Meanwhile back in Bessarabia…..

It has been quite some time since “Bessarabia” was last mentioned here - quite simply because the Potemkin manifestation hasn’t really manifested (outside of a few websites and an extremely small number of people’s imaginations and/or aspirations for 15 minutes of fame).

Nevertheless, a “veche” took place in the Kominternovsky region of Odessa Oblast yesterday, the outcome of which saw Aleksandr Yankov, a former senior Oblast prosecutor, nominated “Governor” of Bessarabia.  That appointment being backed by the “leader of the Bessarabian parliament” Vera Shevchenko - who didn’t actually attend the “veche”.

Naturally anti-Poroshenko and anti-Saakashvili statements were made by the newly appointed “Governor”, which actually defies the current political reality for the tiny part of Odessa Oblast that was once historically part of Bessarabia - At least it defies political reality to anybody who understands the politics of the Oblast.

Anton Cisse

Anton Cisse

Regardless of holding the office of President and Governor respectively, political and business power in that tiny southwestern most part of the Oblast is actually wielded by Anton Cisse MP (who is also leader of the ethnic Bulgarians there).  His influence in that part of the Oblast is (almost) omnipresent - unlike that of the President or Governor.

Anton Cisse is no political ally of President Poroshenko, and therefore by extension is no political ally of Governor Saakashvili - however he is not stupid either.  Indeed he is nobody’s fool.

Mr Cisse is quite capable of looking across the border to Transnistria and seeing what a basket case it is, particularly economically.  As a businessman first and foremost (and a politician secondly) there is simply no gain for him in any form of separatist movement within his stronghold that would move his patch toward an economic disaster area whilst also eschewing it from Odessa, its infrastructure, and its wealth.

Neither would he take kindly to his small fiefdom becoming a second devastated Donbas for the sake of an illusionary Bessarabia.

Certainly he is not about to pooh-pooh, Governor Saakashvili’s plan to begin a new major road from Odessa to Reni, and thus into his fiefdom.

Thus, no matter what sympathies Mr Cisse may have (or not) for the Kremlin inspired “Bessarabia project” Mr Cisse, and his very loyal ethic Bulgarian constituents, are not about to sanction, encourage, give any meaningful support to, or lead the charge for, an independent/autonomous/ Bessarabia any time soon.

Without Mr Cisse’s overt and energetic support, Bessarabia will remain a historical entry in history books, a (very poorly funded) Kremlin destabilisation project, a fantasy in the heads of a few deluded individuals and content within a couple of websites.

Further, it gives the Ukrainian SBU, Moldavian SIS and Romanian SIE intelligence services all the more reason to simultaneously be poking about in Mr Cisse’s backyard a little more forcefully/overtly than usual - something that will not sit particularly well for very long.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see the results of the local elections at the end of October - perhaps “Bessarabian candidates” will take control of  Kominternovsky in its entirety, or a village somewhere within?  Then again, perhaps not.