MOSCOW — Moldavia's Communist Party chief was replaced today after activists claimed party leaders were blocking reform in the southwestern republic, which has been racked by ethnic unrest.
Tass press agency reported that Semyon K. Grossu was "relieved of his duties" by the republic's policy-making Central Committee because of a transfer to another job. It did not specify his other position.
His replacement is Pytor Luchinsky, 49, an ethnic Moldavian who had been serving as the No. 2 party official in the republic of Tadzhikistan. There was no hint in the Tass report that the Moldavian party was unhappy with Grossu.
Grossu, 55, had headed the Moldavian Communist Party since 1980 and was under increasing pressure from nationalist activists to reverse decades of "Russification" of the republic that borders Romania.