Throughout the Stalinist period (1940-1941, 1944-1953) thousands upon thousands of Moldovans were deported to Siberia and to northern Kazakhstan, where they were persecuted and murdered without mercy.
After Stalin's death, the persecutions switched from groups to individuals, and even independent businesses and organization were routinely punished to set an example.
By 1988 Moldova began their fight for independence, and freedom fighters organized a mass protest in Chisinau.
Finally, on December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union fell, and in March of 1992 Moldova was formally recognized as an independent country.
After a rough start during the first few years, a start that led this new country into a serious state of economic decline, Moldova became a member of the Council of Europe in 1995 and the economy began to stabilize.
New governments were created in the late 90's, by Ion Sturza and Dumitru Braghis, and a new amendment was added to the Constitution changing the country from a presidential to a parliamentary republic.
This made Moldova the first post-Soviet state in which a non-reformed Communist Party returned to power.
Well known for its natural landscapes and wine making, as well as for establishing a visa-free system for travelers from the US, Canada, Japan and European Union countries, Moldova is fast becoming a popular must-see European tourist stop.
Notable areas of interest include the capital city of Chisinau, and the various monasteries and museums situated across the country.
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