Coordinates: 47°N 29°E / 47°N 29°E / 47; 29
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47°N 29°E / 47°N 29°E / 47; 29
Republic of Moldova
Republica Moldova (Romanian)
Location of Moldova in Europe (green) and its uncontrolled territory of Transnistria (light green)
Location of Moldova in Europe (green)
and its uncontrolled territory of Transnistria (light green)
and largest city
47°0′N 28°55′E / 47.000°N 28.917°E / 47.000; 28.917
Official language
and national language
Recognised minority
Ethnic groups
(2014; excl. Transnistria)[6]
82.07% Moldovans / Romanians[a]
4.57% Gagauzes
4.06% Russians
1.88% Bulgarians
0.85% Other
(2014; excl. Transnistria)[6]
  • 0.3%
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic
• President
Maia Sandu
Dorin Recean
Igor Grosu
15 December 1917
9 April 1918
12 October 1924
2 August 1940
2 November 1990
27 August 1991a
adopted 29 July 1994
• Incl. Transnistria
33,851[7] km2 (13,070 sq mi) (135th)
• Water (%)
1.4 (incl. Transnistria)
• Excl. Transnistria
30,334 km2 (11,712 sq mi) [b]
• January 2022 estimate
2,603,813[9][c] (139th)
• 2014 census
• Density
85.8/km2 (222.2/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $42.028 billion[10][c] (132th)
• Per capita
Increase $16,840[10] (89th)
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $15.829 billion[10][c] (138th)
• Per capita
Increase $6,342[10] (130th)
Gini (2019)Negative increase 26.0[11]
HDI (2021)Increase 0.767[12]
high · 80th
CurrencyMoldovan leu (MDL)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
• Summer (DST)
Driving sideright
Calling code+373
ISO 3166 codeMD
  1. Date of proclamation. Independence subsequently finalized with the dissolution of the USSR in December 1991.

Moldova (/mɒlˈdvə/ (listen) mol-DOH-və, sometimes UK: /ˈmɒldəvə/ MOL-də-və;[13][14][15] Romanian pronunciation: [molˈdova]), officially the Republic of Moldova (Romanian: Republica Moldova), is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe.[16] It is bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south.[17] The unrecognised state of Transnistria lies across the Dniester river on the country's eastern border with Ukraine. Moldova's capital and largest city is Chișinău.

Most of 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. In 1856, southern Bessarabia was returned to Moldavia, which three years later united with Wallachia to form Romania, but Russian rule was restored over the whole of the region in 1878. During the 1917 Russian Revolution, Bessarabia briefly became an autonomous state within the Russian Republic. In February 1918, it declared independence and then integrated into Romania later that year following a vote of its assembly. The decision was disputed by Soviet Russia, which in 1924 established, within the Ukrainian SSR, a so-called Moldavian autonomous republic
on partially Moldovan-inhabited territories to the east of Bessarabia.

In 1940, as a consequence of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Romania was compelled to cede Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union, leading to the creation of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (Moldavian SSR). On 27 August 1991, as the dissolution of the Soviet Union was underway, the Moldavian SSR declared independence and took the name Moldova.[18] However, the strip of Moldovan territory on the east bank of the Dniester has been under the de facto control of the breakaway government of Transnistria since 1990. The constitution of Moldova was adopted in 1994, and the country became a parliamentary republic with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government.

Moldova is the

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, and the Association Trio. Moldova has been an official candidate for membership in the European Union since June 2022.[20]


The name Moldova is derived from the Moldova River (German: Moldau); the valley of this river served as a political centre at the time of the foundation of the Principality of Moldavia in 1359.[21] The origin of the name of the river remains unclear. According to a legend recounted by Moldavian chroniclers Dimitrie Cantemir and Grigore Ureche, Prince Dragoș named the river after hunting aurochs: following the chase, the prince's exhausted hound Molda (Seva) was drowned in the river. The dog's name, given to the river, extended to the principality.[22]

For a short time in the 1990s, at the founding of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the name of the current Republic of Moldova was also spelled Moldavia.[23] After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the country began to use the Romanian name, Moldova. Officially, the name Republic of Moldova is designated by the United Nations.



The prehistory of Moldova covers the period from the

Dniester River in Ukraine and west up to and beyond the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. The people of this civilization, which lasted roughly from 5500 to 2750 BC, practised agriculture, raised livestock, hunted, and made intricately designed pottery.[25]

Antiquity and the early Middle Ages

This area of present-day Moldova was inhabited by ancient


In the 11th century, a

Viking by the name of Rodfos was possibly killed in the area by the Blakumen who betrayed him.[26] In 1164, the future Byzantine emperor Andronikos I Komnenos, while attempting to reach the Principality of Halych
, was taken prisoner by Vlachs, possibly in the area which now constitutes Moldova.

