This is the telegenic face of Natalia Morari who led April's Twitter Revolution in Moldova against the next to last Communist government in Europe ( the other is in Cyprus ).Things have changed since then.Following the riots which greeted it's election victory in Moldova, the Communist Party lost it's majority after continued wrangling amongst the political elite and defeat in subsequent elections on July 29 2009.
A new government exists in Moldova with many of the politicians who lauded the resistance of the people to the Communists, like Vlad Filet being proposed for Prime Minister.
The violence broke out in Chisinau was blamed both on the Communists and on opposition parties.
What is bizarre about this victory for the anti-Communist coalition is that it was made possible by the defection of Marian Lupu, the ex-speaker of Parliament, from the Communists to the Democratic Party of Moldova.
Lupu with the born again enthusiasm of the coverted has now refused to ever consider working with them again. "I know the mentality of the Communists. It is impossible to form a coalition with them" he said.
That Lupu jumped ship when he apparently saw that the Communist Party could not change is curious in the light that just weeks before he condemned the 'Twitter Revolution' as "an attempted coup d'etat" supported by Romania
Lupu now has embraced the 'Third Way'and reform of Moldova's economy having a background in economics and having been trained in Washington by the IMF Institute and WTO Institute in Geneva back in 1996.
As in Belarus this change of direction is most likely due to the economic crisis affecting Moldova and the need to get investment from EU nations whilst maintaining links with Russia, though it is also part of a power struggle within the Communist Party.
When looking at politics in poor nations of Eastern Europe, it is difficult not to think that western backing for the opposition to the Communists could not have some influence on Lupu's defection to join a coalition of opposition parties.
Before Lupu joined and took some 12 out of 13 seats that the Communists lost with him in July's elections, the Democratic Party had not even got enough votes to go beyond the 13% threshold needed to enter Parliament.
Consequently the DPM formed on August 8 an Alliance for European Integration with Moldova's four opposition leaders - Mihai Ghimpu, Serafim Urechean, Vlad Filat and Marian Lupu - and that gives them a 53 seat majority in a 101 seat Parliament.
Already the new Moldovan government is moving towards the West. If events elsewhere are anything to go by the crony economy of Voronin will be replaced by newer forms of corruption that are overlooked because Lupu is keen to privatise companies for Western investors.
Lupu, when on the reform wing of the Communists as an economy minister, sold off electricity power generating assets to Spain's Union Fenosa for cash and $55m investment commitments over five years and introduced a zero-rate corporate tax in 2008.
The Communists were also privatising and committed to EU entry. Just not quickly enough to satisfy the younger generation.
Especially those hired to agitate for 'the best democracy money can buy' through participating in the Association for Participatory Democracy ( ADEPT ) funded by George Soros, a great believer in market democracy.
Clearly Moldova does need reform but Lupu's coalition will need to balance independence with Greater Romanian nationalist calls to reintegrate wholly with Romania which will ramp up tension with Russia over Transdnistria.
Yet many 'democracy activists' are less interested in the dull and plodding schemes of technocrats like Lupu to integrate with the EU through it's good neighbourhood policies and increased trade ties. They are more interested in NATO and Lupu is not.
That is why aggressive and pyschopathological nationalists dress up their atavistic hatred of Russia in the language of human rights and freedom from the evil neo-Stalinist machinations of Putin and his supporters in Transdnistria.
For those like Emma Nicholson who thundered about April's 'stolen election' were, until Lupu's volte face, effectively backing far-right nationalists like Ghimpu whose Liberal Party bears about as much relation to liberalism as Vladimir Zhirinovsky's in Russia.
Ghimpu supports a pan-Romanian nationalism beneath the rhetoric of European integration. Loathing Moldova's ethnic mix, Ghimpu once claimed that the minority “Gagauzians are the ulcers on a body of the Moldovan people.”
The Gagauzins are are a small ethnic Orthodox minority group of Turkish origin granted autonomy in Moldova in 1994. Pan-Romanians detest the Communists for their pandering to multiculti poses and dividing and ruling against the interests of the real Moldova.
Ghimpu's visceral anti-communism has also led him to admire Antonescu, prime minister of Romania during most of World War II, and known for his anti-Semitism and sympathy for far-right and fascist ideologies.
Antonescu supported Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 and his forces actively participated in Holocaust both within Moldova, retaken from Stalin, and thence into Ukraine were it played a part in massacring Jews in Odessa.
Now for US funded NGOs and the Soros Open Society Foundation any oppositionists who promise to break up 'communist state control' of the economy and open it up to investors and advance their interests-especially NATO entry have to be supported.
For though 'democracy promoters' and members of Western think tanks often berate Russia and Putin for 'revisionism' with regards Stalin, as seen in the recent commemorations of the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939, they conveniently overlook it with regards their allies.
Hence the choreographed and staged 'Twitter Revolution' had to be seen not to be associated with violence or anti-democratic practice which is why the youthful and photogenic Twitter leader Natalia Morari condemned the LDPA and Vladimir Filat for fomenting the violence.
