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------------------595D9D 122108Z /72 38
P 121858Z APR 91
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0833
INFO RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY
MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
AMCONSUL LENINGRAD

CON F IDE N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 MOSCOW 10625

E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR


TAGS: PGOV, PINS, PINR, PHUM, ECON, UR, RO
SUBJECT: INCREASING POLITICAL POLARIZATION IN
MOLDOVA

1. CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT.

SUMMARY
/------
2. POLOFFS TRAVELED TO KISHINEV AND TlRASPOL APRIL
9-11 AND FOUND THAT THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN
MOLDOVA IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY POLARIZED. THE
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REPUBLIC'S COMMUNISTS HAVE SPLIT, WITH A NEW
INDEPENDENT MOLDOVAN COMMUNIST PARTY FORMED ON
APRIL 9. THE MOLDOVAN POPULAR FRONT IS ALSO IN
DISARRAY, SUFFERING FROM A LACK OF LEADERSHIP AND
INCREASINGLY TURNING TOWARD POLICE-STATE METHODS.
IN THE HEAVILY MILITARIZED RUSSIAN STRONGHOLD OF
TlRASPOL, A GROUP OF COMMUNIST HARDLINERS,
APPARENTLY WORKING CLOSELY WITH SOVIET MILITARY AND
SECURITY FORCES, ARE ATTEMPTING TO SEPARATE THEIR
SO-CALLED "TRANS-DNIESTER REPUBLIC" FROM THE REST

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE


REVIEW AUTHORITY: ROBERT 0 HOMME UNCLASSIFIED
DATE.JCASE ID: 17 SEP 2009 200802198
OF MOLDOVA. END SUMMARY. UNCLASSIFIED

SURFACETCALM IN KISHINEV
/-----------------------
3. POLOFFS TRAVELLED TO KISHINEV AND TIRASPOL ON
APRIL 9-11. THE ATMOSPHERE IN KISHINEV WAS QUIET
ON APRIL 9, THE FIRST TIME EASTER MONDAY HAD BEEN
DECLARED A HOLIDAY IN THE REPUBLIC SINCE ITS
INCORPORATION INTO THE SOVIET UNION. A LARGE,
FESTIVE CROWD GATHERED AROUND THE RECENTLY
RE-OPENED CATHEDRAL ON THE MAIN SQUARE, AS LOUD
SPEAKERS BROADCASTS HYMNS AND RELIGIOUS SERVICES.
A FEW BLOCKS AWAY, SOVIET SOLDIERS GUARDED A
MILITARY COMPOUND. ONLY A FEW SOLDIERS WERE
EVIDENT IN THE CITY. CONTACTS SAID THE VISIBILITY
OF THE SOVIET MILITARY IN THE CITY REMAINED AT
PREVIOUS LEVELS. WHILE NO ONE WOULD EXCLUDE THE
POSSIBILITY OF SOVIET FORCES TAKING BALTIC-STYLE
ACTIONS, MOST CONTACTS BELIEVED THAT THIS WOULD
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DEPEND LARGELY ON EVENTS IN THE SOVIET UNION AS A
WHOLE. THEY NOTED THAT IN MOLDOVA ALL MEMBERS OF
THE SOVIET "BLACK BERET" FORCES ARE MOLDOVANS. THE
REGULAR ARMY FORCES, ON THE OTHER HAND, ARE
COMPLETELY SLAVIC (RUSSIAN, BYELORUSSIAN, AND
UKRAINIAN) .

COMMUNIST PARTY SPLIT


/--------------------
4. THE "DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM" (DP) GROUP OF THE
COMMUNIST PARTY OF MOLDOVA MET IN KISHINEV ON APRIL
8 TO PROCLAIM THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW REPUBLIC
COMMUNIST PARTY INDEPENDENT OF THE CPSU. ACCORDING
TO SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC PARTY LEADER VIOREL
CIOUBOTARU, WHO ATTENDED THE CONFERENCE, THE DP
GROUP CONTROLS THE PARTY ORGANIZATIONS IN 17 OF
MOLDOVA'S 40 DISTRICTS. THE DP IS KEEPING THE
COMMUNIST PARTY NAME IN ORDER TO RETAIN PARTY
PROPERTY. VIOREL CIOUBOTARU, LEADER OF THE SMALL
SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY, PREDICTED THAT THIS SPLIT
WOULD BE THE FINAL BLOW FOR THE REMNANTS OF THE
REPUBLIC'S ORIGINAL COMMUNIST PARTY, WHICH IN HIS

