"Twenty-one instigators have been detained. They were wearing medical masks. We found knives, baseball bats, and other prohibited items, as well as gas masks, in their backpacks. Police officers were acting professionally and detained them. Currently, we are working on establishing their intentions, the organizer, and their goals," Cavcaliuc said.
According to the official, approximately 7,000 people took part in the rally.
The rally organizers earlier announced that they expected up to 100,000 to join the rally. Such rallies are held annually and gather fewer participants than the organizers claim.
Rally in #Chisinau today to commemorate 100 years since the Union of Basarabia with Romania. Many demonstrators were also calling for a new union between #Moldova and #Romania pic.twitter.com/SKtHBtCGAK— Rex Drabik (@bigrexo) March 25, 2018
The main demand of the activists is Moldova's unification with Romania. The rally ended in the adoption of a resolution.
The issue of the unification of Moldova and Romania is closely tied to the region’s history. March 2018 marks the centenary of the decision of the parliament of Bessarabia region of the Russian Empire — which is mostly a part of modern Moldova — to unite with Romania after the latter's troops had invaded the territory. Moldova was a part of Romania until 1940, when the Romanian authorities agreed to cede Bessarabia to the Soviet Union. The new territories formed the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, which existed until 1991 when it declared independence along with other Soviet republics.
In October, the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova proposed a constitutional amendment changing the name of the country’s language to "Romanian." It was backed by Moldova’s government and Constitutional Court, but failed to receive approval of the Moldovan parliament, since only 35 lawmakers out of 101 backed the initiative.
Moldovan President Igor Dodon spoke against the move and suggested a referendum banning the idea of reunification with Romania. According to the recent polls, the absolute majority of the population would vote against reunification with Romania.