On April 8 2009 Morari had this to say,
"Today, during our press conference, the disorder and devastation of Parliamentary and presidential buildings unleashed; we don't understand what LDPM was doing at that moment, the one that assumed the responsibility for organising today's meeting"
Unfortunately, opinions of this pseudo-dissident are comprimised by the fact that she must have known that the Twitter demonstration would attract far-right nationalists. After all, her leading fellow Twitter Revolutionary, Oleg Brega, is actually one of them.
There are three main reasons for scepticism about Morari's plaintive scapegoating of the LDPM as the only nasty troublemakers as compared with her and her fellow twitterer's posture as a youthful beacons of freedom.
Firstly, Morari has been press secretary of The Other Russia, a motley coalition of far-right nationalists and the National Bolsheviks of Eduard Limanov. The Other Russia is funded by Washington to discredit the Putin government.
Secondly, Morari is what Russians call a 'Liberast', those affecting liberal politics to conceal illiberal agendas or the power of oligarchs. She does not care about liberal democracy but in advancing the interests of Western investors and its energy concerns.
Morari is a prominent member of the DA ! Youth Movement run by Maria Gaidar, daughter of Boris Yeltsin's economy minister and whose 'shock therapy' is recognised as having caused poverty and early death for millions of ordinary Russians.
Thirdly, Morari's choice of the LDPM as responsible was convenient as her closest comrade Oleg Brega is connected to Ghimpu's LPM and was quite insistent at the same time Morari made her statement that it had been the Communists had provoked the crowd into action.
I'm a member of Hyde Park, which helped start the protests on Monday morning. But our group ended our involvement on Monday evening because it became clear that the protests were being hijacked by certain forces in order to make a spectacle for the benefit of the ruling party.
We understood that the protests were going to be hijacked for other purposes, so our group withdrew. We did not participate in Tuesday's unrest. I believe that the ruling Communist Party provoked them.
If Morari is able to work with Brega as part of network of activists aiming to create a flash mob of protesters then it is disingenous to pretend that the protesters were just the wrong kind of protesters given Brega's involvement in far-right politics.
What happened was so violent and reminiscent of a riot instead of a protest that they both had to back peddle because of the bad publicity and negative propaganda. But given Brega's background it should hardly have come as a surprise
Hyde Park's website is hosted by the Internet Access Training Program and funded by the US State Department through the Freedom Support Act.
Moreover, USAID, according to Anatoly Karlinsky, also channels money via
“cutout organizations like the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute” for programmes such as Strengthening Democratic Political Activism in Moldova and “cultivating new political activists who can formulate and pursue concrete political objectives…”.
( Anatoly Karlinksy, Twitter Terror: Unravelling the Unrest in Moldova, April 12 2009 )
A former worker for USAID, Artur Lungu of Tristan Oil has extensive connections with Anglo-American democracy and transparency promotion organizations such as USAID, the Soros Foundation and the John Smith Memorial Trust.
Lungu is second in command at Tristan Oil to Anatol Stati who has been engaged in an oligarchic power struggle between President Voronin and this Romanian supported tycoon whose Moldova based company, ASCOM Group, is mired in corruption and tax evasion charges.
Timpul newspaper,however, claimed the Voronin clan is simply trying to usurp Stati's business in opposing his power in Moldova.
Yet it is Timpul and it's backers who are on the offensive, a paper that gives space to Holocaust deniers like Gheorghe Buzatu,a collaborator of the Romania Mare Party (The Greater Romania Party). It also published an article describing the Romanian pilots who bombed Moldovan cities and villages on June 22, 1941, as "liberators".
Hyde Park is led by Gheorghe Brega, a Romanian citizen and member of Ghimpu's Liberal Party.
The front page of its website features an attack on evil “Bolshevik tyranny” by the historian Iacob Golovca who is “President of the Civic Association for the Abolition of the Consequences of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact”.
Dr. Golovca is a Romanian far right nationalist who calls Moldova by its old regional name of Bessarabia and demands its return into “Romania's bosom” apart from the “gangrenous germ” of Transnistria which must be “amputated”.He's also a fan of Antonscu who was 'a martyr'.
When Vladimir Voronin gave a speech outside Serpeni Stronghold Memorial in 2006 nationalistic groups, including the Hyde Park NGO, protested outside, hung posters with inscriptions including “Occupants, go home” and “Rehabilitate Ion Antonescu.”
Set against this background it is a sign of the flaws in Western policy that bands of youthful twitterers like those in Moldova can so easily manipulate a media either gullible or complicit with it and thus build up a mass of critical comment on the Internet favourable to far-right nationalists in liberal clothing.
Though no serious consequences came from the Twitter Revolution, the way NGO's have promoted people as Moldovan democrats, whilst in reality they are Holocaust denying ethnic nationalists, shows how easy it is for Western opinion to be deluded by what it wants to see it it means advancing their geopolitical Great Game' with Russia.