UNCLASSIFIED
VIEW HAS NOW TRANSFORMED ITSELF INTO A PRO-MOSCOW
ORGANIZATION ALONG THE LINES OF THE NATIONAL UNCLASSIFIED
SALVATION COMMITTEES IN THE BALTICS. "THIS COULD
NEVER HAVE HAPPENED UNDER (FORMER PARTY LEADER
PETR) LUCHINSKIY," CIOUBOTARU ADDED, NOTING THAT
SINCE THE DEPARTURE OF THE POPULAR,
NATIONALIST-ORIENTED LUCHINSKIY, PRO-MOSCOW
ELEMENTS HAD GAINED THE UPPER HAND.
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THE NEW POLITICAL LANDSCAPE


/--------------------------
5. ACCORDING TO CIOUBOTARU'S ANALYSIS, THE

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ACTION EUR-01

INFO LOG-OO ADS-OO AID-01 BIB-01 CIAE-OO DODE-OO DPR-01


EB-01 HA-09 H-01 INRE-OO INR-01 L-03 M-01
NRRC-01 NSAE-OO NSCE-OO OMB-01 PA-01 PM-01 PRS-01
P-02 SCT-03 SNP-01 SP-01 SS-Ol TRSE-OO T-01
USIE-OO /034W
------------------595DAC 122108Z /72 38
P 121858Z APR 91
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0834
INFO RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY
MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLASSIFIED
AMCONSUL LENINGRAD UNCLASSIFIED
CON F IDE N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 04 MOSCOW 10625

E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR


TAGS: PGOV, PINS, PINR, PHUM, ECON, UR, RO
SUBJECT: INCREASING POLITICAL POLARIZATION IN
MOLDOVA

COMMUNISTS IN MOLDOVA ARE DIVIDED INTO THREE


GROUPS, THE ORIGINAL PARTY, NOW HALF ITS PREVIOUS
SIZE, THE DP GROUP, COMPRISING ABOUT THIRTY
PERCENT, AND THE HARDLINE TIRASPOL COMMUNISTS,
ABOUT 20 PERCENT. ACCORDING TO CIOUBOTARU, THE
SUPREME SOVIET OF MOLDOVA WAS FORMERLY SPLIT INTO
THREE ROUGHLY EQUAL GROUPS, THE COMMUNISTS, THE
POPULAR FRONT SUPPORTERS, AND THE RURAL "AGRARIAN"
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DEPUTIES WHO TENDED TO BE SWING VOTERS. HE
PREDICTED THAT THE INDEPENDENT COMMUNISTS WILL
PROBABLY BE JOINED BY A NUMBER OF AGRARIAN DEPUTIES
TO CONTROL ABOUT ONE THIRD OF THE SUPREME SOVIET.
THE POPULAR FRONT WILL RETAIN ITS THIRD, WITH THE
REMAINING THIRD DIVIDED AMONG THE CPSU-AFFILIATED
COMMUNISTS, SOME AGRARIANS, AND DEPUTIES FROM
TIRASPOL AND THE GAGAUZ AREAS WHO HAVE RENOUNCED
THE IR SEATS.

A THIRD FORCE?
j-------------
6. CIOUBOTARU EXPRESSED HOPE THAT THE INDEPENDENT
COMMUNIST PARTY COULD BECOME A STABILIZING FORCE,
OCCUPYING THE POLITICAL CENTER BETWEEN THE
TRADITIONAL COMMUNISTS AND THE POPULAR FRONT.
OTHER OBSERVERS WERE LESS POSITIVE, VIEWING THE NEW
PARTY AS SIMPLY A LAST DITCH ATTEMPT TO PUT
COMMUNIST IDEAS IN A MORE ACCEPTABLE FORM. ON THE
OTHER HAND, THE HARDLINE COMMUNISTS IN TIRASPOL
(SEE BELOW) MAINTAINED THAT THE DP GROUP WAS SIMPLY
THE "POPULAR FRONT IN CAMOUFLAGE." COMMUNISTS IN
KISHINEV SEEM TO BE PRESENTLY PREOCCUPIED WITH THE
FATE OF THE LENIN STATUE ON THE CITY'S CENTRAL

