Author Topic: Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria  (Read 12760 times)

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Offline <k>

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Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria
« on: January 04, 2013, 09:21:08 PM »
With the help of some maps and abridged text from Wikipedia, I will attempt to tell the complicated story of how Romania lost part of Moldavia, and how Moldova lost Transnistria. I will finish off with some illustrations of coins from the two new countries.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 09:22:47 PM »
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west.

After the Russo-Turkish War (1806-1812), the Peace of Bucharest ceded the eastern portion of the Principality of Moldavia (an Ottoman possession) to Imperial Russia. This eastern part became the Governorate of Bessarabia. At the end of the Crimean War, in 1856, by the Treaty of Paris, two districts of southern Bessarabia were returned to Moldavia, causing the Russian Empire to lose access to the Danube river.

In 1859, Moldavia and Wallachia merged to form The United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. The country became the Kingdom of Romania in 1866, and it included the southern part of Bessarabia. You can see that Transylvania still belonged to Austria-Hungary at this time.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2015, 05:24:03 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 09:26:02 PM »
Shortly before the end of World War I, Bessarabia declared its independence from Russia in 1918, calling itself the Moldavian Democratic Republic. Three months later it united with the Kingdom of Romania. The Versailles Treaty also awarded Transylvania to Romania, as a reward to Romania for being on the winning side in World War I.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 11:09:10 PM by <k> »
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Re: Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 09:27:29 PM »
After the victory of Bolshevist Russia in the Russian Civil War, the Ukrainian SSR was created in 1922. The Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was created in 1924, from a territory previously administered as part of the Odessa and Podolia regions of Ukraine. It accounted for 2% of the land and population of the Ukrainian SSR at the time, and Moldavians and Romanians accounted for around a third of the population.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2013, 09:29:40 PM »
On June 26 1940, in accordance with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Nazi Germany, the Soviet government issued an ultimatum to Romania, demanding the immediate cession of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina. Under duress, with no prospect of aid from France or Britain, Romania ceded those territories.

On June 28 Soviet troops crossed the Dniester and occupied Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina, and the Hertza region. Most of Bessarabia was joined with the western-most part of the Moldavian ASSR, to form the new Moldavian SSR; the old Moldavian ASSR was dissolved.

Territories where ethnic Ukrainians were the largest ethnic group (mainly northern Bukovina and parts of northern and southern Bessarabia) were annexed to the Ukrainian SSR, along with some regions with a Romanian majority, such as the Hertza region. The transfer of Bessarabia's Black Sea and Danube frontage to Ukraine ensured its control by a stable Soviet republic. [Reading between the lines, it seems that some eastern parts of the former Moldavian ASSR were incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR].





This map shows how Bukovina was divided up between Romania and the USSR.






This map shows all the parts of Romania that were annexed by Ukraine.

 
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 11:14:00 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2013, 09:32:03 PM »
Romania, 1940 to 1941, and the Moldavian SSR. Hungary and Bulgaria also annexed some of Romania during this period. Note that the Russians renamed Chisinau to Kishinev.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 09:33:55 PM »
Subsequently, Romania joined the Axis Powers and recaptured Bessarabia in 1941 but lost it again in 1944.

In 1947 the Soviet-Romanian border along the Prut River was internationally recognised by the Paris Treaty that ended World War II.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2013, 12:04:51 AM »
During the process of dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Moldavian SSR declared itself sovereign (23 June 1990). It declared independence from the USSR on 27 August 1991, becoming the Republic of Moldova.

The areas of Moldavia that had been allotted to the Ukrainian SSR in 1940 became part of the new independent Ukraine in 1991. However, in 1940 Moldova had inherited around 40% of the territory of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, which had never belonged to Romania. In the 1990s, part of that area, Transnistria, in the region east of the Dniester river, was still inhabited by ethnic Russians and Ukrainians. These comprised around 54% of the population of Transnistria (where the headquarters and many units of the Soviet 14th Guards Army were stationed), and they had proclaimed a breakaway independent Pridnestrovian Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic on August 16, 1990, with its capital in Tiraspol. The motives behind this move were fear of the rise of nationalism in Moldova and the country's expected reunification with Romania upon secession from the USSR.

In the winter of 1991–1992 clashes occurred between Transnistrian forces, supported by elements of the 14th Army, and the Moldovan police. Between March 2 and July 26, 1992, the conflict escalated into a military engagement. A ceasefire has been in operation since then, but although Transnistria is now a fully-fledged state, it is recognised neither by Moldova nor any other recognised state.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2013, 12:51:23 AM »
Before the introduction of its own currency, Moldova used the ‘cupon’, which was at par with the Russian rouble. There were no coins, just banknotes. In 1993 it introduced the Moldovan leu, which was at par with the cupon. The leu, like the Romanian variant, is equal to 100 bani.

Coins consist of 1, 5, 10, and 25 bani in aluminium and 50 bani in aluminium-bronze. An aluminium 50 bani, and nickel-plated-steel 1 and 5 leu coins were issued in 1993 but have been withdrawn from circulation.

Below are the original 50 bani coin (right) and the new one, with an attractive grapevine design, which was introduced in 1997.



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Offline <k>

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Re: Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2013, 12:52:47 AM »
Here are the other lower denominations, which have rather plain designs.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 02:32:06 AM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2013, 12:53:54 AM »
Here the 1 lei and 5 leu coins (not to scale). They are now defunct and have been replaced by banknotes.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2013, 12:55:26 AM »
As you can see, the Moldovan coat of arms is rather similar to the Romanian one.





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Offline <k>

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Re: Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2013, 01:29:10 AM »
Transnistria introduced its own coinage in 2000. One Transnistrian ruble equals 100 kopecks. The obverse of its coins carries a rather Sovietesque coat of arms, consisting of a hammer and sickle.

The reverse designs of the coins are rather simplistic, with an ear of wheat on the lower denominations and a wreath on the higher ones.

I do not know whether the ruble is at par with the Russian version, but I suspect it has a lower value.

 
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 01:35:14 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2013, 01:35:43 AM »
Sometimes people wonder whether Romania and Moldova will ever reunify, but I suspect that the longer they are apart, the less likely this is to happen. There are people in Transnistria who would like their breakaway republic to merge with Russia, but Putin is not keen to allow this, because he could then be seen as an imperialist. He has other ways of keeping his neighbours in check.

So out of one country, Romania, came three coinages. That is good for numismatists. Long may it stay that way.
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Offline villa66

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Re: Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2013, 02:01:28 AM »
Nicely done. And useful. It's a part of the world I've never understood very well.

:) v.