Moldova Table of Contents
Moldovan State University, Chisinau
Courtesy Paul E. Michelson
Museum of National History, Chisinau
Courtesy Charles King
In October 1991, President Mircea Snegur announced Moldova's decision to organize its own national armed forces; Moldova had demanded the withdrawal of Soviet troops when it declared its independence. The decision not to participate in the joint forces of the CIS was made explicit by Parliament's rejection of the Alma-Ata Declaration of December 21, 1991.
The number, training, and quality of the armed forces and the police have varied greatly since the republic's declaration of independence. In April 1991, Moldova passed legislation that exempted its residents from service in the Soviet armed forces and that granted immunity from prosecution to anyone declining to serve. A law on alternative service for conscientious objectors was passed later.
Initially, political leaders intended to keep troop levels low. Moldova's plan for the regular armed forces was to recruit Moldovan citizens to serve in the army and national police and take over positions in Soviet military structures and in the Moldovan Ministry of National Security, which replaced the KGB (see Glossary) in Moldova. This program would in effect "republicanize" the armed forces. An eighteen-month draft of eighteen-year-old males was introduced. However, students at institutes of higher education were exempted from all but three months of service, which was deferred until graduation. Alternative service was available for those with religious objections to military service.
In addition to the police, Moldova's armed forces consist of border guards under the Ministry of National Security and a national police force of some 10,000 professionals modeled on Italy's Carabinieri. Security forces of approximately 3,500 men (2,500 Internal Troops and 1,000 OPON Riot Control Troops) havve been established under the command of the Ministry of Interior.
Data as of June 1995