UNCLASSIFIED
SQUARE, WHICH HAS BEEN SLATED FOR REMOVAL BY THE
POPULAR FRONT-DOMINATED CITY GOVERNMENT. THE UNCLASSIFIED
CPSU-AFFILIATED COMMUNISTS MAINTAIN THAT THE
DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM GROUP IS SHOWING ITS TRUE
COLORS BY FAILING TO DEFEND THE LENIN STATUE.
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A CLIMATE OF FEAR
/----------------
7. DURING THE PAST YEAR, THE AREA AROUND THE
STATUE OF STEPHEN THE GREAT, NEAR THE MAIN SQUARE
OF KISHlNEV, HAS BEEN THE SITE OF A LARGE AND
SOMEWHAT CHAOTIC DISPLAY OF POSTERS REPRESENTING
THE VARIOUS SHADES OF NATIONALIST, ANTI-SOVIET
OPINION. THE POSTERS ARE NOW MUCH MORE ORDERLY,
ALL WRITTEN IN THE SAME COLORS, AND ALL ESSENTIALLY
EXPRESSING THE PF MESSAGE. THIS TRANSFORMATION IS
PERHAPS SYMBOLIC OF WHAT MANY CONTACTS SEE AS
INCREASING AUTHORITARIANISM AND INTOLERANCE OF
DISSENT WITHIN THE FRONT. CIOUBOTARU MAINTAINED
THAT THE FORMER COMMUNISTS IN THE PF WERE NOW
RETURNING TO THEIR HABITUAL MODES OF OPERATION. IN
COMPARISON TO THE ATMOSPHERE SEEN IN PREVIOUS
VISITS TO MOLDOVA DURING THE PAST YEAR, POLOFFS
DETECTED A DEFINITE INCREASE IN FEAR AMONG CONTACTS
OPPOSED TO THE FRONT. A CONTACT WHO FACILITATED
POLOFFS' TRIP TO TlRASPOL REQUESTED THAT THE MATTER
BE KEPT STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.

8. ACCORDING TO ONE CONTACT, THE PF IS SILENCING


CRITICS BY TREATENING TO LABEL THEM AS "TRAITORS"
OR "KGB AGENTS," BY USING THE POWERS OF THE
REPUBLIC GOVERNMENT (THREATENING TO TAKE FINANCIAL
MEASURES AGAINST ANTI-PF COOPERATIVE MANAGERS, FOR
EXAMPLE) , AND, AS A LAST RESORT, THREATENING TO
UNLEASH A VIOLENT GROUP OF PF YOUTH. "NINETY
PERCENT OF THE POTENTIAL CRITICS ARE CONTROLLED BY
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THE FIRST METHOD, 10 TO 15 PERCENT BY THE SECOND,
AND LESS THAN ONE PERCENT BY THE THIRD," HE NOTED.

UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED

TREATY OF THE UNION: ON HOLD FOR NOW

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USIE-OO /034W
------------------595DB7 122109Z /72 38
P 121858Z APR 91
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0835
INFO RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY
MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
AMCONSUL LENINGRAD

CON F IDE N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 04 MOSCOW 10625

E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR


TAGS: PGOV, PINS, PINR, PHUM, ECON, UR, RO
SUBJECT: INCREASING POLITICAL POLARIZATION IN
MOLDOVA

/-----------------------------------
9. KISHINEV CONTACTS INDICATED THAT MOSCOW'S
PROPOSED TREATY OF THE UNION WAS ALMOST A
"FORGOTTEN" ISSUE IN MOLDOVA. MOST POPULAR FRONT
SUPPORTERS WERE INSISTING THAT ANY TREATY RECOGNIZE

UNCLASSIFIED
MOLDOVA'S CONTROL OVER THE GAGAUZ AND
TRANS-DNIESTER AREAS AND GIVE MOLDOVA ITS UNCLASSIFIED
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INDEPENDENCE. MORE ATTENTION WAS FOCUSSED ON THE
BEGINNING OF PARLIAMENTARY DISCUSSION OF THE
REPUBLIC'S NEW CONSTITUTION. ACCORDING TO ION
PADURARU, HEAD OF THE GOVERNMENT'S JURIDICAL
DEPARTMENT (WHICH IS COORDINATING WORK ON THE
CONSTITUTION), THE NEW CONSTITUTION IS "PROCEEDING
FROM THE PRINCIPLE OF MOLDOVA'S SOVEREIGNTY," AND
DOES NOT ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF THE USSR OR RELATIONS
BETWEEN THE REPUBLICS. HE AGREED THAT DISCUSSION
OF THE UNION TREATY HAD COME TO A STANDSTILL, BUT
ATTRIBUTED THIS TO MOSCOW'S NEGLIGENCE ON THIS
ISSUE AND THE FOCUSSING OF ATTENTION ON THE RUSSIAN
REPUBLIC'S ATTITUDE. HE NOTED THAT MOLDOVA'S
REPRESENTATIVE IN MOSCOW CONTINUED TO PARTICIPATE
IN DISCUSSIONS ON ECONOMIC RELATIONS BETWEEN THE
REPUBLICS AND PREDICTED THAT MOLDOVA WOULD
EVENTUALLY SIGN SOME TYPE OF TREATY. HOWEVER, THIS
TREATY WOULD HAVE TO PROVIDE FOR A MECHANISM TO
ACTUALLY EXIT THE SOVIET UNION, HE MAINTAINED.

