The area of today’s Moldova was already settled in the Paleolithic, as finds from 2010 prove. In the Neolithic Age, the region belonged to the band ceramic culture and the Cucuteni culture, which began around 4800 BC and ended in 3500 BC. Black-white-red ceramics with spiral motifs are typical of them. Other cultures such as the Yamnaya culture followed.
Conquerors in ancient times and in the Middle Ages
Located between Europe and Asia, the region of Moldova was repeatedly plagued by invading conquerors in ancient times. In the 1st century, tribes from the western Dacia settled here, which was under Roman rule. Goths, Huns, Bulgarians, Magyars, Mongols and other conquerors came over the next few centuries. From the 7th century the south was under the influence of the First Bulgarian Empire, from the 13th century Hungary ruled the region.
Principality of Moldova
In 1349 Prince Bogdan founded the Principality of Moldova. It was initially called Bogdania and was a vassal state of Hungary. In 1359 it became independent, but in 1387 it came under the sovereignty of Poland, its eastern neighbor. The Principality of Moldova included Romania and parts of Ukraine in addition to today’s Moldova.
Under Stephen the Great, the country experienced a cultural high point from 1457. However, he lost the south of the country to the Ottomans. As a result, the Principality of Moldova lost access to the Black Sea. In 1512 the principality lost its independence and had to submit to the Ottomans.
Russian rule and belonging to Romania
At the end of the 18th century, Russia and the Ottoman Empire fought for power in several wars. The Ottomans had to cede the areas east of the Dniester to the Russians as early as 1792, and in 1812 today’s Moldavia also came under Russian rule. As the governorate of Bessarabia, it was incorporated into the Russian Empire. In the further 19th century, the area came under Romanian rule.
The tsarist rule in Russia ended with the February Revolution of 1917. In January 1918 the previously founded Moldovan Democratic Republic declared itself independent, and in March it was annexed to Romania.
The area east of the Dniester became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic in 1922, and then in 1924 a separate Moldovan Soviet Republic, with which the Soviet Union wanted to underpin its claim to all of Moldova, a country located in Europe detailed by oxfordastronomy.
History of Moldova from World War II to the present day
Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic (1940-1991)
In 1940 the Soviet Union occupied Bessarabia and united it with the western part of the former Moldovan Soviet Republic to form the new Moldovan Socialist Soviet Republic. In 1941 Romania occupied the country, but in 1947 the area fell back to the Soviet Union.
This also began the implementation of the political goals of the Soviet Union. Large estates were abolished and agriculture collectivized. In other words, the farmers were stripped of their farms and merged into cooperatives. Russian became the official language, and Romanian was declared Moldovan in order to alienate Moldovans from their Romanian identity. People who were seen as political opponents were forcibly resettled or even sent to labor camps.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moldova declared itself independent on August 27, 1991.
Conflicts in Transnistria and Gagauzia
As early as 1989 there were problems due to the diverse ethnic composition of Moldova. Many Russians and Ukrainians live in Transnistria in the east of the country, in the Gagauzia region in the south-west the Gagauz make up the vast majority with 82 percent. Both regions declared independence in 1990. War broke out in Transnistria in 1992.
While Gagauzia was reintegrated into Moldova as an autonomous region in 1994, this did not succeed in Transnistria. The Transnistria conflict has remained unsolved to this day, even if there are no more fighting. The independence of Transnistria is not recognized by any state, but the area is no longer under the control of Moldova.
Republic of Moldova (since 1991)
As early as 1989, as part of the independence movement, Moldova and Romanian had again been accepted as the official language.
Mircea Ion Snegur became the first President of Moldova. He was followed in 1997 by Petru Lucinschi. In 2001 the communists won the election and Vladimir Vorinin became the country’s third president. There was a rapprochement with Russia. Border controls between Ukraine and Moldova have been in place since 2005 as a measure of the European Union to prevent arms, drugs and people smuggling through Transnistria.
In 2009 there were civil protests. The Communist Party was accused of fraudulent election after parliamentary elections. The new elections brought a narrow parliamentary majority from the western-oriented liberal and conservative parties.
After two interim presidents, Nicolae Timofti was elected in 2012. He does not belong to any political party and is pro-European. Igor Dodon replaced him in 2016. In 2014, an association agreement was signed with the EU. Moldova is therefore not a full member of the EU, but it is certainly linked to it by treaties.
Protests in 2015 and 2016
Many Moldovan residents see themselves as close to Romania, they even want to be united with Romania and want to join the European Union, because this might solve the economic problems. Others want to get closer to Russia. Both sides are dissatisfied.
People are also dissatisfied because the economic situation is so bad, many live in poverty and corruption is widespread. The disappearance of one billion dollars led to the establishment of the platform “Dignity and Truth”, which has since become a party.