Country Briefs: Welcome to Moldova, a picturesque country that spreads in an area of 33,843 square kilometers with population above three million.
Moldova is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe that lies between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the east and is famous for its green hills, neat and clean villages, placid lakes, sunflower fields and most of all its wonderful vineyards.
The capital city of Moldova is Chisinau. Chinisau is not just the largest city of Moldova but it is also the industrial and commercial center of this country. The greenest city of Europe, Chisinau is also a popular tourist destination.
However the history of Moldova comprises of history of two different regions, Bessarabia and Transnistria that are united into one country but not into one nation.
Bessarabia lies on the eastern portion of Moldova and its population is Romanian whereas Transnistria located on the east bank of Nistru River is dominated by Slavs.
In early times the Dacians (in present day Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia) occupied the territory of Moldova. Since Moldova has a strategic location between Asia and Europe, around AD 271 Moldova suffered numerous invasions by various troops such as the Huns, Ostrogths, Kievan Rus and Mongols etc.
During the second half of the 15th century the entire southeastern Europe came under the dominance of the Ottoman Empire. Moldova succumbed to it in 1512 and was a tributary state of the empire for 300 years. During the reign of Ottomans, Moldova suffered continuous attacks from Crimean Tatar and Russians.
With the coming of the Treaty of Lasi in 1792 the Ottoman Empire ceded Transnistria to the Russian empire. The Moldavian territory west of the Prut River was united with Walachia to form the Old Kingdom of Romania in 1859.
In 1918, at the end of the First World War, Bessarabia proclaimed its independence from Russia and in the very year it united with the Kingdom of Romania. In 1940 Soviet Union invaded Bessarabia as a consequence of a secret protocol Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact.
On 2nd august 1940 the soviet government created the Moldavian Socialist Republic with its capital Chisinau by joining large part of Bessarabia with a portion of Moldavian ASSR while the rest was returned to the Ukranian SSR. Also a part of Moldovian ASSR was transferred from Romania to Ukrainian SSR and so the Moldavian territory was left landlocked.
During the Second World War German and Romanian troops attacked the Moldavian SSR and the Ukrainian SSR and so the Nazis gave Romania Bessarabia and northern Bukovina. But the Soviet troops reoccupied and annexed the area in 1944. The southern and the northern parts were transferred to Ukraine.
Simultaneously Transnistria joined the remaining part to form the "Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic". Stalin brought ethnic Russians to this newly formed country and deported many others to Serbia and Kazakhstan.
In august 1991 Moldova declared independence and it became a member of the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States in the same year. After four months Moldova was recognized as an independent state at the United Nations.
In 1991 Transnistria claimed freedom in fear of Moldova unification with Romania. Moldova did not unite with Romania in 1991. Moldova's future was a source of tension in early 1990.
A March 1994 referendum witnessed majority of voters favoring continued independence. In 1992 there was a war between Russia and Ukrainian Kazak units in which Moldova too got involved.
Presidents Snegur and Yeltsin negotiated a ceasefire agreement in July. A tripartite peace keeping force maintained a demarcation line and Moscow agreed to withdraw its 14th army if appropriate constitutional provisions were made for Transnistria.
In 1994 elections were held in Moldova. Though many political tensions persisted in the country for a long time but gradually with Russia as a partner in negotiation s over Transnistria and pledges by the new government to respect the rights of the country's Russian speaking population the fear is greatly reduced.
- Typ: d = district, m = city, a = autonomous territory, t = territorial unit.
- HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
- Code: Identification codes from CUATM2003, a Moldovan statistics standard.
- Population: 2004-10-05 census preliminary results. Population of Transnistria not reported.