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see ChişinăuChişinău
, formerly Kishinev
, city (1996 est. pop. 735,229), capital of Moldova, on the Byk River, a tributary of the Dniester. Major industries include food and tobacco processing, the assembly of consumer and electrical goods, and the manufacture of
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, Moldova.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Moldavian, Kishineu), capital of the Moldavian SSR. It is located on the Byk River (a right tributary of the Dnestr), in the wooded upland known as the Kodry. The average temperature in January is — 3.5°C, and in July it is 21.5°C. Population, 395,000 (1972). (The population was 108,000 in 1897, 112,000 in 1939, 216,000 in 1959, and 356,000 in 1970.) Kishinev is divided into three city districts.

Historical survey. The earliest reference to a settlement at the site of Kishinev dates from 1466. Before the middle of the 17th century Kishinev was a votchina (patrimonial estate) of boyars; then, until the early 19th century, it was attached to the Good Friday Monastery of Iaşi. In the second half of the 17th century it developed into a town. From the early 16th century to 1812 it was part of the Moldavian principality and was under Turkish domination. The development of Kishinev was retarded by Turkish rule, subordination to the monastery, the raids of Tatar hordes, and feudal oppression. Kishinev was incorporated into Russia as part of Bessarabia in 1812. This encouraged population growth and the development of trade, handicrafts, and culture (a religious seminary was established there in 1813, and a regional Gymnasium in 1833).

In 1818, Kishinev became the regional center of Bessarabia. A. S. Pushkin lived there from September 1820 to July 1823, when he was exiled from St. Petersburg. Here he became close friends with the Moldavian writers K. Stamati and C. Negruzzi and some of the Decembrists, such as M. F. Orlov, V. F. Raevskii, K. A. Okhotnikov, and P. S. Pushchin, who belonged to the local “office” of the Union of the Public Good. In the early 19th century Kishinev became a base of operations for Greek revolutionaries led by A. Ypsilanti, who were planning an uprising in the Balkans against Turkish domination. The first textile mill was founded in 1821, and a distillery was built in 1831. By 1861 there were more than 100 small enterprises in the city (brandy and vodka distilleries, tanneries, brickyards, tileries, soap-making shops, and tobacco factories). In the early 20th century several metalworking enterprises were established, such as the Serbov, Lange, and Mokanu plants, and the proletariat grew in numbers. Industrial growth was furthered by the building of railroads linking the city with ports on the Danube and the Black Sea and with Western Europe and the central regions of Russia.

In 1873, Kishinev became the principal city of the newly formed province of Bessarabia. The Narodnik (Populist) movement arose there in the 1870’s: a circle headed by N. P. Zubcu-Codreanu conducted socialist propaganda among the student youth, and in the middle of 1878 there existed a circle led by F. Codreanu and I. Ursu. The first revolutionary workers’ circle was formed in 1880 by F. N. Denish; it was connected with revolutionary organizations in Odessa, Kiev, and St. Petersburg. The labor movement arose in the 1890’s. A Social Democratic circle was formed in 1896, and the Kishinev Social Democratic Group, a part of the RSDLP, was established in 1900. On Lenin’s initiative, an underground printing press was established in Kishinev for the newspaper Iskra (April 1901 to March 1902). In December 1902 the Kishinev committee of the RSDLP was formed.

During the Revolution of 1905–07 in Russia, demonstrations and political strikes took place in Kishinev—for example, those of August 21–22 and Oct. 17, 1905. Of great importance for the development of the revolution in Moldavia was the conference of Bolshevik organizations of the Rumanian Front, held in Kishinev on Nov. 28–30 (Dec. 11–13), 1917. In early December a separate Bolshevik organization was formed in the city. Soviet power was established in Kishinev on Jan. 1 (14), 1918. Among the many active participants in the struggle for Soviet power were E. M. Venediktov, I. I. Garkavyi, I. P. Godunov, G. I. Kotovskii, Ia. D. Meleshin, and I. E. Iakir. However, in late January 1918, Bessarabia was occupied by the troops of boyar-dominated Rumania. During the occupation, industry, trade, culture, and municipal services fell into decline; the population decreased in numbers. The workers of Kishinev, led by the underground Communist organization in the city, headed by such figures as P. Tkachenko, K. Syrbu, and I. Furtune, carried on a persistent struggle against the occupiers and for reunification with the Soviet homeland. On June 28, 1940, Bessarabia was reunited with the USSR. On Aug. 2, 1940, the Moldavian SSR was founded, and Kishinev became its capital.

