Sfatul Tarei

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sfatul Ţărei


(Territorial Council, or Council of the Land), a counterrevolutionary body of Bessarabian landowners and bourgeoisie. One-fifth of the deputies were elected at the Military-Moldavian Congress, and the other four-fifths were handpicked by the leaders of the nationalists.

On Nov. 21 (Dec. 4), 1917, the Sfatul Ţărei convened for the first time. The Socialist Revolutionary I. C. Inculeţ was chairman, and P. N. Halippa deputy chairman. The Council of General Directors (Directorate) was the principal executive body. The Sfatul Ţărei published a newspaper of the same name.

The Sfatul Ţărei had, as its principal aim, the destruction of the power of the soviets in Bessarabia and the preservation of the bourgeois-landowner order. On Dec. 2 (15), 1917, its leaders proclaimed Bessarabia a “Moldavian People’s Republic” and themselves the “supreme authority.” They turned for help to the Western powers, which saw Bessarabia as a staging area in the struggle against the country of the soviets. In December 1917 the troops of royalist Rumania, with the aid of the Entente, invaded Bessarabia. On Mar. 27 (Apr. 9), 1918, the Sfatul Ţărei voted for conditional “union” with Rumania. In an official diplomatic note of Apr. 18,1918, the Soviet government pointed out that the government of Rumania was in violation of the agreement of 1918 on the evacuation of Bessarabia. On Nov. 27 (Dec. 10), 1918, at a session attended by fewer than 25 percent of its deputies, the Sfatul Ţărei announced the union of Bessarabia and Rumania. Some deputies protested the legality of this decision.

The Soviet government never recognized Rumania’s annexation of Bessarabia.


Bor’ba trudiashchikhsia Moldavii protiv intervenlov i vnutrennei kontrrevoliutsii v 1917–1920 gg.: Sb. dokumentov i materialov. Kishinev, 1967.
Predatel’skaia rol’ “Sfatul Tserii.”. Kishinev, 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.