Bender, also known as Tighina (Romanian; Russian: Бендеры, Bendery; Ukrainian: Бендери, Bendery) is a city within the internationally recognized borders of Moldova under de facto control of the unrecognized PMR since 1992. Located on the right (western) bank of the river Dniester, together with its suburb Proteagailovca, the city forms a municipality, which is separate from Transnistria according to the Moldovan law. Bender is located in the buffer zone established at the end of the 1992 War of Transnistria.
While the Joint Control Commission has overriding powers in the city, Transnistria has de facto administrative control.
First mentioned in 1408 as Тягянякяча (Tyagyanyakyacha) in a document in Old Slavonic, the town was known in the Middle Ages as Tighina in Moldavian sources and Bender in Ottoman sources. The fortress and the city were called Bender for the most part of the time they were a rayah of the Ottomans (1538-1812), and during most of the time they belonged to the Russian Empires (1828-1917).
They were known as Tighina in the Principality of Moldavia, in the early part of the Russian Empire period (1812-1828), and during the time the city belonged to Romania (1918-1940).
The city is part of the historical region of Bessarabia. During the Soviet period the city was known in the Moldavian SSR as Бендер (Bender) in Moldovan (Romanian) written then with the Cyrillic alphabet, and as Бендéры (Bendery) in Russian. In the independent Moldova, officially it is known as Bender, but otherwise both names Bender and Tighina are used.
Along with Bessarabia, the city was occupied by the Soviet Union on June 28, 1940, following an ultimatum. In the course of World War II, it was retaken by Romania in July 1941, and again by the USSR in August 1944.
In 1940-41, and 1941-1991 it was one of the four „republican cities” (i.e. not subordinated to a district) of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, one of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union. Since 1991, the city is part of the independent Republic of Moldova.
Famous people born in the city include:
- Two Ottoman Grand Viziers known as Benderli Pasha
- Constantin Andronic, artist
- Lev Simonovich Berg, Jewish Soviet zoologist and geographer
- Tamara Buciuceanu, Romanian actress
- Emil Constantinescu, former President of Romania
- Iuliu Filippovitch Edlis, dramatist, writer
- Evgenii Konstantinovitch Fiodorov, Russian geophysicist
- Jerzy Neyman, Polish statistician
- Michael Postan, British economic historian
- Anna Pavlovna Tanskaia, singer