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part of the territory of the USSR located between the Dnestr, Prut, and lower reaches of the Danube. Until the early 19th century, only Budzhak—the southern part of the interfluve of the Prut and the Dnestr—was called Bessarabia. During the tenth and 11th centuries, Bessarabia was part of Kievan Rus’; during the 12th and 13th centuries, part of the principality of Galicia-Volhynia; and from the mid-14th century, part of the Moldavian feudal state. At the start of the 16th century, Bessarabia, along with Moldavia, fell under the power of sultanate Turkey. As a result of the Russo-Turkish war of 1806–12, Bessarabia became part of Russia by the Treaty of Bucharest of 1812. By the Treaty of Paris of 1856, Russia lost the southern part of Bessarabia, which passed to Rumania. It was returned once more to Russia by a decision of the Berlin Congress of 1878. In January 1918, boyar Rumania occupied Bessarabia. In February 1918 a protocol liquidating the Russo-Rumanian conflict was signed, and from March 5 to March 9 an agreement was concluded between the RSFSR and Rumania on the evacuation of Bessarabia by Rumania. According to the protocol, Rumania was obliged to withdraw its forces from Bessarabia over a two-month period. However, exploiting the complicated situation of Soviet Russia (the invasion of the Ukraine by Austro-German forces and the temporary retreat by Soviet troops), the Rumanian government violated the agreement and annexed Bessarabia. The population of Bessarabia struggled stubbornly against the occupiers (Khotin Uprising of 1919 and Tatarbunary Uprising of 1924). The Soviet government never recognized Rumania’s seizure of Bessarabia; on June 26, 1940, it addressed a note to the Rumanian government proposing that it return Bessarabia and also the northern part of Bukovina, most of the population of which was tied to the Ukrainian SSR by a community of historical fate, language, and national composition. On June 28, 1940, Bessarabia was returned to the USSR as a result of the peaceful resolution of the Soviet-Rumanian conflict. In accordance with the law adopted by the seventh session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on Aug. 2,1940, the Moldavian SSR, of which Bessarabia became a part, was formed. The districts of Izmail, Akkerman, and Khotin were joined to the Ukrainian SSR.
REFERENCEIstoriia Moldavskoi SSR, vols. 1–2. Kishinev, 1965–68.
F. A. GREKUL