Bessarabia

BasarabiaBassarabiaEastern MoldaviaBessarabianBesserabia1940 occupation of BessarabiaBessarabian separatistsBucakEastern MoldovaHistory of Bessarabia
Bessarabia (Basarabia; Бессарабия, Bessarabiya; Besarabya; Бессара́бія, Bessarabiya; Бесарабия, Besarabiya) is a historical region in Eastern Europe, bounded by the Dniester river on the east and the Prut river on the west.wikipedia
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Moldova

Republic of MoldovaMDAMoldavian
About two thirds of Bessarabia lies within modern-day Moldova, with the Ukrainian Budjak region covering the southern coastal region and part of the Ukrainian Chernivtsi Oblast covering a small area in the north. During the process of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Moldavian and Ukrainian SSRs proclaimed their independence in 1991, becoming the modern states of Moldova and Ukraine, while preserving the existing partition of Bessarabia.
Most of the Moldovan territory was a part of the Principality of Moldavia from the 14th century until 1812, when it was ceded to the Russian Empire by the Ottoman Empire (to which Moldavia was a vassal state) and became known as Bessarabia.

Budjak

Southern BessarabiaBudzhakBugeac
About two thirds of Bessarabia lies within modern-day Moldova, with the Ukrainian Budjak region covering the southern coastal region and part of the Ukrainian Chernivtsi Oblast covering a small area in the north.
Lying along the Black Sea between the Danube and Dniester rivers, this thinly populated multi-ethnic 600,000-people region of 13,188 km 2 is located in the southern part of historical Bessarabia.

Moldavian Democratic Republic

Moldavian RepublicMoldovan Democratic RepublicMoldavia
In 1917, in the wake of the Russian Revolution, the area constituted itself as the Moldavian Democratic Republic, an autonomous republic part of a proposed federative Russian state.
The Moldavian Democratic Republic (Republica Democratică Moldovenească), also known as the Moldavian Republic, was a state proclaimed on December 15 1917 by the Sfatul Țării (National Council) of Bessarabia, elected in October–November 1917 following the February Revolution and the start of the disintegration of the Russian Empire.

Union of Bessarabia with Romania

Bessarabia united with Romaniaunion with Romaniaunited with Romania
Soon after, the parliamentary assembly declared independence, and then union with the Kingdom of Romania.
On April 9 1918, the Sfatul Țării, or National Council, of Bessarabia proclaimed union with the Kingdom of Romania.

Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina

Soviet occupation of Bessarabiaoccupied by the Soviet UnionSoviet occupation
In 1940, after securing the assent of Nazi Germany through the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, the Soviet Union pressured Romania, under threat of war, into withdrawing from Bessarabia, allowing the Red Army to annex the region.
The Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina from June 28 – July 4, 1940, of the Romanian regions of northern Bukovina and Hertza, and of Bessarabia, a region under Romanian administration since Russian Civil War times.

Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact

Molotov-Ribbentrop PactNazi-Soviet PactHitler-Stalin Pact
In 1940, after securing the assent of Nazi Germany through the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, the Soviet Union pressured Romania, under threat of war, into withdrawing from Bessarabia, allowing the Red Army to annex the region.
The secret protocol also recognised the interest of Lithuania in the Vilno region; in addition, Germany declared complete disinterest in Bessarabia.

Transnistria (geographical region)

TransnistriaTransnistrian region
Following a short war in the early 1990s, the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic was proclaimed in the Transnistria, extending its authority also over the municipality of Bender on the right bank of Dniester river.
The PMR controls main part of this region, and also the city of Bender and its surrounding localities on the west bank, in the historical region of Bessarabia.

Operation München

Operation Munchendefense of Bessarabiainitial attack against the Soviet Union
Axis-aligned Romania recaptured the region in 1941 with the success of Operation München during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, but lost it in 1944 as the tide of war changed.
Operation München (Operaţiunea München) was the Romanian codename of a joint German-Romanian offensive during the German invasion of the Soviet Union in World War II, with the primary objective of recapturing Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina and Hertsa, ceded by Romania to the Soviet Union a year before (Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina).

Romanian language

RomanianRomanian-languageDaco-Romanian
According to Vasile Stoica, emissary of the Romanian government to the United States, in 1834 Romanian language was banned from schools and government facilities, despite 80% of the population speaking the language.
Most regions where Romanian is now widely spoken—Bessarabia, Bukovina, Crișana, Maramureș, Moldova, and significant parts of Muntenia—were not incorporated in the Roman Empire.

Axis powers

AxisAxis forcesAxis power
Axis-aligned Romania recaptured the region in 1941 with the success of Operation München during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, but lost it in 1944 as the tide of war changed.
The Soviet seizure of Bessarabia from Romania in June 1940 placed the Soviet–Romanian frontier dangerously close to Romania's oil fields in Ploiești that Germany needed oil trade from to support its war effort.

Wallachia

Principality of WallachiaWalachiaWallachian
Following the Crimean War, in 1856, the southern areas of Bessarabia were returned to Moldavian rule; Russian rule was restored over the whole of the region in 1878, when Romania, the result of Moldavia's union with Wallachia, was pressured into exchanging those territories for the Dobruja.
Basarab refused to grant Hungary the lands of Făgăraș, Almaș and the Banate of Severin, defeated Charles in the Battle of Posada (1330), and, according to Romanian historian Ștefan Ștefănescu, extended his lands to the east, to comprise lands as far as Kiliya in the Budjak (reportedly providing the origin of Bessarabia); the supposed rule over the latter was not preserved by the princes that followed, as Kilia was under the rule of Nogais c.1334.