TlRASPOL--A TRIP INTO THE PAST


/-----------------------------
10. POLOFFS TRAVELED TO TlRASPOL, LOCATED 73
KILOMETERS SOUTH-EAST OF KISHINEV, TO MEET CITY
OFFICIALS, LEADERS OF THE RECENTLY PROCLAIMED
"TRANS-DNIESTER REPUBLIC," AND VLADIMIR
MASLENNIKOV, DEPUTY EDITOR OF THE LOCAL
RUSSIAN-LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER. PASSING THE OLD
FORTRESS OF BENDERY, NOW SURROUNDED BY A SOVIET
ARMY BASE, ONE CROSSES THE DNIESTER RIVER AND SOON
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ENTERS THE CITY LIMITS OF TlRASPOL, MARKED BY AN
OLD MOLDAVIAN REPUBLIC FLAG AND A HAMMER AND
SICKLE. A HUGE SOVIET MILITARY BARRACKS DOMINATES
THIS SIDE OF THE TOWN. UNLIKE IN KISHINEV, WHERE
VIRTUALLY ALL COMMUNIST PARTY SIGNS HAVE BEEN

UNCLASSIFIED
REMOVED AND STREETS HAVE BEEN RENAMED FOR ROMANIAN
HEROES, IN TIRASPOL TRADITIONAL COMMUNIST PARTY UNCLASSIFIED
MURALS AND SLOGANS ARE STILL DISPLAYED.

11. POLOFFS WERE RECEIVED BY GORISPOLKOM CHAIRMAN


IGOR' SMIRNOV, WHO WAS LATER JOINED BY THE
RECENTLY-NAMED CHAIRMAN OF THE "SUPREME SOVIET OF
THE TRANS-DNIESTER REPUBLIC," A DEPUTY OF THAT
ORGANIZATION, AND A NUMBER OF OTHER PEOPLE WHOSE
FUNCTIONS WERE NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR. SMIRNOV TREATED
POLOFFS WITH A DEGREE OF SUSPICION REMINISCENT OF
THE COLD WAR DAYS, ASKING WHY AMERICAN DIPLOMATS
WERE INTERESTED IN COMING TO TIRASPOL, AND REFUSING
TO ACCEPT THE STANDARD REPLIES. HE EVENTUALLY
MELLOWED SOMEWHAT AND RESPONDED TO SOME OF POLOFFS'
QUESTIONS, BUT REFUSED TO DISCUSS COMMUNIST PARTY
ISSUES ON THE GROUNDS THAT HE WAS A GOVERNMENT, NOT
A PARTY, REPRESENTATIVE.

12. SMIRNOV MAINTAINED THAT THE PEOPLE OF THE


TRANS-DNIESTER REGION (HE REFUSED TO DISCUSS THE
ISSUE IN TERMS OF RUSSIANS AND NON-RUSSIANS) HAD
BEEN FORCED TO BREAK AWAY FROM MOLDOVA BECAUSE
"PSYCHOLOGICAL PRESSURE" WAS PREVENTING MOLDOVA'S
PARLIAMENT FROM DECIDING ISSUES EQUITABLY. HE
EMPHASIZED THAT PEOPLE'S MAIN FEAR WAS THAT MOLDOVA
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WOULD BECOME A PART OF ROMANIA. (THIS SENTIMENT
WAS ECHOED BY OTHER CONTACTS AMONG THE
RUSSIAN-SPEAKING POPULATION IN MOLDOVA.)