The East Slavic

, were also present in much of the region's territory.

Founding of the Principality of Moldavia


Carpathian mountains in 1359 and took control of Moldavia, wresting the region from Hungary. The Principality of Moldavia was bounded by the Carpathian Mountains in the west, the Dniester River in the east, and the Danube River and Black Sea to the south. Its territory comprised the present-day territory of the Republic of Moldova, the eastern eight counties of Romania, and parts of the Chernivtsi Oblast and Budjak
region of present-day Ukraine. Locals referred to the principality as Moldova - like the present-day republic and Romania's north-eastern region.

Between Poland and Hungary

The history of what is today Moldova has been intertwined with that of Poland for centuries. The Polish chronicler

Hungarian Kingdom
which was consistently interested in bringing the area that would become Moldavia into its political orbit.

Ties between Poland and Moldavia expanded after the founding of the Moldavian state by

Carpathian mountains in 1359, the voivode took control of Moldavia and succeeded in creating Moldavia as an independent political entity. Despite being disfavored by the brief union of Angevin Poland and Hungary (the latter was still the country's overlord), Bogdan's successor Lațcu, the Moldavian ruler also likely allied himself with the Poles. Lațcu also accepted conversion to Roman Catholicism
around 1370, but his gesture was to remain without consequences.

Polish influence grows

Vytautas the Great of Lithuania. Under Stephen I, growing Polish influence was challenged by Sigismund of Hungary, whose expedition was defeated at Ghindăoani
in 1385; however, Stephen disappeared in mysterious circumstances.


Mircea I of Wallachia), this ruler shifted his allegiances towards Poland (notably engaging Moldavian forces on the Polish side in the Battle of Grunwald and the siege of Marienburg
), and placed his own choice of rulers in Wallachia. His reign was one of the most successful in Moldavia's history.

Increasing Ottoman influence

Stephen the Great, several authors believed the Soroca Fort was constructed on the site of a former Genoese fortress named Olhionia.[29]

For all of his success, it was under the reign of Alexander I that the first confrontation with the

Alexăndrel to the throne in Suceava. Peter Aaron's rule also signified the beginning of Moldavia's Ottoman Empire allegiance, as the ruler was the first to agree to pay tribute to Sultan Mehmed II

Moldavia at its apogee

Peter Aaron was eventually ousted by his nephew, Stephen the Great who would become the most important medieval Moldavian ruler who managed to uphold Moldavia's autonomy against Hungary, Poland and the Ottoman Empire.[30][31] Under his rule, which lasted 47 years, Moldavia experienced a glorious political and cultural period.[32]

Age of Invasions

During this time, Moldavia was invaded repeatedly by Crimean Tatars and, beginning in the 15th century, by the Ottoman Turks. In 1538, the principality became a tributary to the Ottoman Empire, but it retained internal and partial external autonomy.[33] Nonetheless, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth continued to strongly influence Moldavia both through national politics as well as on the local level through significant intermarriage between Moldavian nobility and the Polish szlachta. When in May 1600, Michael the Brave removed Ieremia Movilă from Moldavia's throne by winning the battle of Bacău, briefly reuniting under his rule Moldavia, Wallachia, and Transylvania, a Polish army led by Jan Zamoyski drove the Wallachians from Moldavia. Zamoyski reinstalled Ieremia Movilă to the throne, who put the country under the vassalage of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Moldavia finally returned to Ottoman vassalage in 1621.


While the region of

Ioan Potcoavă and Dănilă Apostol becoming hetmans of Ukraine. Ruxandra Lupu, the daughter of Moldavian voivode Vasile Lupu who married Tymish Khmelnytsky, lived in Rașcov
according to Ukrainian tradition.

While most of today's Moldova came into the Ottoman orbit in the 16th century, a substantial part of Transnistria remained a part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth until the Second Partition of Poland in 1793.

Russian Empire

In accordance with the

Tsarist administration in Bessarabia gradually removed the Romanian language from official and religious use.[36]

Union with Romania and the return of the Russians


Romania. In 1878, as a result of the Treaty of Berlin
, Romania was forced to cede the three counties back to the Russian Empire.

A multiethnic colonization

Over the 19th century, the Russian authorities encouraged the

Bessarabian Jews.[d] The Romanian proportion of the population decreased from an estimated 86% in 1816,[42] to around 52% in 1905.[43] During this time there were anti-Semitic riots, leading to an exodus of thousands of Jews to the United States.[44]

Russian Revolution

Russian Revolution of 1917, a Bessarabian parliament, Sfatul Țării (a National Council), was elected in October–November 1917 and opened on 3 December [O.S. 21 November] 1917. The Sfatul Țării proclaimed the Moldavian Democratic Republic (15 December [O.S. 2 December] 1917) within a federal Russian state, and formed a government (21 December [O.S.
8 December] 1917).

