Tighina (tĭgē`nə), formerly
Bender (bĕn`dûr) or
Bendery (bĭndyĕ`rē), city (1996 est. pop. 137,423), E Moldova, a port on the Dniester River. It is a rail hub and a trade center for timber, fruits, and tobacco. Industries include the production of foodstuffs, electrical apparatus, footwear, and textiles. Historically important as the gateway of Bessarabia, the city was founded on the site of a 14th-century Genoese colony that the Romanians called Tigin. Captured from Moldavia by the Turks in 1538 and renamed Bendery, it became a fortress on the Dniester. It was taken by Russia in 1812. Between world wars, the city, renamed Tighina, belonged to Romania; it was seized by the USSR in 1940 but was in turn occupied by Romanian troops (1941–44) before being ceded to the USSR after World War II. It was again renamed Tighina after Moldovan independence.