17 December 2010

Understanding the borders

One of the first problems of genealogical research is to geographically locate the roots of the family. Having been Eastern Europe the scene of continuous and several military conflicts, some confusion is common.

The map beside (click it to enlarge) may explain more than any text that seeks to establish the borders of Bessarabia, Moldavia and Bukovina.

It corresponds entirely to the historical territory of Moldavia, during the time it was a principality until the 19th century, when, uniting with Wallachia, they formed together Romania.

The blue part belongs, since the end of World War II, to Romania (Moldavia and southern Bukovina). The pink part belongs to Ukraine today (northern Bukovina, northern Bessarabia, Herta and Budjak) and the green part is the territory of Republic of Moldova.

As one can see, Bessarabia itself is formed by the green and two pink zones, north and south, territories detached by Khrushchev out of the SSR Moldova and then transferred to the SSR Ukraine. 
Bukovina (Austrian province between 1775 and 1918) is now split between Romania and Ukraine. The area shaded in green corresponds to the self-proclaimed Republic of Transnistria, an area of great geopolitical tension between Russia and NATO, while the area shaded with pink, now part of Ukrainian territory, corresponds to the former Moldavian Autonomous SSR (1924-1940), Stalinist complex maneuver in geopolitics.

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