13. SMIRNOV SAID THAT AN ADMINISTRATION WAS

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EB-Ol HA-09 H-Ol INRE-OO INR-Ol L-03 M-Ol
NRRC-Ol NSAE-OO NSCE-OO OMB-Ol PA-Ol PM-Ol PRS-Ol
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USIE-OO /034W
------------------595DC6 122109Z /72 38
P 121858Z APR 91
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0836
INFO RUEHBM/AMEMB~SY BUCHAREST PRIORITY
MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
AMCONSUL LENINGRAD

CON F IDE N T I A L SECTION 04 OF 04 MOSCOW 10625

E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR


TAGS: PGOV, PINS, PINR, PHUM, ECON, UR, RO
SUBJECT: INCREASING POLITICAL POLARIZATION IN
MOLDOVA

CURRENTLY BEING FORMED FOR THE NEW REPUBLIC. MOST


IMPORTANTLY, HE NOTED, CONCRETE STEPS WERE BEING
TAKEN TO SEPARATE THE AREA'S ECONOMY FROM THAT OF
THE REST OF MOLDOVA. AS OF APRIL 1, BUDGETARY
CONNECTIONS WITH KISHlNEV HAD BEEN SEVERED.
(MASLENNIKOV NOTED THAT THIS HAD CREATED A GREAT
DEAL OF CHAOS, ESPECIALLY IN PAYMENT OF PENSIONS.)
LEADERS OF THE NEW REPUBLIC SAID THEY EXPECTED THE
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KISHINEV GOVERNMENT TO RESPOND WITH AN ECONOMIC
BLOCKADE, BUT ARGUED THAT THEY COULD INSTITUTE
EFFECTIVE COUNTER-MEASURES OF THEIR OWN, SINCE "WE
SEND MORE TO THEM THAN THEY SEND TO US."

14. MASLENNIKOV POINTED OUT THAT THE HEAVY SOVIET


MILITARY PRESENCE IN TIRASPOL IS NOTHING NEW--THIS

UNCLASSIFIED
FORMER OUTPOST OF THE EMPIRE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A
GARRISON TOWN. HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE MILITARY UNCLASSIFIED
HAD CONSIDERABLE INFLUENCE IN TIRASPOL, BUT
MAINTAINED THAT THEY DID NOT DICTATE POLITICAL
DECISIONS. (SMIRNOV WAS MEETING WITH A GROUP OF
MILITARY AND MVD OFFICERS BEFORE HIS MEETING WITH
POLOFFS, AND WHEN POLOFFS EXITED HIS OFFICE THEY
FOUND ANOTHER GROUP OF MILITARY OFFICERS WAITING TO
GO IN.) MASHLENIKOV ARGUED THAT MOSCOW, NOT
WANTING THE TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY OF A REPUBLIC TO
BE CHALLENGED, OPPOSED THE TRANS-DNIESTER MOVEMENT,
AND WAS PRESENTIN~ BIASED COVERAGE OF THE ISSUE ON
CENTRAL TELEVISION.

COMMENT: MODERATES NEEDED


/------------------------
15. MOLDOVA'S HIGHLY POLARIZED POLITICAL SPECTRUM
APPEARS TO BE IN GREAT NEED OF A STRONG, MODERATE,
MULTI-ETHNIC CENTRIST POLITICAL ORGANIZATION.
GIVEN THE STRONG DISTRUST OF THE COMMUNISTS AMONG
POPULAR FRONT SUPPORTERS, IT APPEARS UNLIKELY THAT
ANY COMMUNIST PARTY, INDEPENDENT OF MOSCOW OR NOT,
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CAN PLAY THIS ROLE. POLOFFS SPOKE WITH A NUMBER OF
RUSSIAN-SPEAKING RESIDENTS OF THE REPUBLIC, WHO
HAVE GENUINE GRIEVANCES AND UNDERSTANDABLE FEARS OF
THE FUTURE. MOST CONTACTS ARGUED THAT THE MAJORITY
OF MOLDOVA'S ROMANIAN SPEAKING POPULATION WISHED TO
LIVE IN HARMONY WITH THE OTHER ETHNIC GROUPS IN THE
REPUBLIC. ONE POINTED OUT THAT THE POPULAR FRONT,
AS AN UMBRELLA ORGANIZATION COMPRISED OF MANY
DIFFERENT GROUPS, SHOULD IDEALLY OCCUpy A CENTRIST
POSITION. THE FRONT, HOWEVER, CONTINUES TO RELY ON
EMOTIONAL APPEALS AND ANTI-COMMUNIST RHETORIC AND
HAS YET TO DEVELOP EFFECTIVE PROGRAMS TO DEAL WITH
MORE CONCRETE POLITICAL ISSUES. REPUBLIC PRESIDENT
MIRCEA SNEGUR, WHO COULD PLAY A UNIFYING ROLE, IS
SEEN AS PASSIVE AND SOMEWHAT INTIMIDATED BY POPULAR
FRONT RADICALS. END COMMENT.

16. LENINGRAD MINIMIZE CONSIDERED.

MATLOCK

UNCLASSIFIED
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