precise, then “run by a government that is disproportionately dominated by ethnic Russians, and which takes its marching orders from Moscow” would probably do.
    Doug M.

  4. Mark Williamson says

    In fact, you are wrong about the population makeup of Transdniester.
    While in Moldova proper, Moldovans/Romanians are indeed the largest ethnic group, Russians second, and Ukrainians third, the reverse is true in Transdniester.

  5. Mark Williamson says

    Actually, I take that back. Russians are not the majority, and Ukrainians are not the second-biggest.
    HOWEVER, if you combine Russian and Ukrainian ethnicities, they form a majority together.
    In Transdniester, a great degree of “koinéization” has occurred between Russian and Ukrainian, so that in reality people speak a single Russian-Ukrainian koine, while officially Russian and Ukrainian are carefully kept separate.
    The process of koinéization is difficult to explain, but I’ll have a crack at it.
    Imagine taking speakers of vastly different, yet still partially mutually comprehensible, dialects of a language, or even separate languages, and mixing them all together and putting them in a new geographical location.
    Due to this sort of removing of linguistic boundaries, a sort of “levelling” of the dialects would occur, with the result being a sort of linguistic average of all the dialects involved.
    Contact of closely related language varieties can result in koineization, in which dialect levelling produces some morphological simplification but leaves intact many fairly complex grammatical features common to both language varieties.
    Some good examples include Fijian Hindustani, Carribean Hindustani, and Carribean Javanese.
    So, in reality, the speakers of the Dniestrian Ukrainian-Russian koiné are the majority (58%), while Moldovan/Romanian speakers are a minority (34%), the remaining 8% being speakers of various other languages.

Speak Your Mind