The 1989 civil unrest in Moldova began on November 7, 1989, in Chişinău, Moldavian SSR and continued on November 10, when protesters burned down the headquarters of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, led by Vladimir Voronin. Festivals on 7 November 1989 commemorating the October Revolution and 10 November celebrating the Soviet police force offered excellent opportunities for oppositionists to challenge authorities in highly visible settings and disrupt events of premiere importance to the Soviet regime. Popular Front of Moldova activists, often going beyond the official sanction of the movement leadership, organized actions that embarrassed the republican leadership, ultimately resulted in riots in central Chişinău. This unrest sealed the fate of the increasingly weak First Secretary of the Communist Party of Moldova. At the end of a year that had seen Semion Grossu and his organization pummeled from both the national revivalist right and the "ultrarevolutionary" internationalist left, Moscow replaced the First Secretary with Petru Lucinschi in a snap Central Committee plenum on November 16, 1989.
At the Politburo meeting of the CPM Central Committee of 9 November, the first secretary of the party, Simon Grossu urges militia to proceed to prosecution and arrest those responsible for the events of November 7. Moreover, he proposed that those arrested to be deported outside Moldova. On November 10, protesters burned down the headquarters of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. On November 10, the minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Voronin was hiding in the building of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, while defending the Ministry of Internal Affairs was entrusted to General Zhukov. A consequence of the riot was the change of the leader of the Communist party in power, Semion Grossu, with Petru Lucinschi on November 16, 1989.