Most Orthodox churches and monasteries in Moldova were demolished or converted to other uses, such as warehouses, and clergy were sometimes punished for leading services.
Moldova has officially been a neutral country since its independence, and an early member of the NATO Partnership for Peace.
Certain groups in both countries expected unification, and a Movement for unification of Romania and the Republic of Moldova began in both countries.
The part of Moldova east of the Dniester River, Transnistria, declared independence from Moldova, but within the Soviet Union on September 2, 1990, as the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic.
Moldova had a population of 4,320,490 in 2007.
The main controversy concerns the identity between Moldovans and Romanians, as well as between the corresponding Moldovan and Romanian languages.
Dual citizenship became an increasingly important issue following the 2003 local elections, and in November 2003, the Moldovan parliament passed a law that allowed Moldovans to acquire dual citizenship.
During the Soviet period some Jews from Moldova moved to other parts of the former USSR, while some Jews from other regions moved to Moldova.
Moldova is a one party dominant state with the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova in power.
During the 1991 August coup d'йtat in Moscow against Mikhail Gorbachev, commanders of the Soviet Union's Southwestern Theater of Military Operations attempted to impose a state of emergency in Moldova.
The Soviet Union was falling apart quickly, and Moldova had to rely on itself to prevent the spread of violence from the "Dnestr Republic" to the rest of the country.
Many of these battlefields and churches, as well as old fortresses are situated in Moldova (along the Dniester river).
Russia's decision to ban Moldovan wine and agricultural products, coupled with its decision to double the price Moldova paid for Russian natural gas, slowed GDP growth in 2006 and greatly exacerbated Moldova's economic troubles.
The first Moldovan books (religious texts) appeared in the mid-seventeenth century.
In 1991 Moldova had 853 Orthodox churches and eleven Orthodox monasteries (four for monks and seven for nuns).
The inhabitants, which included a larger proportion of ethnic Russians and Ukrainians, feared the rise of nationalism in Moldova and the country's expected unification with Romania at the dissolution of the USSR.
Between the eighth and tenth centuries, the southern part of Moldova was inhabited by people from Balkan-Dunabian culture (the culture of the First Bulgarian Empire).
The first state that included the whole of Moldova was the Dacian kingdom of Burebista, a contemporary of Julius Caesar, in the first century B.C.E.
One of Moldova's characteristic traits is its ethnic diversity.
Sixteenth-century icons are the oldest examples of Moldovan graphic arts.
Chi?in?u is the capital city and industrial and commercial center of Moldova.
Moldova's proximity to the Black Sea gives it a mild and sunny climate.
Transnistria is legally a part of Moldova, as its independence is not recognized by any country, although in fact it is not controlled by the Moldovan government.
About 75 percent of Moldova is covered by a soil type called "black earth" or chernozem.
Moldova has had a long and stormy history.
Moldova joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's Partnership for Peace on March 16, 1994.
Moldova's rich soil and temperate continental climate have made the country one of the most productive agricultural regions and a major supplier of agricultural products in the region.
Moldova remains one of the poorest countries in Europe.
The unemployment rate in 2005 was 7.3 percent, with roughly 25 percent of working age Moldovans employed abroad.
Moldova's Soviet-era agricultural practices such as overuse of pesticides and artificial fertilizers were intended to increase agricultural output without regard for the consequences.
Romanian President Traian Basescu is one of the strong advocates (at the EU level) for Moldova's bid to join the European Union.
The economy achieved 6 percent or more GDP growth every year from 2000-2005, though this was based largely on consumption fueled by remittances received from Moldovans working abroad.
Moldovan music is closely related to that of Romania.
The 1996 attempt by Moldovan president Mircea Snegur to change the official language to "Romanian" was dismissed by the Moldovan Parliament as "promoting Romanian expansionism."
Most of the 14th Soviet Army's military equipment was to be retained by Moldova.
On August 27, 1991, after the coup's collapse, Moldova declared its independence from the Soviet Union.
Moldova must import almost all of its energy supplies.
At 13,067 square miles (33,843 square kilometers) Moldova is slightly larger than Maryland in the United States.
The Moldova Academy of Sciences, established in Chisinau in 1961, coordinates the activities of some 16 scientific institutions.
A significant minority speaks Russian, and there are more Slavicisms in common speech in Moldova than in common speech in Romania.
Moldova, known in the past as Bessarabia and Moldavia, has a long and stormy history.
Meanwhile, approximately 50,000 armed Moldovan nationalist volunteers went to Transnistria, where widespread violence was temporarily averted by the intervention of the Russian 14th Army, headquartered in Chi?in?u.
