Ukrainian Bessarabia: Towards the unknown region

THE isolated region of Ukrainian Bessarabia, which is also known as Budjak, has become one of the latest places for Ukraine-watchers to worry about. Many of the inhabitants fear a spread of the war from eastern Ukraine. Geography gives their region great strategic importance, especially if the Russians were ever tempted to try to carve a land corridor across to Crimea, Odessa and the Romanian border.Ukrainian Bessarabia is bounded by the Black Sea, the Danube and Moldova. The Russian-controlled breakaway region of Transdniestria is to the north. There are no roads, bridges or ferries across the Danube to Romania and only two roads connect the region to the rest of Ukraine. If the bridges over the Dniester were blown up, it would be cut off.Fewer than half of the region’s 570,000 people are Ukrainian. The rest are Bulgarians, Russians, Moldovans, Gagauz or Albanians. Many have a benign view of Russia, which gave their ancestors land and freedom 200 years ago. Almost everyone speaks Russian and many complain that Ukraine has done little for them. Ivan Rusev, a local ecologist, tracks illegal buildings in the Dniester Delta National Park. This was…

Link to article: www.economist.com/news/europe/21637415-little-known-place-interests-both-ukraine-and-russia-towards-unknown-region?fsrc=rss%7Ceur

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