The socialist transformations that began in 1940–41 were interrupted by the attack of Hitlerite Germany on the USSR. From July 16, 1941, to Aug. 24, 1944, Kishinev was occupied by fascist German troops, who did great damage to the city. A total of 174 enterprises and 76 percent of the prewar housing was destroyed. In the postwar years the city was rebuilt and redesigned. It was transformed into the major political, administrative, scientific, and cultural center of the republic. In 1966, for successes achieved in communist construction and on the occasion of its 500th anniversary, Kishinev was awarded the Order of Lenin.

Economy. Approximately one-half of the output of the machine-building and metalworking industries in the Moldavian SSR is produced in Kishinev, as well as about one-fifth of the building materials, one-third of the output of light industry, and one-sixth of the output of the food industry. Kishinev enterprises produce about one-fourth of the total industrial output of the republic. The city has more than 20 percent of the republic’s fixed production assets. In 1971 the volume of industrial production had grown by a factor of 3.2 in comparison with 1960. The products of a number of Kishinev enterprises are shipped to other Union republics and are exported to more than 30 countries. After the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, new branches of industry, such as machine building and chemicals, were introduced. Major industries include machine building (especially precision tools) and metalworking. Among the largest enterprises in Kishinev are the Elektromashina Plant, the Vibropribor Plant for electrical measuring instruments (producing oscillographs), the Elektrotochpribor Plant (producing defectoscopes), the Vierul Tractor Plant, and the Mikroprovod Plant, as well as plants producing leak-free pumps, refrigerators, and washing machines.

Kishinev is a major center of the food industry, which is represented by wine-making (distilleries and combines producing champagne, brandy, and vintage wine), fruit and vegetable canning, and flour milling. Light industry has become important (clothing and footwear factories and knitwear mills). The chemical industry is a new branch of industry (production of machine parts, pipes for agriculture, artificial leather, nonwoven fabrics, waterproof cloth, artificial karakul, and suede). The building materials industry includes enterprises producing reinforced-concrete structural elements and facing plate. The city also has three furniture factories and the Kodry Woodworking Combine.

Kishinev is a highway junction and has a railroad station and an airport.

From 1966 to 1971 residential buildings with 1,395,000 sq m of living space were built. Existing housing in 1971 amounted to 4,183,000 sq m of living space.


Architecture. Kishinev is divided into the Lower City, which dates from the Middle Ages, and the Upper City, which has a regular layout (general plan of 1834). Among the architectural monuments are the Mazarakievskaia Rozhdestvo Bogoroditsy Church (18th century), a cathedral that is now a branch of the Arts Museum of the Moldavian SSR (1830–35, architect A. I. Mel’nikov), and the triumphal arch (now the Victory Arch, 1840, architect I. Zaushkevich). Small private houses of brick and limestone were built in the city from 1918 to 1940. There are monuments to Pushkin (1885, sculptor A. M. Opekushin) and to Stephen the Great (1925, sculptor A. M. Plamadiala.)

During the postwar years the master city plan of 1947 (A. V. Shchusev, director) served as a basis for rebuilding Lenin Prospect, building Molodezh’ Prospect and Negruzzi Boulevard, erecting a number of administrative buildings, including the Government House of the Moldavian SSR (1964, architect S. D. Fridlin), and developing Vokzal’naia Square (the railroad station was built in 1948; architect L. M. Chuprin). Among the new industrial regions that have gone up in Kishinev are Novye Chekany and Skulianka. From 1955 to 1970 there arose residential districts that were well provided with services, such as Ryshkanovka, Botanika, and Boiukany. Kishinev also has monuments to Lenin (1949, sculptor S. D. Merkurov), G. I. Kotovskii (1953, sculptors L. I. Dubinovskii and others), K. Marx (1967, sculptor A. F. Maiko), and the Bulgarian volunteer corps (1967, architect V. L. Dement’ev).

Cultural affairs. Kishinev is the site of the Academy of Sciences of the Moldavian SSR (founded in 1961) and of its institutes. The city also has the N. A. Dimo Moldavian Scientific Research Institute of Soil Sciences and Agrochemistry, the Moldavian Scientific Research Institute for Horticulture, Viticulture, and Wine-making, the Volna Association of Kishinev for Science and Production, and other scientific institutions of the republic. The city has six higher educational institutions (with 34,000 students in the 1971–72 academic year)—the University of Kishinev, an institute of the arts, and polytechnic, pedagogical, agricultural, and medical institutes. In the 1971–72 academic year there were 90 general educational schools with 61,400 students, ten vocational training schools with 6,300 students, and 15 specialized secondary schools with 21,000 students (including those taking correspondence courses). In 1971 there were 21,800 children in 133 preschool institutions.