Small towns combine Soviet-style administration buildings and apartment blocks with typical Moldovan, Ukrainian, Gagauz, Bulgarian, or German houses, depending on their original inhabitants.
Peacekeepers in Transnistria consisted circa 1994 of six airborne battalions supplied by Russia, three infantry battalions supplied by Moldova, and three airborne battalions supplied by the "Dnestr Republic."
Linguistically, Moldovan is considered one of the five major spoken dialects of Romanian, all five being written identically.
The constitution adopted in 1994 used the term "Moldovan language" instead of "Romanian" and changed the national anthem to Limba noastr?.
The reformist government that took over in May 1990 made changes that did not please the minorities, including changing the republic's name to the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova.
The culture of Moldova has been influenced by its Romanian origin, the roots of which reach back to the second century C.E., the period of Roman colonization in Dacia.
Romania was the first state to recognize the independent Republic of Moldova – only a few hours, in fact, after the declaration of independence was issued by the Moldovan parliament.
Moldovans tend to have higher positions in the government, while Russians dominate the private sector.
Relationships between Moldova and Russia deteriorated in November 2003 over the Transnistrian conflict.
The government has stated that Moldova has European aspirations but there has been little progress toward EU membership.
The 1994 constitution, which replaced the 1978 framework for a Soviet-style government, established Moldova as a parliamentary democracy, with a unicameral parliament of 104 members directly elected for four-year terms.
Drainage in Moldova is to the south, toward the Black Sea lowlands, and eventually into the Black Sea, but only eight rivers extend more than 100 kilometers.
In 1990, Moldova's divorce rate of 3.0 divorces per 1000 population had risen from the 1987 rate of 2.7 divorces per 1000 population.
Most of Moldova's territory is a hilly plain cut deeply by many streams and rivers.
Moldova has accepted all relevant arms control obligations of the former Soviet Union.
The 2004 Moldovan census describes ethnic groups in Moldova as follows: Moldovan/Romanian 78.2 percent, Ukrainian 8.4 percent, Russian 5.8 percent, Gagauz 4.4 percent, Bulgarian 1.9 percent, other 1.3 percent.
The Republic of Moldova (Republica Moldova) is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east and south.
In 1991, a total of 520 books were published in Moldova, of which 402 were in Romanian, 108 in Russian, eight in Gagauz, and two in Bulgarian.
Movements for unification of Romania and the Republic of Moldova began in each country.
The imprints of Vitis teutonica vine leaves near the Naslavcia village in the north of Moldova, prove that grapes have grown there approximately six to 25 million years ago.
During the first ten years of independence, Moldova was governed by coalitions of different parties, lead mostly by former communist officials.
At the same time, most of the Moldovan industry was built in Transnistria, while in Bessarabia mostly agriculture was developed.
In 2004, the volume of investment in the telecommunications and information market in Moldova increased by 30.1 percent in comparison with 2003, totaling US$65.5-million.
The Moldovan Orthodox Church, subordinated to the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Orthodox Church of Bessarabia, autonomous and subordinated to the Romanian Orthodox Church, both claim to be the national church of the country.
During the Soviet era, Moldovan folk culture flourished, and was strongly promoted by the government.
Economically, the city is the most prosperous in Moldova and is one of the main industrial centers and transportation hubs of the region.
The cities of Comrat and Tiraspol also have municipality status, however not as first-tier subdivisions of Moldova, but as parts of the regions of G?g?uzia and Transnistria, respectively.
Traditionally a rural country, Moldova gradually began changing its character under Soviet rule.
The new residents were not only ethnic Moldovans who had moved from rural areas but also many ethnic Russians and Ukrainians who had been recruited to fill positions in industry and government.
A Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with EU is the legal basis for EU relations with Moldova.
The state language, according to Title I, Article 13 of the Moldovan Constitution, is Moldovan.
The Moldovan Popular Front (commonly called the Popular Front), an association of independent cultural and political groups, formed in 1989.
The southern part of Moldova remained under the influence of the First Bulgarian Empire until to the end of ninth century.
A wave of repression was aimed at the Romanian intellectuals who decided to remain in Moldova after the war and propaganda was directed against everything that was Romanian.
Moldova is divided into 32 districts (raioane, singular raion); three municipalities (B?l?i, Chi?in?u, Tighina); and two autonomous regions (G?g?uzia and Transnistria).
The name of the Supreme Soviet also was changed, to the Moldovan Parliament.
Russia and Moldova signed an agreement in October 1994 on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria, but the Russian government did not ratify it and another stalemate ensued.
Reporters Without Borders annual worldwide press freedom index (2005)], ranked Moldova 74th out of 167 countries.