Moldova is a landlocked Eastern European state between Ukraine and Romania. It is bounded to the West by the Prut and to the North by the Dniester, which it crosses to the east along a band called Transdniestria (Transdniestria), and which is now secessionist.
This area corresponds roughly to that of the ancient Bessarabia, which was cut off from its southern part, along the Black Sea.
It is a republic, independent of the USSR since 1991. Administratively it is divided into 32 raions (raioane; singular: raionul), 3 municipalities (municipiul), an autonomous territorial unit (unitatea teritoriala autonoma), and a territorial unit (unitatea teritoriala). With a surface area of 33,843 km2, Moldova has 4.3 million inhabitants (2009). Capital : Chisinau (Kishinev).