In the 1970s and 1980s Moldova received substantial investment from the budget of the USSR to develop industrial, scientific facilities, as well as housing. In 1971, the Council of Ministers of the USSR adopted a decision “About the measures for further development of Kishinev (Chișinău) city” that secured more than one billion rubles of investment from the USSR budget. Subsequent decisions directed enormous wealth and brought highly qualified specialists from all over the USSR to develop the Soviet republic. Such an allocation of USSR assets was partially influenced by the fact that Leonid Brezhnev, the effective ruler of the USSR from 1964 to 1982, was the Communist Party First Secretary in the Moldavian SSR in 1950-1952.
Although Brezhnev and other CPM first secretaries were largely successful in suppressing Moldavian nationalism, Mikhail S. Gorbachev’s administration facilitated the revival of the movement in the region. His policies of glasnost and perestroika created conditions in which national feelings could be openly expressed and in which the Soviet republics could consider reforms independently from the central government.
The Bunget editorial has found special photographs from the Soviet period of Bessarabia, made by the Moldovan photographer Ion Chibzii. These original works show a poorly developed, but clean and neat republic. We can see the same backward and inconvenient architecture, the same bad asphalt, the same badly made sidewalks, and the same stupid urbanism. But something is different and there we can some charming details.
Text by Claudiu C. CREȚU
Photography by Ion CHIBZII (flickr/ion_chibzii)
© The Bunget 2017