Bessarabia, a government of European Russia, with an area of about 15,000 square miles, lying between Moldavia and the river Dneister, and extending along the coast of the Black Sea from the mouth of the latter to the Kilia mouth of the Danube. Formerly a part of Moldavia, this strip of territory was held by the Turks from 1484 to 1812, when it was ceded to Russia, and its boundaries have often formed a bone of contention between the two neighbours. The Berlin Treaty of 1878 extended the share of Russia to the Pruth. The country, low, swampy, and intersected by watercourses in the Bujak steppes towards the sea, trends up inland to the fringe of the Carpathians, and becomes hilly and wooded. The so-called wall of Trajan divides the two districts. The chief products are cereals, hemp, flax, tobacco, wine, and cattle, and the principal towns are Akerman, Bender, Kishenau, and Ismail.