Gagauzia

Gagauz Autonomous Territorial UnitGăgăuziaAutonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia
Part of the Gagauz-inhabited areas in the southern Bessarabia was organised in 1994 as an autonomous region within Moldova.
A large group of the Gagauz later left Bulgaria and settled in southern Bessarabia, along with a group of ethnic Bulgarians.

Romanian Land Forces

Romanian ArmyArmyRomanian
Bolshevik agitation in late 1917 and early 1918 resulted in the intervention of the Romanian Army, ostensibly to pacify the region.
An expeditionary force invaded the Soviet Union in Bessarabia and southern Ukraine, alongside the Wehrmacht.

Chișinău

ChişinăuKishinevChisinau
The main cities are Chișinău (former capital of Bessarabia Governorate, now capital of Moldova), and Izmail and Bilhorod-Dnistrovs'kyi (historically called Cetatea Albă and Akkerman; both now within Ukraine).
The newly acquired territories became known as Bessarabia.

Bender, Moldova

BenderTighinaBendery
Following a short war in the early 1990s, the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic was proclaimed in the Transnistria, extending its authority also over the municipality of Bender on the right bank of Dniester river. Other towns of administrative or historical importance include: Khotyn, Reni, and Kilia (all now in Ukraine); and Lipcani, Briceni, Soroca, Bălți, Orhei, Ungheni, Bender/Tighina, and Cahul (all now in Moldova).
It is located on the western bank of the river Dniester in the historical region of Bessarabia.

Lipcani

LipkanyLipcanLipcani-Târg
Other towns of administrative or historical importance include: Khotyn, Reni, and Kilia (all now in Ukraine); and Lipcani, Briceni, Soroca, Bălți, Orhei, Ungheni, Bender/Tighina, and Cahul (all now in Moldova).
Lipcani is located in the Bessarabia region.

Moldavia

Principality of MoldaviaPrincipality of MoldovaMoldavian
In the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War (1806–1812), and the ensuing Peace of Bucharest, the eastern parts of the Principality of Moldavia, an Ottoman vassal, along with some areas formerly under direct Ottoman rule, were ceded to Imperial Russia.
An initially independent and later autonomous state, it existed from the 14th century to 1859, when it united with Wallachia (Țara Românească) as the basis of the modern Romanian state; at various times, Moldavia included the regions of Bessarabia (with the Budjak), all of Bukovina and Hertza.

World War II

Second World WarwarWWII
In 1947, the Soviet-Romanian border along the Prut was internationally recognised by the Paris Treaty that ended World War II.
This pact had a secret protocol that defined German and Soviet "spheres of influence" (western Poland and Lithuania for Germany; eastern Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Bessarabia for the Soviet Union), and raised the question of continuing Polish independence.

Gagauz people

GagauzGagauziansGagauzes
Part of the Gagauz-inhabited areas in the southern Bessarabia was organised in 1994 as an autonomous region within Moldova.
Even in the recent past, despite the cultural similarity of the Gagauz to the Bulgarians of Bessarabia, there were important differences between them: the Bulgarians were peasant farmers; although the Gagauz also farmed, they were essentially pastoralist in outlook.

Romania

ROURomanianRomânia
Afterwards, this territory was directly or indirectly, partly or wholly controlled by: the Ottoman Empire (as suzerain of Moldavia, with direct rule only in Budjak and Khotin), Russian Empire, Romania, the USSR.
Following World War I after declaring its neutrality in 1914, when Romania fought on the side of the Allied powers starting with 1916, Bukovina, Bessarabia, Transylvania as well as parts of Banat, Crișana, and Maramureș became part of the sovereign Kingdom of Romania.

Ukraine

UkrainianUKRUkrainia
During the process of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Moldavian and Ukrainian SSRs proclaimed their independence in 1991, becoming the modern states of Moldova and Ukraine, while preserving the existing partition of Bessarabia.
In 1940, the Soviets annexed Bessarabia and northern Bukovina.

Izmail

IsmailIzmayilcity of Izmail
The main cities are Chișinău (former capital of Bessarabia Governorate, now capital of Moldova), and Izmail and Bilhorod-Dnistrovs'kyi (historically called Cetatea Albă and Akkerman; both now within Ukraine).
It belonged for a short period of time to Wallachia (14th century) – as the territory north of the Danube was one of the possessions of the Basarabs (later the land being named after them, Bessarabia).

Orhei

OrgeevJudet OrheiOrgeyev
Other towns of administrative or historical importance include: Khotyn, Reni, and Kilia (all now in Ukraine); and Lipcani, Briceni, Soroca, Bălți, Orhei, Ungheni, Bender/Tighina, and Cahul (all now in Moldova).
It was the Ottoman-occupied military center of northern Bessarabia until it was ceded to the Russian Empire in 1812.

Khotyn

HotinKhotinChocim
Other towns of administrative or historical importance include: Khotyn, Reni, and Kilia (all now in Ukraine); and Lipcani, Briceni, Soroca, Bălți, Orhei, Ungheni, Bender/Tighina, and Cahul (all now in Moldova). Afterwards, this territory was directly or indirectly, partly or wholly controlled by: the Ottoman Empire (as suzerain of Moldavia, with direct rule only in Budjak and Khotin), Russian Empire, Romania, the USSR.
Khotyn, first chronicled in 1001, is located on the right (southwestern) bank of the Dniester River, and is part of the historical region Bessarabia.

Reni, Ukraine

ReniTamarova
Other towns of administrative or historical importance include: Khotyn, Reni, and Kilia (all now in Ukraine); and Lipcani, Briceni, Soroca, Bălți, Orhei, Ungheni, Bender/Tighina, and Cahul (all now in Moldova).
It is the administrative center of Reni Raion (district), and is located in the Bessarabian historic district of Budjak.