As of Jan. 1, 1972, the city had 83 public libraries (with 2,356,000 books and journals) and numerous museums, including the Museum of the History of the Communist Party of Moldavia, the Museum of the History and Local Lore of the Moldavian SSR, the Museum of the Kishinev Underground Printing Press of the Leninist Newspaper Iskra, the Republic Memorial Museum of G. I. Kotovskii and S. Lazo, the Arts Museum of the Moldavian SSR, the Literature Museum of the Writers’ Union of the Moldavian SSR, and the A. S. Pushkin House-Museum. Theaters included the Moldavian Theater of Opera and Ballet, the A. S. Pushkin Moldavian Theater of Music and Drama, the A. P. Chekhov Russian Dramatic Theater, the Luchaferul Young People’s Theater, and the Likurich Puppet Theater (a republic theater). The city also has a philharmonic society, 62 club institutions, nine motion picture theaters, and 25 stationary motion picture projectors.

Among the publishing houses of the republic that are located in Kishinev are Kartia Moldoveniaske (Moldavian Book) and Lumina (Light). ATEM, the republic’s news agency, television and radio broadcasting stations of the republic, and a television studio are also situated there. In 1971, eight editions of republic-wide newspapers and 20 magazines and journals were published in Kishinev. Two city evening papers are published—the Moldavian-language Kishineu. Gazeta de sare (Kishinev Evening News, since 1966) and the Russian-language Vechernii Kishinev (Evening Kishinev, since 1958). The radio and television broadcasting services of the republic transmit in both Moldavian and Russian over three radio frequencies and two television channels.

Public health. In 1940 there were only nine hospitals and 1,100 hospital beds (0.9 beds per 1,000 inhabitants), with 392 doctors (one per 293 inhabitants) and 469 middle-level medical personnel. In 1971 there were 25 hospital institutions with 7,500 beds (18.8 beds per 1,000 inhabitants), 54 outpatient polyclinics, 19 maternity consultation centers and clinics for children, and four dispensaries, as well as 76 health stations and 11 medical sections at industrial enterprises. There were 3,200 doctors (one per 128 inhabitants) and 6,200 middle-level medical personnel. Kishinev has a medical institute (founded in 1945) and research institutes in epidemiology and hygiene (founded in 1947) as well as in oncology and tuberculosis (founded in 1948). In the vicinity of the city there are therapeutic mineral springs and a tuberculosis sanatorium.


Ul’ianov, V., and I. Pilat. Istoricheskie i pamiatnye mesta g. Kishineva. Kishinev, 1957.
Iubileinyi sbornik g. Kishineva, 1812–1912, part 1. Kishinev, 1914.
Istoriia Kishineva. Kishinev, 1966.
Odud, A. L. Kishinev (Ekonomiko-geograficheskii ocherk). Kishinev, 1964.
Konstantinov, A. S. Kishinev. Kishinev, 1966.
Moldaviia. Moscow, 1970. (The series Sovetskii Soiuz.)
Ekskursii po Kishinevu: Putevoditel’. Kishinev, 1971. [Melega, S.] Kishinev: Kratkii spravochnik-putevoditel’. Kishinev, 1961.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Moldavian city; scene of pogroms and WWII genocide. [Jew. Hist.: Wigoder, 344]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


the capital of Moldova on the Byk River: manufacturing centre of a rich agricultural region; university (1945). Pop.: 662 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
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Three years earlier, she witnessed the death of her Christian friend, Mikhail, and the subsequent 1903 Kishinev pogrom that bathed her hometown in blood.
This includes Gordin's reaction to the pogroms of 1881 in Elisavetgrad, Kiev, Kishinev, and Odessa.
The fastest-growing airport in this category is the airport in Kishinev with a passenger growth rate of 32 percent and the second fastest-growing is the Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade.
These thirteen essays track the histories of conflicting ethnic territorial claims, including views from Kishinev and Tiraspol, Nagorno Karabakh as a hostage for unfavorable power balance and internal political stagnation, Georgia's attempts at reasonable strategies, Abkhazia, Russia's "Rubicon," the Caucasus, a fact-finding mission in Georgia, bloody peacemaking in the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the "tunnel at the end of the line."
Georgian Foreign Minister is expected to address the 5th Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, in Kishinev, on October 4.