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offtopic:moldova

Moldova

Moldova is a southeast European country, bordering Romania to the west and Ukraine to the south, east and north. A small country, it is slightly larger than Belgium. It's a mostly flat and fertile land, with low-lying mountains present almost solely in the west of the country. The highest mountain of Moldova is low by European standards, just over 700 meters above sea level. The two largest rivers of the country are the Prut (in the central parts) and the Dniester (in the eastern fringes).

Much of modern day Moldova's territory was once part of historical Moldovia, one of the three traditional historical lands of Romania. When Wallachia and Moldovia regained independence from the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, their monarchies started a gradual process of unification, eventually forming the foundation for modern day Romania. After the dissolution of Austria-Hungary at the end of World War I, Transylvania was united with the existing Kingdom of Romania and formed a recongnisibly modern-looking Romania. But Moldova, often also referred to as “Bessarabia” during the 19th and early 20th century (after Basarab/Besarab, a medieval Romanian ruler), had the misfortune of coming into the USSR's sphere of influence by the end of WWII. Modern day Moldova was born after the war, as a new member republic of the USSR. During this period, many additional Russian settlers came to work in the new industrial zones formed in the Dniester river valley, contributing to the growth of a fairly big Russian-speaking minority in Moldova. Tensions between this large minority of settler Russians in large parts of the Dniester region increased in the early 1990s, when a short war broke out and the unrecognised breakaway state of Transnistria was formed, quietly backed by the Russian Federation. The Transnistria question effectively halted some former plans for possible reunification with the rest of Romania after the fall of the East Block.

Though modern day Moldova has greatly suffered from the economic and political turmoil it , and is statistically currently the poorest European country, its situation has slowly started improving again since the late 2000s. The dispute over Transnistria still looms large and any kind of solution to it is still elusive. This is further exacerbated by the fact that Transnistria's self-proclaimed governments have turned a blind eye to smuggling, human trafficking and other illegal activities conducted within their territory.

Curiously enough, contemporary Moldova still has some of the largest networks of trolleybus lines in all of Europe.


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offtopic/moldova.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/29 15:13 (external edit)