Moldavia, a historical province of Romania was forcefully ceded under the threat of invasion to the Soviet Union following the 1939 Ribbentrop-Molotov pact between Hitler and Stalin. The majority of the population is Romanian (78%) followed and Ukrainian (8.3%) and Russian (5.9%) minorities. The official language according to the official communist propaganda is Moldavian; in fact the so-called Moldavian language is nothing more than 100% Romanian spoken with a regional accent.
Since the 1990's break-up of the former Soviet Union, Moldavia is ruled by the Moldavian Communist Party, a client of the Russian Federation. Although the Moldavian government declared itself "independent", they are still receiving their orders from Moscow.
Moldova students smash Parliament
Pictures from Blogu lu zzzop
Students in Moldova have attacked the country's parliament in protest at the victory of the governing Communist Party in Sunday's general election.
Witnesses say crowds poured into the building through smashed ground-floor windows and shortly after hurled furniture out and set it alight.
More than 30 people - including protesters and police - have been injured, medical officials said.
President Vladimir Voronin has called for an end to the "destabilisation".
"Challenging the results of the election is no more than a pretext," Interfax news agency quoted Mr Voronin as telling a cabinet meeting.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana has urged all sides in the former Soviet state to refrain from violence. Russia has also voiced its concern.
Alexandru Oleinic, an opposition MP, told Reuters that the leaders of the three main opposition parties were now holding talks with the president and Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanii.
He gave no details of what the talks would entail.
Interfax said that Mr Voronin would make an address to the nation on Tuesday evening.
Election 'was fraudulent'
Tear gas and jets of water were blasted at protesters by security forces defending the parliament building in the capital, Chisinau. The presidential office, opposite, was also attacked.
Representatives of opposition parties are among the protesters.
They believe the election result was fraudulent.
The Mayor of Chisinau, Dorin Chirtoaca, who is deputy head of the opposition Liberal Party, said the protests were justified "because people did not vote for the communists in such large numbers".
The communists won 50% of votes in the election declared "fair" by observers.
They were followed by the centre-right Liberal Party with almost 13% of the votes, and the Liberal Democratic Party with 12%.
Reports from the country say local television stations are off-air and the national radio station is broadcasting folk music.
No reports about the protest have been included in its radio news bulletins.
Opposition reject coalition
Mr Solana said he was "very concerned" over the situation.
"I call on all sides to refrain from violence and provocation. Violence against government buildings is unacceptable," he said in a statement.
"Equally important is the respect for the inalienable right of assembly of peaceful demonstrators."
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said he was concerned about the protests which he described as "provoked".
President Voronin is expected to step down after two terms in office.
He is barred by the constitution from running for a third term, although he has indicated he wants to remain involved in affairs of state.
Parliament chooses his successor and the communists have the biggest party in the new parliament - but do not have sufficient votes to select the president alone.
If no president is chosen before 8 June, another parliamentary election must be held.
The pro-Western centre-right opposition parties have said they will not join a coalition with the communists, who favour strong links with both Russia and the European Union.
Mr Voronin's successor will lead the poorest country in Europe, where the average wage is just under $250 (£168) a month, and will inherit an unresolved conflict over the breakaway region of Trans-Dniester.
Correspondents say the dispute is reminiscent of the situation in South Ossetia before last summer's conflict between Georgia and Russia.
The region has run its own affairs, with Moscow's support, since the end of hostilities in a brief war in 1992. Mr Voronin resumed direct talks with Trans-Dniester last year.
UPDATE: State controlled Moldavian TV and Radio is imposing a total news blackout and continues to broadcast its regular entertainment programming.
Also, the Internet in the Moldavia Republic was shut down by the authorities.
Vladimir Voronin, Communist President of Moldavia:
"We will defend the Republic against the fascists who are trying to overthrow the government in this coup d'etat"
Cellphone reception is down in the area affected by the demonstrations, the communist government is desperately trying suppress any information about the revolt.
H/T patruped:bun biped:rau
Inevitably, the Russian paranoia kicks in:
The coup d'etat in Moldavia is perpetrated by Western espionage services collaborating with certain destabilizing Romanian agents
Just the recipe for a "Georgia style" Russian invasion of Romania. Good thing Romania is now a NATO member.
UPDATE: More pictures from blogu lu zzzop
UPDATE: Looks like the students participating in the demonstration are using Twitter to spread the news and communicate between them. "Pman" means Piata Marii Adunari Nationale - translated in English it means The Plaza Of The Great National Assembly, the place where the revolt started.
UPDATE: Thousands of students from neighboring Romania are protesting in solidarity with their Moldavian cousins:
The communist government closes Moldova border crossings with Romania at Sculeni and Rabnita.
The police in the Chisinau capital went in the offensive: around 1 AM last night after the majority of the protesters dispersed, the police started firing blanks from their AK-47 rifles to intimidate the remaining protesters, then proceeded making arrests. So far reports are talking about 193 students arrested. An unknown number of students admitted for emergency medical care at local hospitals were arrested by the police from their hospital beds and taken to an unknown destination. Some sources are putting their number at 200.
Filip Teodorescu, the Romanian Ambassador to Moldova was declared by the Moldavian authorities "persona non-grata" and told he must leave the country within the next 24 hours. Also, the Moldavian authorities announced they will reinstate entry visa requirements for Romanian citizens.
The fingerprints of the Big Red Brother from Kremlin are all over this.
Worried parents called the hospital and were told around 200 students were admitted through the ER service only to be picked up by the police and transported to Tighina 6 police precinct. When the parents called the police, they were told there are no students held in detention at Tighina precinct and that the arrested were transported "out of town". The police refused to tell where.
More pictures from Blogu lu zzzop
Emma Nicholson, European Parlamentarian and election observer for the EU:
"On April 6th around 1 AM when we finished the vote count it looked to us that the communists had 35% of the vote and the opposition parties 40%-45%"
Next day the communists declared victory with over 50% of the vote.
How the ghosts of the dead are voting for communists in Moldova
"Veaceslav Ous, a Moldavian citizen who lives in Japan for the last four years found out that he voted in the April 6th election in...Chishinau, Moldova for the Communist Party. But that's not all though: he also learned his father also voted for the communists. Problem is the father passed away one month ago. "I can demonstrate with the visas on my passport I was in Japan on April 6th" Veaceslav said. My mother went to the polling place and saw my name and my deceased father name and two falsified signatures on the list of the people who came to cast their vote. When she protested they told her that maybe somebody signed under the wrong name. She tried to cross our names and signatures of the list but they forcefully grabbed her and took her out of the building telling her "she doesn't know anything about how democratic elections are working"
Vitalie Ciobanu, leader of one of the opposition Parties declared not too long ago that "the population of entire graveyards voted on the April 6th election"
The comrades are hunting down, arresting and beating anybody they want with no discrimination and no respect for the law.
This young man, student to a University in France came home to his native Moldova to cast his vote in the election. When the student revolt started he was hired as a translator by a Swedish TV news crew filming the protests. The next day he was arrested in the front of the news crew, taken to the police precinct, held for three days without an arrest warrant and savagely beaten within an inch of losing his life.