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Situated on a historic passageway between Asia and Europe, Moldova has often suffered invasion and warfare. The principality of Moldova, created in the 14th century, included most of modern Moldova as well as eastern Romania. The Ottomans subjugated the principality during the course of the 16th century and remained in power for two centuries. Russia annexed it in 1812 after the Russian-Turkish war and created the Russian province of Bessarabia.
Germans were invited to immigrate and settle large areas in southern Bessarabia. When the empire excised their privileged status in the late 19th century, many left for the American Midwest.
Romania temporarily gained control of Bessarabia in 1918; then, lost it back to Russia in 1944. Moldova declared its independence in 1991.
1812 - Moldova was ceded to the Russian Empire by the Ottoman Empire, to which Moldavia was a vassal state and became known as Bessarabia
1856 - Southern Bessarabia was returned to Moldavia, which three years later united with Wallachia to form Romania
1876 - Russian rule was restored over the whole of the region
1917 - 1918 During the Russian Revolution, Bessarabia briefly became autonomous and then the independent Moldavian Democratic Republic until it was integrated into Romania
1941 - Romanian forces, working with the Germans, deported or massacred about 300,000 Jews, including 147,000 from Bessarabia and Bukovina
1945 - 256,800 inhabitants of the Moldavian SSR were drafted into the Soviet Army and 40,592 of them died
1946 – 1947 At least 216,000 deaths in the Moldavian SSR
1991 - Moldova declared its independence