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A region of Moldova and western Ukraine. As the gateway from Russia into the Danube River valley, it was for centuries an invasion route from Asia to Europe. The region became part of Russia in 1812 but declared itself independent in 1918 and later voted for union with Romania, which was forced to cede it to the USSR in 1940.

Bes′sa·ra′bi·an adj. & n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Placename) a region in E Europe, mostly in Moldova and Ukraine: long disputed by the Turks and Russians; a province of Romania from 1918 until 1940. Area: about 44 300 sq km (17 100 sq miles)
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌbɛs əˈreɪ bi ə)

a region in Moldavia, on the W shore of the Black Sea: formerly part of Romania.
Bes`sa•ra′bi•an, adj., n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(43) An interesting analysis of the Krupenskiis' political clout in Bessarabia and their self-perception as the main representatives of the local elite (although in a later period) can be found in Svetlana Suveica, " 'Russkoe Delo' and the 'Bessarabian Cause': The Russian Political Emigres and the Bessarabians in Paris (1919-1920)," Discussion Papers of IOS Mitteilungen (Regensburg), no.
In previous years, the chances of receiving a higher education were rather limited for Bessarabians. The absence of a university in the province, the elitist character of higher education (open mostly to scions of prominent noble or merchant families), and the relatively poor quality of most local educational institutions discouraged a mass influx of Bessarabian-born youths into Russian universities.
From the perspective of the Bessarabian elite, however, Romanian military intervention in Bessarabia was essentially a matter of political (and physical) survival.
It was only the third time Caligula had been knocked down during this fight, but it seemed he would remain there this time; he had given up the intention of biting Bronco in that position for almost one minute, despite the Bessarabians' encouragements.
Radu kissed Bronco on the muzzle and raised him above his head to the crowd's acclamations; except for the four Bessarabians, each person present had hoped Bronco would be the winner.
Regency, Bessarabians and Tibetan patterns are big sellers.
As it turned out, however, the Bessarabians were swallowed up in the political intrigues and back-room deals which characterised Romanian politics in the interwar period.
Shortly thereafter, the Bessarabian lands were carved up, with portions in the north and the south going to Ukraine, while the remainder was united with a strip of land east of the Dnestr (a region known as 'Transnistria') to form the 'Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic'.
He had always been in control and the attacker, but this time he was the prey and, besides helplessness and frustration, he felt this was utter disrespect directed against him, a very personal insult on the Bessarabians' part.
That these Bessarabians had the guts to do what they did on his grounds, especially when they knew him, his strength, and his power, both financial and the number of soldiers he commanded, plus his connections in the world of interlopers, caused a sense of emptiness in Leon's stomach, which gave him a knot in the throat.
This, however, does not mean that Bessarabians were pro-Jewish or that they condemned violence against Jews.
Probably the bloodiest massacre in which they took part was in the Bessarabian town of Edinet, in which the army and later the gendarmerie executed at least 537 people, almost all of them Jews.