A map of Moldova Sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine is the landlocked nation of Moldova. Most of the country is made up of gently rolling hills and lowlands. Central Moldova is a highland region, covered by forests and cut through by river valleys. Much of the rest of the land consists of steppe lowlands, fertile plains used to grow grains, fruits, grapes and sugar beets. Moldova is blanketed by a fertile, black soil called chernozem. In the east, the River Dniester (Dniestr) winds its way southwards to the Black Sea. Moldova has a sunny, continental-type climate with mild winters and long, hot summers. In summer, heavy rains and huge thunderstorms are not unusual.
About three-quarters of Moldova’s people are Moldovans, an ethnic Romanian people. Their language, Moldovan, is almost exactly the same as Romanian. Most people who live to the east of the River Dniester, in a region known as Trans-Dniester or Transnistria, are ethnic Russians and Ukrainians. In 1992, this region tried to break away from the rest of Moldova and hundreds were killed in the conflict that followed. Eventually, Russian troops were brought in to keep the peace, but tensions still exist between the region’s ethnic groups today.
Moldova is named after the River Moldova. According to legend, the river is named after a dog that drowned in the river. The dog’s name was Molda.
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