The Republic of Moldova declared its independence from the Soviet Union on 27 August 1991. From the end of World War Two until 1991 the country has been a Socialist Soviet Republic (MSSR), occupying the same territory as today’s republic. The first Moldovan Socialist Soviet Republic had been established in August 1940, after the occupation of Romanian Bessarabia by the Soviet Union (re-occupied by Romania in the summer of 1941 after the Third Reich’s attack on the Soviet Union). Between 1924 and 1940, the Moldovan Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic within the Ukrainian SSR had existed, which in 1940, after the Soviet occupation of Bessarabia, was upgraded to a fully fledged union republic and territorially extended. Bessarabia had been a part of the Russian Empire between 1812 and 1918, when it was joined to Romania. Until 1812, this region was part of the Moldovan Principality, which was an autonomous entity within the Ottoman Empire.
In the early 1990s, the Republic of Moldova was faced with a secessionist violent conflict, which resulted in the establishment of the Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublika (PMR), commonly known as Transnistria, which is not recognized internationally. Transnistria (capital: Tiraspol’) occupies the whole territory of the Moldova left of the river Dniester as well as the right-bank town of Bender.