Greater Romania

After the

agrarian reform, autonomy, and respect for universal human rights.[46] A part of the interim Parliament agreed to drop these conditions after Bukovina and Transylvania also joined the Kingdom of Romania, although historians note that they lacked the quorum to do so.[47][48][49][50][51]

This union was recognized by most of the principal

newly Soviet Russia did not recognize Romanian rule over Bessarabia, considering it an occupation of Russian territory.[54] Uprisings against Romanian rule took place in 1919 at Khotyn and Bender
, but were eventually suppressed by the Romanian Army.

In May 1919, the

Ukrainian SSR

World War II and Soviet era

Monument to the villagers who died in World War II, the village Cojușna, Strășeni District

Annexation by the USSR

In August 1939, the

Soviet sphere of influence, which led the latter to actively revive its claim to the region.[55] On 28 June 1940, the Soviet Union issued an ultimatum to Romania requesting the cession of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, with which Romania complied the following day. Soon after, the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (Moldavian SSR, MSSR) was established,[55] comprising about 65% of Bessarabia, and 50% of the now-disbanded Moldavian ASSR (the present-day Transnistria). Ethnic Germans left
in 1940.

Reincorporation into Romania and the Soviet occupation

As part of the 1941

Second Jassy–Kishinev Offensive in August 1944 and the end of the war in May 1945, 256,800 inhabitants of the Moldavian SSR were drafted into the Soviet Army. 40,592 of them perished.[57]

Bessarabia Germans evacuating after the Soviet occupation of Bessarabia
in 1940.

During the periods 1940–1941 and 1944–1953, deportations of locals to the northern Urals, to Siberia, and northern Kazakhstan occurred regularly, with the largest ones on 12–13 June 1941, and 5–6 July 1949, accounting from MSSR alone for 18,392[e] and 35,796 deportees respectively.[58] Other forms of Soviet persecution of the population included political arrests or, in 8,360 cases, execution.

Moldova in the USSR after World War II

In 1946, as a result of a severe drought and excessive delivery quota obligations and requisitions imposed by the Soviet government, the southwestern part of the USSR suffered from a major

MGB managed to eventually arrest, execute or deport their members.[58]

In the postwar period, the Soviet government organized the immigration of working age Russian speakers (mostly Russians,

roubles (approximately 6.8 billion in 2018 US dollars) from the USSR budget for building projects.[62]

The Soviet government conducted a campaign to promote a Moldovan ethnic identity distinct from that of the Romanians, based on a theory developed during the existence of the

Moldavian ASSR. Official Soviet policy asserted that the language spoken by Moldovans was distinct from the Romanian language (see Moldovenism). To distinguish the two, during the Soviet period, Moldovan was written in the Cyrillic alphabet, in contrast with Romanian, which since 1860 had been written in the Latin alphabet

All independent organizations were severely reprimanded, with the National Patriotic Front leaders being sentenced in 1972 to long prison terms.[63] The Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Moldova is assessing the activity of the communist totalitarian regime.

Glasnost and Perestroika

In the 1980s, amid political conditions created by

Communist Party grew, there were major riots in November

Independence and aftermath

Romanian flag
on 27 April 1990.


Moldova declared its independence
on 27 August 1991.

On 21 December of the same year, Moldova, along with most of the other Soviet republics, signed the constitutive act that formed the post-Soviet

neutral state, Moldova did not join the military branch of the CIS. Three months later, on 2 March 1992, the country gained formal recognition as an independent state at the United Nations. In 1994, Moldova became a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace program, and a member of the Council of Europe on 29 June 1995.[64]

Transnistria breaks away (1990 to present)

In the region east of the

military engagement. It was a brief war between Moldovan and separatist Transnistrian forces, with Russia intervening militarily on Transnistria's side. It ended with a ceasefire and the establishment of a security zone policed by a three-way peacekeeping force of Russian, Transnistrian, and Moldovan personnel.[67]

Market economy (1992)

On 2 January 1992, Moldova introduced a

GDP, the second-highest percentage in the world, after Tajikistan (45%).[68][69]

Elections: 1994-2009

In the

union with Romania were abandoned,[64] and the new Constitution
gave autonomy to the breakaway Transnistria and Gagauzia. On 23 December 1994, the Parliament of Moldova adopted a "Law on the Special Legal Status of Gagauzia", and in 1995, the latter was constituted.

building in 2009