A large portion of present day Moldovan territory became a province of the Russian Empire in 1812 and then unified with Romania in 1918 in the aftermath of World War I. This territory was then incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Although Moldova has been independent from the Soviet Union since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Nistru River supporting the breakaway region of Transnistria, whose population is roughly equally composed of ethnic Ukrainians, Russians, and Moldovans.
Years of Communist Party rule in Moldova from 2001-2009 ultimately ended with election-related violent protests and a rerun of parliamentary elections in 2009. Since then, a series of pro-European ruling coalitions have governed Moldova. As a result of the country's most recent legislative election in February 2019, parliamentary seats are split among the left-leaning Socialist Party (35 seats), the ruling Democratic Party (30 seats), and the center-right opposition ACUM bloc (26 seats). After the elections, ideological differences among the three main political parties led to a prolonged government formation process. The parties have until June 2019 to form a government or snap elections will be called
Maps and information from The World Factbook