City (pop., 1999: 655,000), capital of Moldova. It lies on a tributary of the Dniester River. Ruled by Moldavia in the 15th century and taken by the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century, it was ceded to Russia in 1812. From 1918 the city was controlled by Romania; it was ceded back to the Soviet Union in 1940 and became the capital of the newly formed Moldavian S.S.R. The city is a commercial centre and the site of a university.
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